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Red Head Me. All I saw was what I hated most, the thing that made me an outcast, why the girls laughed and the boys never looked at me. My red hair.

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Introduction

Reflective Essay Red Head Me Rhianon Cunningham 1325 Words Staring in the mirror, I never saw a face. I never saw my almond-shaped blue eyes or my rosy lips. I never saw my peaches and cream complexion, my white teeth or long lashes. All I saw was what I hated most, the thing that made me an outcast, why the girls laughed and the boys never looked at me. My red hair. I know it seems silly that something as trivial as hair colour could have such a significant impact on my life and self-image, but my red tresses have most definitely had a part in shaping who I am today. I won't pretend to remember the exact moment or day that I noticed I was different. My memories stretch as far back as primary school where I was a bit of a teacher's pet, and not exactly top dog in the popularity stakes. I was quickly labelled an outcast and christened 'the ginger one' a nickname I despised. Most of the class considered being seen talking to me a fate worse than death. Unfortunately, this attitude lasted throughout my time in primary. I fell into a silent depression and focussed all my energy on my studies, but I took solace in the fact that I would soon be leaving, and attending a high school none of my classmates would be studying at. ...read more.

Middle

I ran to the mirror, grinning in anticipation of my new, better, less ginger self. My face dropped when I saw it. It was hideous. But at least it wasn't ginger. No more teasing! No more self-hatred! Now I could be happy, now I could even be considered pretty, now I could have that confidence which had eluded me my entire life and perhaps now the boys would notice me. But of course, this is not how it happened. The names and comments did stop, but the Holy Grail of popularity still eluded me. When my hair grew and my roots turned the bronze colour I hated, I'd get the hairdresser to cover it up with more bleach. I knew it didn't look good, that it made me look ridiculous, but it was necessary to be deemed acceptable. I know now that it was obvious I was hiding behind it. People could tell that I was disguising my true self, trying to create an image of what I thought a teenage girl should look like. I would wear an excessive amount of make up and to roll up my skirts to seem more appealing; looking back I must've been a sight. ...read more.

Conclusion

Perfection doesn't exist so it isn't worth striving to achieve. I'm happy now, so happy, and I don't need a boy or a face like Kate Moss to tell me I am. My red hair is different yes, but why is different bad? Who decided that red hair is taboo anyway? And who is anyone to make you feel inferior for how you look? As Eleanor Roosevelt said: 'No one can make you feel inferior without your consent' and she was right. I am still friends with Priya and that group of girls, and they are just the greatest. I have a boyfriend who likes me for who I am, not the hair dye or the make up I used to hide behind. I also plan on breaking into the modelling industry, where a naturally unusual hair colour like mine is an advantage. I love my hair, and why shouldn't I? The Queen herself is ginger, as are some of the women considered the most beautiful in the world like Nicole Kidman and Kate Winslet, and so was the most celebrated artist of all time, Vincent Van Gogh. Blondes are dumb, brunettes are boring and red hair is ugly. My name is Rhianon Cunningham, and I'm proud to be ginger. ...read more.

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Response to the question

In this task the candidate is writing to explain the difficulties they faced because of their red hair when growing up. In writing to explain (particularly if about the candidate themselves) there needs to be a distinguishable narrative and ...

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Response to the question

In this task the candidate is writing to explain the difficulties they faced because of their red hair when growing up. In writing to explain (particularly if about the candidate themselves) there needs to be a distinguishable narrative and a goal to achieve by the end of the explanation. This candidate is trying to convince her readers that red hair is completely normal, and most aesthetic taboos are similarly ridiculous. There is consistent concentration on this topic, with a touch of cynicism and sarcasm to bring humour and a spark to what could otherwise turn out to be another boring equality march, making this essay a very acceptable answer in Writing to Explain.

Level of analysis

To write to explain effectively there must be evidence of someone trying to 'set the scene' as it were through the use of linguistic devices like humour, varying sentence structure for effect, and quite possibly a healthy bit of exaggeration. All these ingredients are present in this piece though, for the majority it feels like very simplified prose. It tries to explain and tell too much of a story at the same time, resulting in a candidate who is probably very adept about both tasks, but in a combination has struggled to keep up the excellence. There are particular snippets that show the candidate possesses the ability the achieve top marks with their use of language - ("a different kind of alone."), and there is a convincing argument made towards the end about how to discriminate red-haired people doesn't stop them from becoming famous and rich (Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, The Queen). Overall, this answer is well-constructed but lacks the accuracy and precision required for an exceptional explanation piece.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is below average/average. The answer is riddled with comma splice and a limited range of sentence starters. Most sentences have something to do with the candidate so "I this" and "I that" are overused. This could be corrected by just learning how to vary sentence starters in order to successfully draw the reader into each and every sentence.


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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 21/02/2012

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