"Redheads are Trending" {Or maybe they are witches!}

Monday, February 27, 2012

{Nina Garcia & Tim Gunn: Oscars}

Dear Nina Garcia {Not really but let's pretend},

First let me say I was so excited to not only see Tim Gunn on the red carpet but you along with him! I must say I have missed you both since you are not apart of the Runway All-stars. Second let me say this isn't truly directed at you Nina, I still think you're top-notch, but I have been writing this blog post in my head way before the blog was a glint in cyber mama's eyes.  As I was watching I was hanging on every word about your top 3 dressed list of the night so far; as I was eager to hear your point of view on fashion that wasn't crafted in less than 4 hours. Jessica Chastain topped your list. As you and Tim were discussing this look you said, and I quote, "It's that red hair..." Well, it's not actually an accessory piece -but okay, she has great hair, perhaps it looks especially nice with her dress. But then you went on to say, "redheads are really trending right now." {Insert the sound of a record backing up or scratching or whatever that sound is when someone says something and you go, What?!} Redheads are trending right now? Huh? Do groups of people "trend?"  Well, perhaps they do in Hollywood, but I don't think it's appropriate to say out loud. And don't worry I am not totally directly relating this to a race issue, well okay, I will later, but right now, I am just saying... I can can relate to it as a race issue in ways...black women who are seemingly praised at times because they are successful and black. Or Latina women, like J lo who will always be the symbol of a perfect Latina...er, derriere. Or the Asian kids who are good at math or justifying all our products being made in China because they all have those little hands. Or how a Muslim woman who wears a hijab are simply slaves to misogynist religion and have no voice of their own. These stereo-types run the gamut of being out-right racist and being accepted stereo-types.

{Jessica Chastian: Oscars}

I came out the gate with a glowing fuzz of red hair and I have had to endure the juxtaposition of peoples opinions on it all my life. Not only through personal comments but in general statements as the one I quoted above. From some research I once did I found red hair comes from a gene that was most commonly found in the areas that had the most severe ice age. Apparently red hair, like blond hair, with fair skin, is that in the far northern regions, there wasn't enough sun to help us manufacture vitamin D.  So light skin became better for survival because it can absorb more sunlight and retain more vitamin D. And on the flip side of the coin in areas where there is more sun, the skin adapted to be darker, as did the hair. Our coloring, whether it be on our head, our skin or our eyes, isn't something that denotes temperaments as much as temperatures. So when people are judged, ridiculed or labeled simply because of this, well, I find it really annoying. Honestly I could care less what two adults say in jest to each other privately, we are all guilty of making "fun" at times, or generalizations. In fact I certainly don't want to give the impression that I mind at all when my friends make fun of me. Or when an nice old grandpa calls me "red." I kind of like those things actually. But what has me all bugged is when you know you can say something about a group of people publicly and get away with it. Well, we should probably leave that to the comedians, should we not? Blonds have more fun...Brunettes are smarter...people under 40 should never let themselves go grey. Well, perhaps this hits more than one nerve because you can throw sexism into that mix as well, because these sweeping allegations based on characteristics of what we look like are especially reserved for women. Unless you have red hair, then it's just a generally accepted free for all. And that's where it passes the line for me of pure sexism into a form of racism.


As a young girl I couldn't stand in a grocery line without the checker asking where I got my red hair from, which was always quite awkward considering I got it from my father, a man I had never met or known. Old ladies thought I was the cutest thing in the world; little boys hated me. I was called tomato head by mean classmates, which never made sense to me considering my hair wasn't actually the color of a tomato at all. Carrot maybe, but carrot top? No, carrot tops are actually green. As a teenager I was consistently asked (in all seriousness) if I could be asked a "personal question." Oh and did I always know what was coming next. Yep, something along the line of "does the carpet match the drapes." It was as though I held some magical answer that unlocked the universe. It's an odd place to find yourself in when you are constantly marginalized by your peers -then when they finally show a little interest in what you have to say it had to do with my pubic hair. Awkward.

As I got older I was often slapped on the shoulder by an old guy who heckled that he bet I was fiery just like his first wife "who had red hair too . . . and stabbed him with a fork." Or asked "Is true? Are redheads really good in bed?" I can't tell you how man times I have been told "I was pretty for a redhead." Or had some guy tell me he has a "thing for redheads" like I had come across a real stroke of luck. When in truth this declaration has always been a pretty good sign to excuse myself as quickly as possible from declarers company. I have been high fived by other redheads while walking down the street for sharing some form of the red hair gene. I have been screamed at numerous times from large pick up trucks who like to hoot and whistle from their cabin "fire in the hole." My first nickname was fire-crotch or "FC" for short. All my life I have wondered why is it such an appropriate and accepted form of  stereo-typing?  And I should be clear I do not compare this on a broad level to true hate speech or hate crimes as we see with homophobia or true racism, I am such saying it is a form of discrimination that continues to be accepted. Like, why do some sperm banks not accept male redheaded doners? Why in the movies are the meanest little boys always the ones with red hair and freckles? Having red hair seems to be the last great frontier of open and accepted stereo-types and derogatory comments, at least in America. "Ginger" is the newest one. This I will not be called - not by friend or foe. Perhaps it was because in my adult ignorance of self acceptance I didn't realize redheads were still being made fun of all the time... until I heard the word ... Ginger . Um hm, it came from a South Park episode in which cartman declared "gingervitis" was a disease (ok, so that is actually kind of funny). Anyway, this little 'haha' funny went on to cause some serious troubles for "gingers." In fact there was a movement of sorts which was forged on Facebook, not the good kind like we saw in Egypt, but the bad kind like "kick a ginger day" in which a day was declared to kick people with red hair. Yeah, I know, it's nuts! That actually is a hate crime.

                {The mean kid from A Christmas Story - You can tell he's mean by his freckles}
I won't even go into the freckles but I will say while talking with mother about one of her 8,000,000 chemical peels, and her retelling the story of how it burned her face off, she said maybe I could get one and get my freckles removed. Hmm. Well, I don't want to. In the summer my freckles get dark and fierce and always someone makes a comment such as "you have a lot freckles." Really? Man I had no idea, that mirror I  ordered 6 weeks ago from the Sears and Roebuck catalog just hasn't come in yet.

I am different. Less than 1% of the worlds population has red hair. Good news is I personally don't see this as a negative. I think it's kind of neat, some people might call it unique. I love my red hair. I even love my freckles, (weird I know). But it's who I am. In fact not having my father around as a child but getting my hair from him and his side of the family made me feel more connected to my roots, my history, my ethnicity. I know I come from a line of peoples somewhere that shared these unique qualities. As his lineage could be traced back hundreds of years to Scotland. I loved feeling like I came from a "peoples" some where. And for the record, NO, REDHEADS ARE NOT GOING TO GO EXTINCT SOMEDAY. Geez. See what I have to deal with Nina? Do you know by how many strangers I am told that "my kind" are going extinct. Are we being hunted for our pelts? Did you know that there are Mexican Jews? Did you know there are Christians in Egypt? Did you know that there is red hair also found in Iran and Pakistan and Afghanistan?

But back to my burning question, why is there this strange dichotomy with red hair? It is unique and beautiful one second and witch like the next. Well, like all forms of discrimination it dates way, way back. Greeks believed that redheads turned to vampires when they died. Could this be why redheads are trending? Vampires sure are. Egyptians both dyed their hair red and yet many redheads were also burned to death. Having red hair, freckles and green eyes was enough during the times of witch hunts to burn you at the stake. I don't want to get all melodramatic on you here Nina, but saying redheads are "trending" right now, just kind of lit a fire under me, so maybe I am a little fiery? Or maybe I was burned at the stake in a past life and this just brings up my post traumatic stress disorder from a previous life. Perhaps I just don't like it when any race or any person/s are labeled and there is public acceptance of this. Maybe it was because as a young girl I imagined if I ever had children with red hair we would have finally moved passed being an accepted target for mean jokes and comments. But as an adult I see, and not just with your comment, but in general, this isn't true. Human difference is something to embrace, not to exploit.  We are all one people with the same make-up just very minor variations. But for the record, Nina, I hope this redhead trend last a very, very long time so that little girls (and boys) with red hair can grow up to feel good about themselves. But let's just toss all kids into that mix. All the different kinds.

And here's my best dressed Oscar winner of last night...I picked a red head too and let me just say she's a real trend setter with her red hair and a fuchsia dress!

Downton Abbey {Edwardian Fashion Revival}

Thursday, February 23, 2012

As I read other blogs and see twitter and facebook updates, I see I was not alone in being pulled in by the PBS series Downton Abbey. Sometimes as I was watching, I would think, how am I in such a state of suspense at the troubles of a kitchen staff or two adults stealing a kiss out of wedlock? I still can't say how these seemingly trivial issues (as they would be considered by today's standards) seemed so shocking and interesting - keeping me on the edge of my seat, but they certainly did. (And I am now having serious withdrawals!)

What I do know, however, is that I was certainly in love with the costuming. Downton gave us fashion eye candy that rivals any red carpet and I found myself wishing we could go back to those marvelous days of fashion. It seems I am good company there too, because Vogue did a spread featuring the crowely sister and "how to get the look." I vote we say goodbye to the 80's revival in fashion and say hello to the 1910's! ...please. Well, some in the fashion industry have been taking note and reintroducing some of these fantastic period pieces.

Lady Sybil (R) 2012 Ralph Lauren collection on the runway (L)

So here is my little version "get the look," because while I do love those pretty chiffon and beaded numbers like this one:

 I am little more like Daisy than Lady Mary:

Shoes Via

Field Biology Maxi Via

Pair this Flared Ancora Blouse Via

with this lovely
 linen skirt Via

A modern twist of Edwardian Elements: long skirt, femine fabrics, a tailored jacket...love this look from Club Monaco

Looking for the real deal? I love this dress to the moon and back! The cuts on the Edwardian era dresses were flattering and simple.  Shop: Adelines Attic

And for those of you who are like me and missing Downton Abbey as though it were your baby that went away to summer camp - here's a little somethin' somethin' to hold you over until season 3 begins in fall...Oh Mrs, Magonagall, I had no idea!

Feeling Nauti(cal) {Design Inspiration}

Friday, February 17, 2012

{Sailor Swim Suit} Shop: Fables By Barrie

It may have to do with the fact that my grandfather was in the navy, coupled with the fact that I idolized my grandfather and subsequently wanted to join the navy myself for much of my adolescence, but I love almost anything with a nautical flair. Even nets filled with dusty sea shells hanging from the ceilings of sea food restaurants kinda make me happy...from a distance at least - if I woke up with that on my ceiling I am pretty sure I'd have a full blown nervous breakdown. Anyway there is something a bit sentimental and enigmatic about the nautical life that, you know, rocks my boat. Today as much as when I was a little girl. Though by the time I was a teen - the military was definitely out! uh, no thanks. In fact when my first boyfriend joined the Navy the day he turned 18, then realized this idea mortified him, we went to local veterans meetings who helped us to get our senator involved in releasing him from his "duties." Yep, you can actually back out even though they tell you, you can't. But the love of ships and sea continued despite falling out of love with the Navy and my deep phobia of large bodies of water; that should probably say all bodies of water. But there is just something about nautical paraphernalia that still sends my little heart a'sailing.

Design: Suzanne Kasler

Holy Ship! This is one amazing kids room! Via

 I adore this map wallpaper. Via Decor Pad

Now here are some finds to get you started on bringing a little nauti(cal) into your own space... 

{Rope Rug} Shop: Karen's Rope Work

{Thomas Paul Maritime Blanket} Shop All Modern

Coquille Chandelier Shop: Remains.com

{Eco-friendly Wallpaper : Fossil by Eco} Shop: All Modern

{Antique Ships Lantern} Shop: Magic Muti

Face Painter Print Shop: Sophie Blackall

 {Japanese Glass Fishing Float} Shop: Glass Float Junkie

{Clamshell Book Scupture} Shop: Odelae

 My very own the little ode to the ship and the sea Via

Romantichic Bedrooms {Inspiration}

Monday, February 6, 2012

Here are some oh, so, romantichic bedroom designs to get you inspired for that day of love coming up.

Oh my goodness, could you imagine?! I can and I admit it's boring but in my imagination I see myself being all alone in this bedroom curled up with some magazine and books (maybe a butler to bring me snacks and stoke the fire) but having some alone time sounds like the most romantic thing ever! Via Living Etc

Love this bold yellow. Via Elle Decor

Simple drama. So lovely. Via Architectural Digest

Well, are you feeling inspired? Here are some great items to create your own romantic love nest...

Via Painted Cottages on Etsy

 Vintage Pendent Light Via Uncommon Eye on Etsy

Antler Print Via Kari Herer on Etsy

Antique Italian Mirror Via Paris Couture Vintage on Etsy

Rosette Bedding Via Anthro

And if you are feeling really creative here is one of my favorite tutorials from Centsational Girl on DIY'ing your own tufted headboard . Check it out HERE

Via Centsational Girl
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