Red hair? You must be Irish.

Vered W,

I have bright red hair, pale skin, and blue eyes. Everybody thinks that I am Irish. I am Ashkenazi Jewish from Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Romania, and other parts of Eastern Europe. I am not one drop Irish, despite how much I have been asked. Whenever people see me they say something about my red hair: “Where do you get it from?”, “Are you Irish?”, on Saint Patrick’s Day I have even been asked why I am not wearing green. Sometimes I just want to get into a conversation about genetics and how red hair works – “I get it from both sides, it is a recessive gene” – and other times I just say that my dad has red hair. For these people that are convinced I am Irish, I hope encountering someone with red hair who is not Irish will teach them that they have it wrong and one characteristic about someone does not define who they are.


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