A Tribute to Redheads

A Tribute to Redheads

Have you ever noticed that redheads often have strong—and sometimes funny—personalities?

I enjoyed watching Carol Burnett receive the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for Humor on PBS last night. I needed a laugh, and the show delivered.

Carol’s red hair and the tribute paid to her by Lucie Arnaz, the daughter of Lucille Ball, another funny redhead, got me thinking about people with red hair. Also on my mind is my redheaded mother-in-law, Mary, who was absent from her place at the table when we gathered for a Thanksgiving celebration this past Sunday. (Mary died in May of this year.)

I’m certain that there are redheads of all personality types, talents, and ambitions, so I don’t mean to generalize here or put all redheads into one basket. It does seem that a strong personality often comes with the hair color. I wonder if standing out because of having red hair contributes to this in some way. Do they figure out from early on that their hair color sets them apart and draws attention to them so they just learn to make the most of it? Or is there something to the “fiery redhead” characterization?

Mary, my mother-in-law, was a woman who stood out in a crowd. By the time I met her, some of the spit and fire that characterized her younger years—and that was the stuff of legends and some great family stories—had lost some of its effect due to her battle with MS. When she was in her prime, her family characterizes her as a force to be reckoned with. And I saw enough of that remaining glitter to believe them!

Does it really matter if their special spark is in some way a result of being born with red hair? Not really. And I don’t want anyone to extrapolate from my musings to try to find credibility in any of the “dumb blonde” comments and jokes out there! What matters most for all of us—regardless of hair color or other appearance trait—is that we make the most of what we’ve received and become the persons God created us to be!


About the Author

Joan McKamey works for Liguori Publications.