Home... Index... Articles... Links... From the Press... Snippets... Message Board... Editor's Bio... Bulletin Board... Submissions... Free Update... Writers... E-mail

In Praise of Red-Headed Girls
by Jackie K. Cooper

My granddaughter Genna has red hair and she loves it. She ought to since we tell her constantly how beautiful it is. We also stress that only special people have red hair and having blue eyes with the red hair is even more rare. She likes it when we say these things to her. Heck, she eats it up - and who wouldn't?

One reason we brag on her hair so much is that shortly after our red-headed grandbaby was born I took a survey of sorts of people with red hair. Just about one hundred per cent of the women I asked about their red hair said they hated it when they were growing up, but liked it now. They said when they were growing up their hair made them feel different, and at an early age no one wants to feel they are different.

So we wanted to stress to Genna that having red hair was special - not different. So far it seems to have worked. She will tell people she likes her hair, and that is a good thing. She also likes for my wife to roll and curl it when there is a special occasion. This was the case this past weekend when she was gong to be in a relative's wedding. My wife Terry washed and curled and even put flowers in her hair.

When she was completely styled, she came downstairs and met our 'oohs' and 'ahhs'. Even Walker, her four-year-old brother, told her how pretty she looked. She took it all with serenity, being the princess that she is. She was the picture of composure as she went off to the wedding, and still looked great when she returned, although the flowers were missing from her hair and her tresses were hanging loose and not upswept. You can only be beautiful for so long.

I think children need to be praised continually. They need to feel special and cherished. I heard Marlo Thomas talking on television last week. She has a new book out called THE RIGHT WORDS AT THE RIGHT TIME, Volume Two. One of the stories in the book concerns a little girl named Jane. Now an adult, this woman wrote that as a child she was called "Plain Jane" and was even told by her parents she was "homely." Can you believe that?

Her idol was Roger Williams, the pianist. She thought he was the greatest, so when she heard he would be close to her hometown, giving a concert, she begged her parents to take her. And they did. Jane got dressed up in her best dress and even curled and combed her hair.

Jane said the concert was everything she hoped it would be, and afterwards they announced Williams would sign autographs. Jane got in the line and finally made it to the table where Williams was seated. She said he looked up and said to her, "Well, hello, pretty girl."

That was it. That was what she needed to hear. She said this changed her life because someone saw something in her that was pretty. She never forgot it, and in the years to come the compliment gave her confidence she otherwise would not have had.

The point of that story is we need to be positive in remarks to our children -- and, basically, to anyone. It can work miracles in our lives.

So, if you see a red-haired little girl, tell her how pretty her hair is. And anyone else you meet, pull out a compliment for them. We hear enough of the bad; let's try using some of the good.


Jackie K. Cooper was born in South Carolina and now lives in Georgia. He is the married father of two sons and the proud grandparent of a boy and a girl.

He is familiar to people living in the middle Georgia area as the "entertainment man" since his entertainment reviews run in newspapers and are shown on television there. His short stories have also been used as commentary on Georgia Public Radio.

Cooper has lived an exceptionally interesting life. Portions of it were contained in his first book JOURNEY OF A GENTLE SOUTHERN MAN. Now the journey continues in his second book titled CHANCES AND CHOICES.

Write Jackie Cooper at this e-mail address
and be sure to visit his excellent web site: jackiekcooper.com.

~Read more of Jackie's stories at USADEEPSOUTH~
Jackie White
Online Dating
Finding Your Face
Greatest Generation
Fear Itself
Men and Their Automobiles
Alzheimer's: The value of humor
It's All About Me!
Moments of Memories
The Customer is Always Wrong
Never Too Old To Hurt


Want to leave a comment on this story?
Please visit our Message Board
or write Ye Editor at bethjacks@hotmail.com.

Back to USADEEPSOUTH - I index page

Back to USADEEPSOUTH - II index page