Growing up, I was teased relentlessly about my red hair and freckles. I'm not sure that people meant to hurt my feelings, but after a lifetime of hearing comments like - I'd rather be dead in the bed than red on the head; Beaten like a redheaded stepchild; Wow! Look at that fiery temper! - I began to wonder if there was something wrong with me. I wished that I was tan with blond, brown, or black hair (anything but red). It sounds silly now, but I thought that I could never be beautiful because I was different.
Luckily, my mother and sister both have red hair, so I wasn't totally alone. My mother, too, endured teasing, and she was the only redhead in her family. Despite this, she is very proud of her two redheaded daughters, and she worked hard to change my perspective about what I thought was a curse. It took many years, but I eventually began to appreciate and then love my red hair and freckles.
Now, I have a little redhead of my own, and he's absolutely beautiful!