I've been playing around with drawing figures in my journal and Book of Days and I've noticed a couple of trends ...
Yes, the head are ginormous which says a lot about the part of my body that gets the most attention (hello brain, I know you've been overworked and I am doing my best to convince you to take early retirement ...)
But what I am really enjoying these days are pigtails and ponytails (known as doggy ears in our house):
I seem to be fixated upon them.
Which got me thinking about my hair and how my relationship with it has been less than loving or accepting. As a child, red hair was just about the absolute last thing I would ever have wanted for myself, only to be surpassed by freckles as most odious physical trait. (As a kid I wasn't buying the old "angel kisses" line - quit giving me messy kisses! was my precocious reaction.)
When you have red hair, you stand out and I very definitely wanted to blend in. Vanish really. I would fantasy about the day when I could buy myself a wig. Blonde or brunette, it didn't matter, the hair just had to be long and silky straight.
Silky is not a typical characteristic of red hair. In fact, red hair has the annoying tendency to draw added attention to itself by becoming puffy (as Cowgirl likes to call my hair), frizzly, kinky and curly. It seems to know I want to be smaller and so perversely it makes itself larger. It curls when I want it tame and becomes a heavy flop of straw when I want it curly.
It really does have a mind of its own.
As a redheaded girl the only options available to me as role models were Carol Burnett and Ginger from Gilligan's Island. Goofball (Lucille Ball) or Sex Kitten. For some inexplicable reason my mother felt compelled to tell me at an early age that there never had been a red headed Miss America because redheads were viewed as "hussies." (My mom bemoaned the transformation of her auburn tresses to mousy brown throughout her entire life which makes the hussy comment even more perplexing to me now that I consider it.)
Mary Magdalen is often depicted with red hair. As are clowns.
So I've suffered my red hair most of my life (The Husband claims it was what first attracted him to me - he had a thing for Ann Margaret "in her prime") but it is only now as the color is fading that I am finding myself embracing it and all that it represents.
I am reclaiming Red and embracing the power of pigtails. I am proudly waving my Ginger flag and all that it embodies: spunk (Pixies were thought to be red-haired) , individuality, independence, defiance. Less than four percent of the world's population are true redheads (and yes, there is one immodest way to prove one's true redness) and the rarity of red hair may account for the belief in Medieval times that redheads were witches.
Adam's first wife, Lilith, is also depicted with red hair. It seems unruly and powerful leaders and visionaries often were redheaded: Boudica (celtic warrioress) and Queen Elizabeth I along with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.
But when I wear my hair in pigtails I am connecting with the heroine of my childhood who gave me that first taste of the possibilities inherent by proudly celebrating my hair's redness:
Yes, I've come home to Pippi Longstocking. The most powerful girl in the world. How could I ever have forsaken you?
Just don't call me Red. Ever. Unless you want to see me really enraged ...