Sometimes, I’d have to agree.
Although my hair is most definitely veering further towards auburn than tangerine, I still hear whispers of “ginger” from time to time, which, unsurprisingly, does not bother me. This is probably due to such whispers being a seasonal affair as my hair hits the deepest tones of brown in the winter and only hits its peak of naranja after weeks in the sun.
So there I was, August bank holiday, dancing the day away with a rum cocktail in hand, when a man fought his way through the crowd to tell me something. He thought it best to let me know that I was a “fit red head; one of the hardest things to be”. He spent a good while assuring me that I fitted into the “good looking ginger” category, comparing me to Ginny Weasley (a fictional character) and Ed Sheeran (a boy). I laughed, made a joke about being ginger and strolled on. And this, sadly for me, is the norm.
Although such remarks no longer bother me, growing up, I hated my freckles and auburn locks. I wanted nothing more than to wake up looking like Eva Longoria (although I don’t think I’m alone there) and change my entire reflection. However, due to the fact that a friend of mine has the most vibrant of ginger hairs upon her head, and has been lovingly labelled “ginge” by many of her friends, and enjoys it, I have grown to appreciate my titian tones and have forgotten all about my insecurities.
But I’ve also forgotten how serious the topic is too.
Although I believe red hair to be one of those things that you either embrace or sink with, many people have been forced to do the latter without a say. I can’t help but think that if those who heckle gingers in the street switched the hair colour for skin tone or race in their utterances, it would be a different story. I’m not raising the issue of highlights to the same level as a race row, but I really do think the subject could be taken a little more seriously and dealt with using a little more tact. After all, people’s entire school lives have been ruined by such taunts and “Hug a Ginger Day” would not exist if there wasn’t an issue.
But I, too, am to blame for these crimson crimes. I’ve been found to shout “fit ginge!” at the television screen when tangerine tinted men take my fancy (particularly during the Olympics) and I really don’t rate Mick Hucknell’s mop. However, many years on, I am learning to embrace it.
So, the next time you ask someone if they prefer blondes or brunettes, stick red heads in there too. I think you’ll be surprised.
And if you’re still not convinced by ginger hair? I have two words for you: