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Teacher in Aberdeen. New beginnings happening very soon. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

You Dare Underestimate the Power of a Red?

Good evening readers!

It has been too long since I last posted an entry. Many apologies but I was busy with placement, lesson planning, essay writing and exams. Well, I have now completed second year, meaning my holidays have officially started! :) Really excited about this summer. I'll speak about that in another blog. Now, I know in my previous blog I said I would be doing something creative for my next entry, but change of plans. The creative blog will be here eventually. I promise.

This entry has arisen from what I heard a teacher say in the staffroom today during placement. She said "Aw, he was an unfortunate boy. He was born a ginger". Now, any decent person would have looked across the room and realised that comment would have been an insult to me, seeing as I was the only redhead in the room. In fact, any decent person wouldn't have said it in the first place. I was, as you would expect, very annoyed with this comment. But, I brushed it off. I'm more than used to hearing pathetic comments like that. Ever since I was a little girl, I was tormented over my hair colour. It's a copperish colour, by the way. I was called carrot top, fireball, and ginga, among many others. "Gingerism" has been compared to racism, although this is widely disputed, and bodies such as the UK Commission for Racial Equality do not monitor cases of discrimination and hate crimes against redheads. Gingerism should be monitored because people are bullied due to the colour that rests on top of their heads. I have personal experience of this, therefore I am passionate about the need for the monitoring of this type of racial discrimination. If you're not a redhead, then you simply wouldn't understand.

What many people don't realise, is that redheads are fabulous.

Approximately 1% to 2% of the human population has red hair. It is associated with fair skin colour, lighter eye colours (grey, blue, green, and hazel), freckles, and sensitivity to ultraviolet light. Cultural reactions have varied from ridicule to admiration; many common stereotypes exist regarding redheads and they are often portrayed as the “fiery-tempered redhead”.

Hmm, I guess I agree, to an extent, with redheads being "fiery-tempered". But deep down, we are softies at heart. At least I am anyway. The fiery temper makes us... interesting, to say the least. Ask anyone who knows me.

A found a few fabulous quotations from various people, regarding redheads. I enjoyed them, a lot.

"Once in his life, every man is entitled
to fall in love with a gorgeous redhead!"

- Lucille Ball, 1972

"While the rest of the species is descended from apes,
redheads are descended from cats."

- Mark Twain

(Perhaps this is where we get our fiery temper from? Seeing as cats do tend to have outbursts at people that annoy them) Miaow.

" If you want trouble... find your self a redhead."

“A face without freckles is like a night without stars.”

(How cute)

"Gentlemen may prefer blondes,
but it takes a real man
to handle a redhead."

(Very true, hehe. Kudos to those who can be placed in the "real man" category)

"Only two things are necessary to keep a redhead happy.
One is to let her think she is having her own way,
and the other is to let her have it."

"Be whatever you want, you're my redhead."

- Dexter from the movie - Philadelphia Story (1940)

“We redheads are a minority, we tend to notice each other – you know, and notice our identity.

-Juliann Moore

“I am strong. I am invincible. I am redhead.”

I simply adore these quotations! It would make any redhead smile, laugh or grin.

Now, a few facts;

Did you know that Queen Elizabeth I of England was a redhead, and during the Elizabethan era in England, red hair was fashionable for women? Well, redheads may have been discriminated against, (and still are discriminated against) however, they are once again "in" this season, according to a fashion magazines. I didn't learn this myself. I was told by a friend. So, if you're looking for a summer love, make sure you have a redhead attached to your arm. ;)

I have read many sources and articles related to redheads but I did laugh when a particular source stated that 'redheads who have green eyes were viewed as signs of being a witch, a werewolf or a vampire. I'm glad this was only the view during the Middle Ages, or I'd be screwed! Or, you know, if this was still the view of people today, I could just rip people apart with my vicious claws, or sink my teeth into the neck of a rude individual. Right? Ha.

A (redheaded) friend of mine once told me that she was on holiday. I cannot remember where it was but it's a place where there are no redheads. Probably because it was too hot, therefore redheads would simply disintegrate without their factor six billion. Anyway, she was walking through the market and a lot of men came up to her and asked if they could buy her! No joke. They simply had not seen a redhead before and were mesmerized by her. Funny, but crazy stuff!

Now, admittedly, I used to despise my hair colour because of the passing comments or the outbursts of horrid names. But now as I have become much more mature and confident, I LOVE my hair. We are more unique than your everyday brunettes and blondes. Let's face it; in a crowded room of people there is on average two redheads, among a sea of brunettes and blondes. We stand out. It's always better to stand out. So, if you are lucky enough to have red hair, then embrace it and PLEASE refrain from dying it black as so many redheads tend to do. It's not a good look.

The gene for red hair is dying out, so start loving what you possess. I have.

Well, my aim of this blog was to show you how unique redheads are to give a message to those who seem to still hold a grudge against redheads; Grow up. :)

Much love to the lovers of redheads!
Ciao! Miaow. ;)

Lisa, xx


  1. I agree totally. Red is beautiful! I was quite shocked when I first moved over here and witnessed so much redhead-bashing. I think it's a very British thing and might prove an interesting sociological study. Let me just point out that redheads are not made fun of nearly so much in America. I think it also helps to use the term 'redhead' rather than 'ginger', which often has negative connotations.

    Interestingly, I would dispute your comment on blondes being common. In warm and tropical places, blondes are equally unheard of. My mom, when she was young, travelled to Japan once. While she was walking down the street, she had quite a few strangers coming up to her to stroke her hair in awe, because it was blonde.

    The thing is, we are probably under the impression that blondes are common in this part of the world, because so many people dye their hair blonde. Being a blonde myself, I can safely say that many people who are blonde as children, start to panic when their hair gets darker as they get older. True blondes, who have that natural shade of near-white platinum that hardly changes throughout time, are perhaps even rarer than readheads. In fact, late novelist Michael Crichton put forward a theory in one of his most recent books that natural/true blondes will eventually completely die out.

    I think the main differences between blondes and redheads is that A) red hair doesn't turn darker with age, generally speaking, as blonde hair does. That, combined with the fact that red hair has much more of a diverse reception from the public, means that people very rarely dye their hair red. If more people did this, then red hair would probably be just as common as blonde hair, which is, for the most part, incredibly fake.

  2. On another note, I don't think that discrimination against redheads counts as racism. After all, redheads/blondes/brunettes are not races, but I do think that it's equally as unfair to discriminate against someone because of their hair color as it is to discriminate against someone because of their race. There should probably be a new word invented just for that. lol

  3. Yeah, I definitely do prefer the term Redhead than ginger. Oh, I do understand that blonde hair is deemed absolutely beautiful in other parts of the world. But my use of the term 'common' stems from the comments I have received from some horrible, bitchy blondes, in this part of the world. As it so happens, I adore you hair colour, in particular. I'm just so used to seeing it here in the UK along with brunettes. What annoys me is that face that these bullies would find it ridiculous if redheads were to make fun of them, which we so easily could. That's why I think it's form of bullying (gingerism) but some people do class it as racism.

    I believe people should just grow up and start moving on with the harsh comments. Red is becoming popular more and more everyday, with people even desiring for their hair to be dyed red. I'm sick and tired of the passing comments from teenage boys, girls and 'adults'. Redheads refrain from making fun of brunettes or blondes because we know how it feels to be ridiculed. Why can't they just see redheads as equals and quit the humiliation?

  4. Yeah... If it helps, I've always felt like if I were any other color than blonde, it would be red. I'm an inner redhead. :D

  5. i agree lisa , redheads are becoming more and more popular with people dying their hair some form of red these days. its a beautiful colour & unique ! i think the colour should be embraced, its so pretty

  6. Absolutely 'anonymous'. Thanks for the input! :D

  7. Hello Lisa,
    I'm sending this in a couple of posts as I tried to send it in one but it was too much! So hear goes! Post 1:
    I'm a 45 year old ginger.I like the word! I'm "GINGER AND PROUD!". The spice is hot,tasty,smells nice and is good for you! I like to relate to that-ginger's good! I was bullied from first til last day at school for being ginger,it continued at college,then at work-(I thought I'd be safe amongst "adults"!) Due to my torment just because of my hair, I've studied the genetic origin & history regarding red hair.I'd like to educate Alex the blond lady on couple of facts. Firstly, natural blond hair is indeed very common-mainly in Scandinavian/western countries,unlike red which makes up less than 1% of all world's colours. Natural blond hair does darken with age, as does red hair.Hair may darken but the individual remains the same genetic type! I've encountered much blond elitism over years & find it narcissistic & indeed racist. The belief
    that 'blond is best' & that others are less attractive than themselves excludes all dark skinned races as well as us red & brown haired 'lesser mortals'. I'm married to a gorgeous natural blue eyed blond who always preferred ginger girls-lucky for me!!! 25 years on we're inseparable I'm pleased to say! As to whether "gingerism" is a type of racism or not: Having studied this & delved into history I'd like to tell people that all red hair stems from one unique genetic race. They were the Celts who lived in an area of the ancient world known as Indo-Aria.This was around and/or between the region of Asia minor & the eastern European/Mediteranian area. (The Celts WERE in fact the Arian race-so Hitler got it very wrong! But then he was an evil, twisted madman who made his own truths out of lies).The Celts were farmers who lived very well off the land with no need to travel outside their region. Their hair was 'strawberry blond' but their nobility had orange/fiery hair,(much prized),which distinguished them. The Celts had no need to travel/marry outside their race,so the racial pool was kept very pure. Babies were said to be born with near colourless hair, the red colouration coming in as they aged. They had blue/green eyes & pale skin tinged with gold due to light golden freckles. Women had equal status to men & were said to be tall and well built,like their men folk. They had a matriarchal/Goddess Pagan religion,which explains the status of woman in the society. At some point,probably due to drought/natural catastrophe the Celts began to migrate,so there would have been intermarrying & watering down of the gene pool.

  8. Post 2: So, we know some Celts settled & interbred with Norse,Scandinavian & Viking races,therefore red hair was seen later in these predominantly fair haired peoples.The Vikings invaded Ireland & Scotland which is why there's more redheads there now. Going even further back in history there's written evidence about the Celts by the ancient Greeks and Romans. In one account from a Roman captain's diary, he wrote of his sorrow having to slay this noble race in battle, where the beautiful fire haired,pale skinned,blue eyed women marched into battle alongside their men.They marched naked,(to prove how tough they were),clothed only in long dyed blue cloaks with sword belts,jewellery & head circlets made of gold & bronze.Unfortunately their weapons were also made of bronze so were useless against the Roman's superior weaponry made from hard metals. So now you have some history of the Celts! The upshot of me writing is to say that indeed red hair comes from one unique gene pool,(a quirk of Mother Nature). Therefore "gingerism" has to be, by genetic & historical fact 'RACISM'. The reason why a ginger child is sometimes born to parents who are not redhaired is that there will be redhaired recent predecessors on BOTH mum & dad's sides.Where 2 genes meet from both sides a child of a different racial type or colour may be thrown. I'm proud of my long,fiery locks.We stand out-that's why we're bullied.My tormentors were always jealous,bitchy girls as I was pretty & have dark brown eyes which is unusual for a ginger.(My ginger Dad has French blood from way back). Well Lisa,I hope that this arms you with some retorts to any predudice that you will undoubtably encounter in the future due to your Celtic racial beauty- as indeed you are a genetic throw back to a noble,beautiful,unique race & are a different racial type to other Caucasians. I remember a dermatologist once said to me that redhead's skin is as different in type & structure to other Caucasians as black skin is to them. Lisa, be proud & celebrate all that it is to be a "ginger". Blessings & happy life to you-
    from Vanessa a fellow Celt! XXX