My Not-So-Rosy View of the World's Largest Redhead Festival
I was looking for a place to belong. Instead I found a weird, fetishistic group of strangers.
Photo courtesy London News Pictures
I was standing in a record-breaking crowd of 1,721 natural redheads, all dressed in various shades of blue, posing for a group photo in a large green field. We had all come together for a weekend-long international redhead festival held in the Netherlands. As photographers were hoisted up into the sky on large cranes, I looked around at the colors. I’d never been surrounded by so many people that resembled me.
From shades of deep burgundy to yellow-tinted gold, the entire spectrum was there. From burnt orange to an orange that resembled a pile of autumn leaves. Bright copper and ginger and strawberry blonde and auburn. There were babies with bright and pure curls, balding men with those telltale ginger bleach-blonde eyebrows, and older women whose once-flaming hair had grayed to a duller straw yellow kind of orange. So many different combinations. A bright, beautiful sea of red.
Still, I felt alone. Surprisingly alone.
I first found out about the strang…