The perfect night for redheads: Redheads in the spotlight as we celebrate beauty in 2011
By Kate BrowningRead moreThe beauty industry has a long history of portraying women as helpless victims of societal sexism.
But the new documentary Redheads is changing that.
Redheads: The Beautiful Redhead (directed by Kate Brown, who also wrote the book on redheads) is about the beauty industry’s portrayal of women.
The film, which has been screening at cinemas across Australia, is about redheads.
It follows a group of women as they travel to various beauty salons, conferences, beauty clinics, and even to a pub for a night of drinks and laughs.
“I’ve been working on this film for about 10 years and it’s been a big part of my life for that,” Browning tells the film’s host, the ABC’s Leigh Sales.
“It’s about the redhead.
We want to create a positive narrative about redhead beauty and show that there are women out there who are doing it just as well as the men.”
If it wasn’t for the industry, it would be impossible for us to get into salons and events.
“The beauty and wellness industry has had a long, storied history of presenting women as powerless victims of society’s sexism.
In the 1950s, redheads were routinely called prostitutes, sex workers, and the likes of asexuals.
Redheads were often portrayed as helpless women and even considered “unable to fend for themselves”. “
Women were portrayed as objects of lust, and as the ‘trendy’ and ‘sexy’ women who were ‘not looking’ for love and love in a man,” Sales says.
Redheads were often portrayed as helpless women and even considered “unable to fend for themselves”.
The film shows some of the problems that this portrayal of redheads had.
One of the most famous women to come out of the beauty world was American actress Helen Mirren, who was one of the first redheads to publicly reveal herself as a woman.
In an interview with Playboy in 1975, Mirren talked about how her life was made “less appealing” by a sexist society.
“I was a very beautiful, very attractive, very beautiful woman.
But there was a time when my life was like a revolving door of sexual harassment, that it didn’t feel like it was going anywhere,” Mirren said.
Women who did not conform to the traditional beauty standards were often branded “unattractive”.
A woman who became “too pretty” was considered “too sexy”.
“A lot of people would look at you and say, ‘Oh, well, she’s not as pretty as a girl you don’t look like’,” Sales says, adding that it was also common to see redheads “glorified” in the media.
“You’d see girls that were very beautiful.
They’d go and wear makeup, they’d do a show.
They would be very sexy and very glamorous,” she says.”
And then they’d be thrown into the public eye.”
The film also shows that some of redhead success is due to people like the late singer and songwriter Cher.
According to sales, the film “shows a lot of stories of women who did really well and have really achieved great things in their lives and who have had really positive impact on the world”.
But the film is also about red heads themselves.
It’s the women who are the “victims” in this story.
The women who have chosen to come forward to tell their stories.
Browning and Sales tell the story of one woman, a woman known as Jane, who became famous for her redhead image.
Her career spanned decades and she was also the inspiration for the song “Redhead”.
“Jane was the ultimate example of an example of a redhead,” Browned says.
She had a huge success and she had all these fans who wanted to look like her.
Jane says that in her early years, she was told that she had a “perfect body”.
“It was the first thing that I thought was wrong, that I was just not good enough,” she tells Sales.
When she realised that she wasn’t, she went back to school and got a degree in beauty.
And after years of struggling, she finally became the first woman to achieve “real success”.
“She was really good, she just never quite knew it,” Brownings says.
“She was so successful, but she was just so young and inexperienced and she just didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life.
She had no idea she was a role model.”
But when Browning and Sale got the chance to interview her, she told them all about her experiences.
After all the hard work and dedication she put into her career, she had not yet found her calling