I came across this image last week on a street fashion blog, and I was positively riveted by the look. Not just the color of the hair, but its incredible shape, along with the overall intensity of the woman's expression (those brows! Those lips!) really stuck with me. In fact it triggered the realization that I have always harbored a serious case of Redhead Envy!
It probably all started I was five years old, which is when I became addicted to playing my LP record of the soundtrack from the 1982 movie version of Annie. I couldn't get enough of the songs, always making up my own living room choreography to go along with them, while rapturously envisioning myself as feisty, self-reliant, unapologetically flame-haired, and stupendously lucky orphan. Sometimes I would go so far as to re-enact the nail biter of a scene from the movie where Annie is dangling by her fingertips from the bridge, trying to evade the villains played so deliciously by Tim Curry and Bernadette Peters. To do this, I would dangle by my fingertips from the back of the couch. I was a tall five year old, so this maneuver required that I hold my knees up so as not to have my feet touching the floor, while yelling "Punjab, help me!" (Hey, what was lost in realism was made up for in sheer enthusiasm!)
The matter of Redhead Envy was compounded when I was around nine years old and I discovered Anne of Green Gables. I actually remember seeing the 1985 movie for the first time at a playmate's birthday party, and I was immediately hooked. Soon after, I read every Anne book I could get my hands on and watched the series of films religiously. I really identified with this literary character more than any I have encountered before or since. Anne's obsession with imagination and romance, her devotion to books and poetry, her grandiose vocabulary, tendency toward mishap, and her weakness for fashion all spoke to me and entertained me mightily.
These two old favorites had receded in my memory until recently, when I happened to see an add for the 20th anniversary edition of the Anne movies, and two things hit me: First, I have now lived long enough to have a favorite something turn twenty years old three years ago! Yikes. Second, I would love to see those movies again! That got me rummaging around on youtube, where I laughed till my sides hurt (here) and bawled till I couldn't see straight (here) watching clips of my dear old redheads, Annie and Anne.
I guess the love is stronger than the envy!
And since we're on the topic, I also happened to recently stumble across an apropos blog called A Rare Breed that is devoted to portraits of redheads (boy, was this post inevitable, or what?!).
Here are a few of my favorites: