Sunday, 11 March 2012

Gingers Are Not Aliens

I couldn't finish this week without adding something myself. The way I suffered as a child is mild in comparison to others mentioned this week, but as a child growing up it still hurt like hell.
I had bright ginger hair! (Sorry not the clearest of pictures, I know)
From the time I went to secondary school, I was picked on because I really stood out from the crowd. My hair was so red,  people used to joke that I could stand in for a belisha beacon.  I can laugh at it now, but then I couldn't. 
Every ginger related name you could think of - I was called it.
My particular favourite had to be 'ginger m**ge as it nearly rhymed! The ones that taunted me thought they were being clever, they never realised how much it hurt. I found that boys wouldn't ever ask me out, purely because of my red hair. I began to feel as though I was deformed and ugly. Many a time I threatened my parents that I would dye it blonde.
The situation got dramatically worse when the TV series THE YOUNG ONES was aired.
Why did they have to name the red headed punk Vyvian? Hadn't I suffered enough? Constantly I would be asked where were my spikes and my star studs. I vowed if I ever met Ade Edmonson, I would make sure he knew how much I had suffered as a teenager because of him! 
When I left school, it was a relief. People actually started to pay attention to me rather than my hair. I discovered that some boys actually liked red hair. So much so that this one married me!
I thought the red headed taunts would disappear and as I got older my troubles would be over.
Until I gave birth to two beautiful little red heads. It now feels like we have gone full circle as the  the same situation is developing again. My beautiful girls with their beautiful hair are now suffering the same humiliation I did. One of my girls more than the other, because she refuses to wear her hair up for school, so she get taunted. She even had a girl telling her that she didn't want to be her friend because she had ginger hair. Can you believe how shallow that is?

What is wrong with having red hair? In the world there really are only five colours of hair you can have - red, blond, brown, black and grey - with variations in tones of these. So why do redheads have to be  victimised over it? Why is red so much worse than having blonde hair? Do they really think we are aliens from another planet? No! They just needed to victimise someone and because our colour stands out the most we drew the short straw. 
Now many of you know, I am now blonde rather than red and I don't want you to think that was intentional. As I got older I was proud of my red hair, unfortunately with age the red changed to a light brown and I wanted it to stand out more, so gradually with highlights it became blonde.
If I could go back to having really red hair, I would! Without a doubt, because as far as I am concerned it is beautiful and red heads definitely stand out in a crowd, for the right reasons.  
In this world, we are like snowflakes, each one of us looks different from another, so why can't we accept the differences that make us who we are? Everyone is beautiful because they are unique. Lose your perceptions on how you think people should look. 
We all look different, so deal with it? 

Check out this article Is gingerism as bad as racism?

17 comments:

  1. For the record, and I mean this in a completely non-threatening, non-creepy way...I think your ginger hair is beautiful. Lol.

    My god-daughter has bright ginger hair, and I think she is the most gorgeous thing on the planet...so maybe my opinion is biased...but I have a soft spot for gingers. She's 10 now, and is just starting to get bullied and teased because of her gingerness. It's difficult because my hometown is a native community...so even blonde hair is the minority. Gingers are not common in my neck of the woods (literally the woods...haha).

    I just hope that she is able to see how perfect she is, and that she doesn't feel the need to dye her hair as she grows older. If I can help it, she will never touch one single ginger hair on her head! XD

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    1. LOL, I didn't think you were being creepy at all. I am glad you stopped by. Gingers are not common everywhere. I am hoping my daughter doesn't dye her hair and I shall keep reminding her how beautiful it is.

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  2. Children are cruel. It is so sad that you and your children have to go through this. I find the abuse of those with ginger hair very odd. I hope those shallow people grow up and realise how wonderful your children are soon.

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  3. I hate that people think this way about gingers. I know loads of people who say nasty things about ginger haired people for no apparent reason! I for one thing you look gorgeous with your red hair and from the pictures I've seen of your girls on facebook they are beautiful too! (you can show them this if you want and tell them their hair ROCKS!)

    I hope this changes soon, I was hoping with celebs like Ed Sheeran, Hayley Williams, Rupert Grint and Lindsey Lohan (though we wont talk about her too much) that Ginger haired folks would get less of a bad rep but apparently not! :( xxx

    PS. You look so much like my ex boyfriends sister in that first photo I had to look twice!

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    1. It would be nice if the new rising red head celebrities changed people's perspective. I am sorry I freaked you out.

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  4. (((hugs))) Viv. First off, it's so sad the way kids tease one another. The really will find any little thing to make fun of. The ones that are teasing are the ones with low confidence ironically. Secondly, I was teased mercilessly in grade school, over my hair and my braces. I actually posted an 'about me' page on my blog this week where I mention my hair teasing. I think red hair is beautiful, I've dyed it that color many times. Funny enough, the most popular girl in my grade school was a redhead. The nicknamed her Strawberry Shortcake and she was really popular! It all depends on the kids, the school, etc...what they decide is 'cool'.
    Your daughters are beautiful and so is their hair. You and hubby look cute in that pic.

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    1. I do think America values red hair completely differently. Thanks for your lovely comments.

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  5. I have spent tons of money to dye my hair a bright ginger blond. Unfortunately my hair grows out so fast, I can never keep it up.

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    1. I may have to die mine back. I really do miss it.

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  6. That is awful! I always wanted red hair, so pretty! When I put some color in my hair it was always red. I do think I have a few red genes in there somewhere, but they got lost in my stupid darkblonde hair. Sad sad me.

    Here no one would get picked on cos they have ginger hair..then again. I do not know a single person with ginger hair. just lots and lots of blond/lightbrown haired people.

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  7. I had no idea that prejudice against red hair existed. The only place I'd ever seen it was in Anne of Green Gables, and that is so old that it didn't feel real. I've lived in three different parts of the states and no one had anything against red hair in any of them. In fact, red hair is so rare here that it's seen as beautiful and desirable. Morrigan has a girl in his grade with bright ginger hair, and every boy in the grade has been in love with her for years because of it. She will have the pick of anyone she wants as she gets older. And that's pretty much the way it's been everywhere I've been. I wonder why the prejudice is so rampid in the UK.

    I always wanted red hair when I was growing up, like deep dark red, or bright orangy red. One of my two best friends in elementary school had orangy-red hair, and I thought it was the most beautiful thing ever.

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    1. I think America has a totally different opinion of red heads. In the UK, it doesn't have the same appeal, unfortunately.

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  8. Thank you ladies for your lovely comments. I think many are surprised that ginger headed people get picked on but they truly do.

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  9. Like Amanda I didn't realize that there was such a prejudice against red heads in the UK. I think there's a fair amount of teasing here but not with the same kind of malice. Makes me very sad. But it always amazes me the ways that children can be so cruel. I have a fair amount of hair on my arms and remember being afraid to even raise my arm in class so that the boys sitting next to me wouldn't tease me--even wearing long sleeved shirts. And the hair is blonde! I'm so sorry that your daughters are suffering so. At one point I used to color my hair red so that it would be strawberry blonde!

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  10. Wonderful post, Viv! As a fellow redhead, I also got some crap for my hair when I was at primary school. Unfortunately, I was bulled for so many reasons, my hair wasn't as major an issue as just being me, so I never really thought badly about being ginger.
    I have to say, I never thought much of my hair when I was younger - it was just hair, why am I supposed to like it? I didn't dislike it, but it didn't occur to me to like it. But as I got older, I loved my hair! What I didn't love so much were the comments made by people on the street about my prowess in bed. The stereotypes are just as bad as being bullied when you're younger. Who actually wants to be perved over? It's disgusting. Thankfully, this has only happened while I've been old enough to understand that those people are the ones with the problem, not me, so I've been angry more than upset. Bloody people.

    I just want to add, that photo of you and your husband? SO JEALOUS OF YOUR HAIR! When my hair was long, I ended up looking like a cocker spaniel. But your hair is so beautiful in that photo! And now, too, but that photo... hair envy right here :)

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