Being a redhead has definitely shaped my life. It honestly baffles me whenever I sit down and think about it that a colour, and more specifically, a colour of hair, can divide so many people and generates so many varied opinions. On a more broad spectrum, I’m sure we can all come to the conclusion that bullying is wrong, despite the fact that many of us accept it as a characteristic of childhood and growing up. I was lucky enough to not be bullied in life but taunting has been prevalent since I can remember. This is an aspect that I have felt privileged to not be the victim of. But, generally, I stand alone. I can recite a number of news articles I have seen where people have committed suicide due to bullying surrounding their hair colour. In my opinion, it is not addressed enough and it leaves this small 2% of the population subject to such hate with little support systems available.

I distinctly remember a circumstance where I was in my local city and I ended up being followed and had slurs shouted at me by total strangers. Admittedly, this has been a one-off type situation in my life but that doesn’t make it any less shocking. Scaling it down, I have experienced comments my whole teenage life where people thought they were complimenting me through the line “you’re fit.. for a ginger” or other similar points. If you place yourself in the mind of a 15-year-old girl, being told that, in someone’s view, one of the things holding you back from being attractive is the totally arbitrary hair colour you were assigned at birth – you are undoubtedly wired to hate your appearance. I’m not insinuating that this hurts any more or less than people being told that glasses, or braces, or that fetching bowl cut your mum gave you, are hindering you being “attractive” but hey – I had most of these and was lumbered with being a redhead too.

Let us not forget the jokes that you have to accept because “it is just a joke”. I can assure you that hearing a comment about my fiery temper will probably result in exactly what you have asked for… which probably doesn’t help in playing up to stereotypes but oh well, eh? Another personal favourite of mine is the quip, “we wouldn’t lose you in a crowd”, sometimes the originality is baffling, I must confess.

I dyed my hair several times in my teenage years to avoid comments and used being a brunette as a platform for a new, reformed and confident me. However, I swore to my dad that semi-permanent would always be the way and this often left me out of pocket and eventually accepting my ginger roots and eventual horrific grow out. This is something I must thank my dad for. By never going permanent, I learnt to love and accept my hair colour as much as possible and without this inevitable shove into self-love, I feel like I would have significantly struggled later on in life.

Another comment that I thought was worth mentioning is the concept that ginger hair will only suit women. I know that I am definitely not the victim of this as I identify as a female but for guys who have grown up with being a redhead, I can only begin to imagine how hard it is to be essentially named and shamed as “unattractive” off the bat. I have seen this more than enough times and it infuriates me. Have you seen Ed Sheeran? Prince Harry maybe? Let us not be too rash here.

This process of altering my appearance to suit the constraints of beauty imposed by others around me and the wider society ultimately fell to fake tan. You can imagine a very young and confused Ella attempting to fake tan and completely messing it up. I know that most girls went through this stage but being quite pale (although I do tan!) and predominately freckly, any attempt to cover them up was welcomed.  Imagine lots of orange streaks and stained hands and you essentially have pictured what my attempts were to construct an image of myself that suited this ideal of “attractive” that I was told my whole life I didn’t fit in to.

I know that some people will read this and be like “Hey, I love you hair! The colour is so unique” or “She’s just saying she had it hard” but I did, I truly did. Weirdly enough, what made it harder was compliments. In the space of a day, I could receive a hateful comment about my hair and by the end of the evening, it would be completely juxtaposed by a stranger stopping me in a shop or restaurant to say how much they loved it. This type of confliction has made it extremely hard to accept me, strangely. I think it is such a natural part of human nature to look at yourself and only focus and reflect on the negative and completely disregard the positive.

I will admit, hairdressers do seem to really like me. That is one thing I will totally take and own it. Whenever I need a confidence boost, I have learnt over time that getting my hair done is probably the best thing to do. However, this doesn’t stop unwarranted comments even then about colours I should “avoid” and how I “can’t wear” certain items. There is only a number of times in 21 years where I can hear that I will suit green and have to act surprised.

Although I have been light hearted at points, I thought it necessary to be really honest at this given moment. Being a redhead has been a series of conflicting emotions that have shaped my life and how confident I feel in my appearance. These neverending thoughts have led to me researching the “ginger gene” and the likelihood of ginger children. Part of me feels resolute in standing up to people who for some reason feel obliged to attack people for being different. Another part is terrified to bring someone into the world to have the same experiences as me both through interactions with people and internal torment. This is quite a daunting and troubling thought process to have at times and it is saddening that from just being a redhead it is something I have felt that I have to consider.

I wanted to end on the note that inspired this discussion and is something I have always said whenever asked about being a redhead. Nobody looks like me. Magazines, films, bloggers, anything. I know that redheads don’t make up a large proportion of the population and therefore even a smaller percentage of celebrities and other icons but it has been a struggle from a young age to not have many people in the public sphere that I can identify with – appearance wise. What Disney princess was I? Always Ariel and her hair is red… to be pedantic. Hell, there isn’t even an emoji that looks like me but don’t worry… there are 3 different cutlery ones. I frequently search for redhead YouTubers or bloggers because I never feel like I am exposed to much inspiration when it comes to hair, makeup and fashion as there is such a limited number of us. (If you know any good ones, please let me know!)

I am slowly learning to love my hair and I am frequently informed that it is something I will grow to love in time and for once, I actually agree with people’s comments. Being different at a young age is difficult, no matter what it is that sets you apart. It will inevitably shape how you perceive yourself and others but I assure you, you will love your hair in time. I cannot express how much adoration I have for children with gorgeous flame hair and how I always feel the need to compliment them on it. I see people my age that I obsess over due to the shade of red hair that they have. Every shade is different and to me, that makes it pretty amazing. Nobody looks like you, yes, but why the hell do you want to look like everybody else? Embrace individuality, embrace your colour and embrace yourself.

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I have been having some trouble with my posts not appearing in WordPress reader. JetPack have assured me that they are but I know for a fact that several of my followers have alerted me that they aren’t.

If you are seeing in this in your reader (or aren’t) – either way can you please let me know in a comment!

If you know how I can fix this also, I would really appreciate it if you could let me know!

Thank you

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As someone who is going in to their third year of studying English Literature and Philosophy, books have definitely had a big ol impact on my life.

I thought I would do something very different for my blog and talk about some of my favourite reads and how they changed and influenced my life. I found this really hard to narrow down so please let me know if you would enjoy a part two!

Tess of the D’Urbervilles

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When anybody asks me what my favourite book is, this springs to mind. For my birthday last year, Adam bought me a gorgeous copy that I am excited to reread in time after completely destroying my old copy from so much use! If you have never heard of this classic; Tess of the D’Urbervilles is about a young girl called Tess that is sexually assaulted by her “cousin”. She falls pregnant but her baby dies in infancy and the plot follows her stoic journey from the fake relative who abused her to the man who idolises her so much that his curated vision of her destroys their relationship. I personally find the book light years ahead of its time and I feel like Hardy did a fantastic job in creating a feminist piece of literature without potentially ever intending to. I cannot draw similarities with mine and Tess’ lives but there is something about her character that you can’t help but empathise with. Hardy’s rape scene perfectly crafts what appears as a dominant view across time – one that we now refer to as victim blaming. Where Hardy symapthises for Tess and how her assault essentially is the catalyst for the hardship in her life, characters see her as responsible for his crime through, ultimately, having a bit of a flirt. I think if you enjoy feminist literature, you will appreciate this book as it basically catapulted me in to these types of conversations and cemented my determinism to be a part of this discussion.

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck

On a slightly more modern note, this book has completely helped changed my anxious little world. I definitely over think things, worry and allow myself to be consumed with how others choose to perceive me. Since reading this book, I have started to declutter my mind of these thoughts and instead replace them with much happier and positive ideas. I have begun to learn what steps I should take and what methods I should use to feel less overwhelmed with life commitments and focus on myself and my happiness. I love the humour in this book and it definitely makes what is essentially masked as a self help book be incredibly interesting and insightful.

The Harry Potter Series

This may be an incredibly obvious one for many people but I had to include it. Under this umbrella I must mention the film franchise also and the casting of Emma Watson as it all contributes to why the Harry Potter series helped changed and shape my life. The series has definitely touched and moulded so many lives but it is also responsible for creating a character that I totally aspired to as a child. I truly believe that I was a motivated individual because I was inspired by Hermione and Emma Watson’s portrayal of her. Hermione, and like wise Emma Watson, may have been representing a pretty ballsy character when it comes to on screen battles but coupled with her insane intelligence and dedication to learning – I had a friend for life. I wanted to be Hermione. I wanted (and still do) to be Emma. I aspired to be the girl with confidence, bravery and intelligence and if these aren’t qualities you want to take precedence in childhood then you’re crazy! I liked that she wasn’t about pink and unicorns and boys but rather creating her own path and totally bossing it.

What books have changed your life?

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I was totally blown away when I recently noticed that my Fashion Pinterest Obsession post that I made a while ago is now my most liked post and is one that people still check out now. Several people commented on whether or not I would be making anymore and I thought the end of August was perfect timing to feature an Autumn/Winter 2017 and transitional Pinterest fashion post.

Royal Blue

This colour is everywhere at the moment! I was totally obsessed with red over the summer (and I still am!) but now, as well as the very 70s wine and mustard shades, cobalt blue is making a royal comeback. This trend isn’t one I will take part in as this cobalt blue isn’t a colour that suits me but I do love it!

Blazers

I am literally obsessed with blazers at the moment. Especially checked and houndstooth ones. They are such classic pieces and I think they are perfect for the transition between summer and autumn. I feel like if you are going to invest in any piece this autumn, let it be a good blazer.

Slogan Tees

Kind of combining two trends here but I have noticed a lot of 70s colours and trends popping up on Pinterest, blogging, YouTube and Instagram and I am convinced that the slogan tee is here to stay. I mean imagine a slogan tee under a blazer too… ooo?! Combining the two with some flare jeans or just a casual pair of culottes is a great way to build on trends. 

Corduroy

I am so glad to see this trend back! I am a lover of cord. I honestly am. If you are like me and were originally so unsure about the trend a black cord skirt is the perfect way to dip your toe in without having to dive in to the realms of the corduroy unknown. This NEXT skirt is a good place to start for only £20.

My AW17 fashion board:

What trends are you loving for Autumn and Winter?

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Time for another Monday Motivation! If you like these and want to see a few more, I have linked my previous ones below:

Mental Health Themed
Female Empowerment
General Motivational Quotes

This weeks Monday Motivation is focused on fitness.

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Hope you guys liked this! I can’t tell you how motivated it has made me feeling just picking out my favourite fitness quotes and sharing them with you guys. I hope they are exactly what you needed to hear to start the week on a positive foot!

I have more quotes here:

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