When I was a kid, what I wanted more than anything on earth was to have blond hair; long, straight, swishy-hair. Kind of like Gwyneth Paltrow's. Kind of like my mother's, actually, though hers wasn't as blond. My mother, of course, spent all her time trying to put curls in her ramrod straight hair, almost wholly without success.
I guess we're back to need versus want again.
Anyway. Yes. Blond hair. I hated having red hair. Really, really hated it. Kids are cruel and they'll pick up on any difference they can find - fat kids, kids with glasses, kids with red hair - and, being a small, wimpy, swotty, unathletic type, I was easy pickings. I was endlessly teased.
It affected me, but it was never more than teasing, and I knew many, many other kids were being teased too, so I didn't lose sleep over it. But I did want blond hair.
When I started middle school (when I was 11), there was a girl a year older than me who just loved picking on me. Sacha. Ha. Bitch. About once a week she and her friend threw me into the holly bushes. She snarked, pulled my hair, called me names. One day, she was right behind me in the queue for school lunch. She pulled my hair, laughed, did it again. The dinner lady gave me my plate of spaghetti bolognaise, Sacha pulled my hair again, harder. And something inside me snapped. Me, who'd never so much as been told to stop talking in class. I turned around and poured the entire, tomato-y contents of my plate down the front of our regulation uniform of green and white striped shirt and beige cardigan (it was a hideous, hideous uniform). Of course, Sacha was furious and protested very loudly. But do you know what? I didn't get punished. SHE DID! Oh, how I laughed! And naturally she never bothered me again (we didn't exactly become friends either, though).
After that, I stopped hating my red hair, without ever really loving it. Gradually, over the years, I've come to appreciate that it's probably my best feature, but I think I would still, secretly, kind of like long, swishy blond hair, even if it's never going to happen. The only time my hair swishes is when I leave the hairdresser's after my yearly appointment (yes, I hate going to the hairdresser's) because my hair is naturally wavy, totally unmanageable, tending to frizzy if too short (hence my long hair).
So yes, I've come to accept my red hair. That doesn't mean I'm not secretly delighted that my sweet girls are both blond though - and they both have long, swishy hair! And, with the exception of a certain delicious doctor, I'm still not wholly on board with men with red hair.
Even though red hair is starting to be seen as sexy again (thank you Christina Hendricks, the world's sexiest redhead!), I think I would still change in a flash if I had the chance. But at the same time, I've never dyed my hair, never tried to go blond, never (actually) done anything whatsoever to my hair. I've had the same "hairstyle" (if you can call it that) since I was in high school. So maybe I'm more content with it than I realise.