Rooted by Association

Bryanne E. Mitchell
3 min readOct 3, 2012

Sarah Anderson, also known as “Annie Allred” loves her natural red hair. She keeps her skin in the most luminous porcelain state and she carries herself with a refreshing old-world elegance. “I’m a modern woman who sees the importance in being a classic lady.” It’s a relatively quiet day in Downtown Denver and the trees in Civic Center Park indicate the imminent Solstice with auburn leaves that compliment Annie Allred’s sunset-colored tresses.

After reading The Roots of Desire by Marion Roach, Ms. Anderson acquired a new-found appreciation for the rocky relationship between the world and its recessive alleles. “It’s so interesting how some cultures view red hair as completely bad luck and others believe that it’s great luck.” She tells us how redheads have been , unfairly and historically, tagged with a negative connotation. So much that her red hair becomes the fixation of conversation whenever she meets someone new. “My red hair has made it easy for complete strangers to talk to me,” she laments.

Red-haired people are relatively rare in the human population so when she meets someone new, it’s very difficult for them NOT to automatically associate her with any and every other redhead. “I don’t care about your red haired neighbor from way back when you were 9. I hear about every ginger the person has ever known. It’s either boring or sexual,” Anderson says. “People feel as though they’re able to say very sexually suggestive things relating to my hair color and they don’t ever suggest that they, even slightly, feel like guilty pervs.”

This experience has noticeably played a major role in shaping her modest style of dress. “ I don’t wear much color because I think a lot of colors clash with my hair color. I get to avoid participating in recent color trends…like neon…I stick to neutrals and only add pops of color or else I feel like I’m too in-your-face. I like to look classic but I do have to really pay attention to the cut and style of the clothes I buy. I don’t want to look drab. The good thing is that it’ll be less embarrassing for me to show pictures of the ‘young me’ to my family’s future generations.”

“If you look in my closet right now, you’ll mostly find…” :

“Loafers, long robes and boat-neck tops.”

Her style icons:

“All of our grandmothers that used to be bombshells, any woman Marilyn Manson has been with and the Duchess Kate Middleton.”

As for makeup…

“…there isn’t very much makeup advice out there for fair-skinned ginger girls. Luckily, I had a mom with an eye for color, so she didn’t teach me to look like a clown. Still, it was hard learning about doing my own makeup from a brunette who tans. When you research makeup ‘tips’ for redheads, it’s always how not to get ‘washed out’. The colors almost always look insane. Women don’t need to be embarrassed about their pale skin- or any other God-given skin color, for that matter!”

Originally published at on October 3, 2012.



Bryanne E. Mitchell

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