Posts Tagged ‘red hair’
As some of you may recall, I am the kiss of death when it comes to beauty products, in the sense that as soon as I find something I love, it is almost certain to be discontinued immediately. This is particularly true of colour-depositing conditioners for redheads, which I appear to be doomed to spend my life searching for, only for them to be discontinued as soon as I come across them.
So far I’ve managed to to get both John Frieda Radiant Red Color Glaze and Wella Lifetex Color Reflex Mask discontinued. This sucks, because apart from that one time when the Wella product turned my hair bright orange, they were great products: basically deep conditioners, but with a bit of added colour which made my hair a little more vibrant and, well, redder.
And then they discontinued them. Gah.
This month, however, a new product has entered my life, and I like it so much I feel duty-bound to warn you all in advance that it will probably be discontinued any day now. It’s Superdrug’s Colour Effects Wash In, Wash Out Conditioning Colour in Warm Copper Gold (fairly trips off the tongue, no?), you use it in the shower, just like a regular conditioner, and it adds nice, coppery-gold highlights to your hair, which you totally can’t see in this photo, but here it is, anyway:
It’s hard to photograph your own head, apparently. It’s also kind of pointless, because my hair colour can look totally different, depending on the lighting, what time of day it is, the angle of the photo… But yeah. Here is the back of my head, last week. You’re welcome!
This is only 99p per bottle, which is another sure sign that it won’t last. In fact, I became so paranoid that it would be discontinued that when I couldn’t find it on the Superdrug website, I sent them an email saying, “You’re totally discontinuing the Colour Effects Conditioner, aren’t you? Aren’t you?” They assure me they’re not, but…we’ll see. In the meantime, and in the interests of balance, I have to report that it’s kind of crappy AS a conditioner, in that it doesn’t do much for, you know, the actual condition of my hair, and I’ve been having to use my regular conditioner afterwards, or I emerge from the shower looking a bit like this. But still: 99p! And also available in other colours, which I’m afraid I didn’t pay any attention to, because I only have eyes for the redhead stuff.
Now, who wants to place bets on how soon it will be discontinued?
(Er, I wasn’t paid for this post, by the way. I just sound like I was.)
UPDATE 18/5/12: I’ve been getting lots of comments lately from people saying they’re having problems finding this product and that it’s been discontinued… I don’t think it has: I actually bought some just a couple of days ago, and while there were only a few bottles of the red shades (which I snapped up, naturally), they had plenty of the others. I think it’s probably just been popular and has sold out in some places: I have never been able to find it on their website, for instance, which is why I emailed them about it, and they told me they had no plans to discontinue it, so fingers crossed it’ll be back soon for those of you having problems!
A comment I received on Saturday morning from a reader known as “Dillon”:
“I personally hate gingers. the red hair is not pretty, dye your hair please! i live with a ginger and she is the worst person ive ever met. she is mean about everything and never stops complaining. not to mention she smells like tuna. don’t even get me started on the freckle situation. all im saying is that gingers really have no souls, they are heartless little gingers.”
Thanks for stopping by, Dillon! I, too, hate people who are mean! Please don’t ever breed!
Last week Terry and I were in the car, on the way to the gym, when we saw a woman with brown hair jogging along by the side of the road.
So we rolled down the car windows and shouted, “HEY! BRUNETTE! F&^%^*$ BRUNETTE! YOU’RE UGLY!” And then we jeered a bit more and drove on. If we see her again, we’ll try and kick her, though, because that would be even more awesome.
Hee! Honestly, it was so funny, you should’ve seen the look on her face! I don’t know why she was annoyed, though. I mean, has she not got a sense of humour? And the fact is, there was absolutely nothing wrong with what Terry and I did, because brown hair IS ugly. It just is. (Especially on men. It can sometimes look OK on women, but on men it’s just butt-ugly. I’d never date a brunette man, never. I would rather eat glass.) Everyone knows it, so why shouldn’t we say it? It’s just a plain fact, isn’t it? Brunettes are ugly. It’s funny to tease them. If they don’t like it, they should either:
a) Get a sense of humour
b) Dye their hair
Actually, come to think of it, they should probably dye their hair anyway. Why wouldn’t they? If I was a brunette I would dye it. Terry’s hair is black, but sometimes I think it can look a bit brunette in certain lights. I worry about it. It’s why we don’t have children, actually: who’d want to risk the chance of having a brunette? It wouldn’t be fair to the child and I just don’t think I could love a brunette anyway. Thank goodness they’re dying out, eh?
Just in case it’s not obvious, I’m being sarcastic here. And of course, Terry and I didn’t hurl abuse at anyone from our car just because they happened to have a certain hair colour – or for any other reason, obviously. Because that would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it? And cruel. And it would make us a couple of assholes. Really.
I’ve mentioned here before that while the street Terry and I live in is as pleasant and suburban as it gets, some of the areas around us… aren’t. Well, they don’t call our part of town “Bandit Country” for nothing, put it that way.
Where we're livin'
Just yesterday, for instance, I met a group of the local Bandits while I was out walking Rubin. The Bandits in question were mostly in their late teens/early twenties, and they were sitting in a little huddle outside the Ghetto Superstore, drinking. You’d think it would be too much of a cliché for me to say they were drinking Buckfast, wouldn’t you?
People, they were drinking Buckfast.
You’d also think it was too much of a cliché for me to say they had a pit bull terrier with them, no?
As soon as the pit bull laid eyes on Rubin, of course, it went crazy. In fact, before I knew what had happened, it was over beside us “worrying” at Rubin. Now, I should say here that it wasn’t barking or growling, or anything like that. For all I know, this might’ve been the friendliest pit bull in all the land, but I didn’t really want to take the chance on that, and because Rubin likes to think he’s a wolf (he completely ignores small dogs, but will often bark ferociously at larger ones, because… well, because he was born without a brain, obviously), I was frightened enough by the dog’s attentions that when it still hadn’t left us alone a few minutes later, I snatched Rubin into my arms and… ran off like a girl.
Only at this point did the Youth of Today dispatch a Junior Bandito (about 8 years old, I’d say) to call off the hound.
So, that’s the kind of thing we’re dealing with.
Because I never learn, though, I decided to take Rubin on the exact same walk today. In my defence, it’s pretty much the only place I CAN walk him without having to get in the car and drive somewhere, and I rarely have time for that, so Bandit Country it is. I was about ten minutes into the walk, Rubin almost hysterical with joy by my side, when I became aware of the sound of a bicycle, directly behind me.
I was on a footpath at this point, and there were no actual roads nearby, but people often cycle on the footpaths round here, so I thought nothing of this, and moved to the side of the (wide) footpath to let it pass.
The bike moved with me.
I moved even closer to the side, until my arm was brushing the branches of the trees which grow along the pathway.
The bike moved too.
At this point it struck me that this bicycle was moving very, very slowly, given that it was able to stay behind me, at my slow walking pace. It could also have passed me at any time: the path is a wide one, and I hadn’t exactly been filling it up even before I moved.
Clearly, then, it was following me. Great.
I glanced over my shoulder, and sure enough, there he was: another Junior Bandito (not the Pitt Bull handler, this time), grinning unpleasantly as the front tyre of his bike almost brushed my heels. I’m no good at estimating people’s ages, but I’d say he was probably 10 or 11. Young, but old enough to know better than to harass people in the street, I’d say.
I decided the best thing to do here would be to ignore him, so I looked away and continued walking.
“HEY! UGLY!” the bandit called.
At this point all I can say is that something snapped in my head. Because, honestly, I’ve HAD IT with people thinking it’s perfectly OK to insult and harass each other. ENOUGH.
So I stopped dead in my tracks (he almost ran into me) and turned round to face him.
“Did you say something? ” I asked pleasantly.
Well, the bandit almost fell off his bike. The look that crossed his face was almost comical as his brain struggled to register the fact that the worm had apparently turned.
“No,” he said, his voice shaking slightly. “I didn’t say a thing.”
“That’s strange,” I said, still calm. “I’m sure I heard you say something to me. What was it?”
The kid quaked. He clearly had no idea how to deal with this, so he decided to go with denial. Nope, he’d said nothing, not him. Why, he was just riding along on his bike, minding his own business!
“Well, there’s no one else here,” I said, “So I’m pretty sure it was you. What did you say?”
“I just said hello,” blurted the bandit. “That was it.”
“Really?” I said, puzzled. “That’s funny: you just told me you didn’t say anything. So now you’re telling me you DID say something: is that right?”
Silence. Pinned into a corner by his lies (I should totally be a crime writer, right?), the bandit had no choice but to get on his hoss bike and get out of town. Unfortunately for me, he managed to do the first bit OK, but, once on his bike (he’d jumped off for our “chat”) he decided to go back to following me, albeit at a slightly further distance this time.
“GINGER!” he shouted this time.
So I turned round and karate chopped him. No, OK, I didn’t. But I did turn round, and, once again, the kid almost fell off his bike in fright. You’d think he’d have learned the first time, no?
“Ah, so you DO have something to say to me!” I beamed. “I thought so! But I didn’t quite hear you. Tell you what, why don’t you come and say it to my face, rather than waiting until my back’s turned? That would be the brave thing to do, don’t you think?”
No, I have no idea why I was talking like this to a child. I mean, clearly it wasn’t exactly my finest hour, and equally clearly, I wouldn’t have been nearly so brave had he been just a little bit older. Of if he’d had The Friendliest Pit Bull in All The Land with him. But, like I said, I’m absolutely sick of not being able to walk my dog close to my own home without being taunted and harassed by idiot kids. This has happened several times now, the worst time being when I was held at branch-point in the woods, and had to phone the police. And although this was a young ‘un, I still think he was old enough to learn that following strange women in the street and calling them names is not a pleasant thing to do. And that sometimes, when you choose to do this, you just might get yourself in trouble.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the words themselves that bother me. I am not so insecure that a child calling me “ugly” will make me feel I actually AM ugly (Sorry, blog commenters who say more or less the same thing!), and the “ginger” thing is just stupid. It’s the fact that people today apparently think it’s OK to taunt strangers in the street IN ANY WAY that makes my blood boil. To follow people, and call them names, and to then try to deny it is stupid and cowardly in the extreme, and I don’t care if you’re eleven or eleventy-one: if you behave like that towards someone, you should expect to get called on it.
I know lots of people would give the old, “Ah, but they’re only kids!” argument, here, but that one won’t wash with me, sorry. If they’re old enough to be out in public unsupervised, then they’re old enough to be taught that it’s not nice to follow people and be rude to them. If your kid ISN’T old enough to understand that message, then you keep him under supervision until he is: simple. Quite apart from anything else, it’s pretty damn dangerous for kids to do this kind of thing, because while the worst thing I’d ever do would be to tell them off, if they pick on someone a little more aggressive, they could end up in some serious trouble.
So I told the bandito all of this. At length. And … he turned and ran away. “Leave me alone!” he sobbed, jumping off his bike a few metres down the path.
“I don’t really see why I should,” I said, reasonably. “I mean, you haven’t been leaving ME alone, have you? You’ve been following me and calling me names, so maybe I’ll just follow YOU now, and call you some names, how would you like that?”
He wouldn’t, was the answer. And he agreed to stop following me if I just stopped talking. So I did. And you know, that little Bandit was as good as his word. I like to think he will grow up to be a better Bandit now: a Bandit with a basic understanding of how to behave in public, and why it’s Not Nice to follow people and shout names at them. And thus, a new era of peace will be forged between the Banditos and the ordinary people of Bandit Country, all thanks to me.
Actually, I know I’ll just be lucky if my windows don’t get broken next time I’m out. Such is life.
(ETA : not that it particularly matters, but in the interests of accuracy, this all actually happened on Saturday -I wrote the post then, but then totally forgot to publish it. Ooops.)
Well, folks, The Great Haircut Wars of ’09 have left me feeling wrung out, like a limp rag, and that’s before I’ve even been anywhere NEAR the hairdresser. So, in a bid to post something that’s NOT directly related to my hair, I thought I’d do The Friday Five. But The Friday Five this week was a bunch of really boring questions about chocolate, and seriously, why would anyone care whether I know how chocolate is made or not? (I don’t, by the way. I don’t know how anything is made. And I don’t care. Cooking is why God made Other People.)
I still wanted to be lazy answer questions rather than write an entry with, you know, actual thoughts and ideas in it, though, so I decided to turn to my old friend Google Analytics, and answer some of the questions people have been asking the Internet recently, and which have led them to this here blog. For instance:
Can I wear black to a christening?
Well, I did. I wear black to absolutely everything, though, so I’m probably the wrong person to ask. My one piece of advice to you about attending a christening, however, is this: before I went to one, everyone told me that it would be “dressy, but not as dressy as a wedding.” Naturally, then, it turned out to be as dressy as a wedding. Maybe this was just some kind of freak occurrence, and not the norm for these events (I wouldn’t know, being a complete and utter heathen), but most people were dressed to the nines. This made it a lot of fun, actually, because there’s really nothing I enjoy more than looking at what other people are wearing.
My answer to this question, then: yes, black is fine, as long as you make it a “happy” black, not a sad black. Like, maybe lay off the veil and gloves, and use some colourful accessories to make it clear that you’re not at a funeral. Also: you’re being given the opportunity to dress up – seize it with both hands, my friend!
Do redheads have souls?
(Note: this is now one of my top search terms. Which really makes me wonder about humanity, to be honest.)
My answer: Don’t be silly, of course redheads don’t have souls. Redheads are another race entirely: we are, in fact, a little-known offshoot of the vampires, and we survive by drinking the blood of people who type dumb-ass questions into Google. I’d sleep with one eye open tonight if I were you. I’d also refrain from breeding if at all possible because… well, because the world has enough idiots, we don’t really need any more.
Is it normal to feel your pulse in your stomach?
Ooh, medical questions, I love me some medical questions! Actually, no, I don’t, and I have this to say to you, pulse-stomach-searcher: NEVER CONSULT DOCTOR GOOGLE ON THESE MATTERS. Doctor Google is not a good doctor. He is a wicked, evil doctor, and his answers will cause you to lie awake at night in a cold sweat, wondering who to leave your shoes to when you “go”.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say here is that the Internet is not a doctor and neither am I. (Note: Neither is Karl Kennedy from Neighbours, but you wouldn’t know it.) If it makes you feel any better, though, I last felt my pulse in my stomach in November 2007 - I actually thought I was about to give birth to an alien at the time – and I’m still alive. Take from that what you will.
Do you spend a lot of money on fashion?
Yes. Do you?
What is the most times a dog has peed?
Nineteen. No, I’m being serious, it was nineteen times. It was in 1978. Seriously, dude, what did you expect here? And why so vague? Do you want to know how many times a dog has peed in the space of an hour? A day? Its life? Does it have to be a particular breed of dog? Boy or girl? Ask and ye shall receive! Or actually, maybe not in this case, because honestly, who’s counting?
If you want to know how many times MY DOG has peed, well, I can’t tell you that in general terms, but I can tell you how many times he has peed INSIDE THE HOUSE this week: three times. Yes, three times. Mostly on his own bed (!) but sometimes on the radiator. He does it when we go to the gym. We don’t know why, because here’s the thing: he doesn’t do it when we leave the house to go anywhere else. Only when we go to the gym. What does this mean? What is he trying to tell us here? Who knows. (Oh! Maybe Google does! Must go and check…)
Anyway, these were just five of the questions my referrers have asked me recently. If you’d like to submit your own question to “Ask Amber”, be my guest. Just make it something I’m likely to know the answer to. You know, none of that “What’s the square root of 8.768?” rubbish, because I can’t help you with that.
Despite having been born with red hair, I’ve actually been pretty lucky in that I’ve never been physically attacked because of my universally reviled appearance. And come to think of it, although my mum got a lot of “don’t worry, she might grow out of it!” comments when I was a small baby, few people have been rude enough – or brave enough – to tell me to my face that they think my hair is ugly, either. Or, indeed, to kick me on the ass because of it.
(Note: one time in the shopping mall, a teenager did grab me by the collar, thrust his acne-ridden face into mine and scream, “You’re SO fucking ugly!” at me. I don’t know if that was because of my hair specifically, or just a more general observation, though, so I can’t really count it.)
No, most people tend to go for the more subtle, but just as offensive, method of telling me that hey, I’m not bad looking “for a redhead”. Or they’ll try to “comfort” me by reassuring me that I’m not actually a redhead at all, “it’s more of an auburn colour!” (This actually REALLY offends me because I don’t WANT to be “more of an auburn colour”, thanks – I’m happy with the colour I have and I don’t really need people trying to convince me I’m delusional, ya know?) Or, the all-time winner: “it’s OK on you, I guess, but when I see men with red hair I’m physically sick!” Yeah. Good job I’m not planning to breed then, or my offspring might really upset you…
So I’ve been lucky. Much luckier than the kid in this story, anyway, who was assaulted by a group of 13 teenagers, all taking part in “National Kick a Ginger Day”.
Let’s just take a minute to digest that. National. Kick. A. Ginger. Day. Doesn’t that sound fun? I mean, we already know that redheads have no soul so it stands to reason they have no feelings either, and therefore it’s perfectly acceptable to abuse them – whether physically or verbally – and expect them to just take the joke, isn’t it?
Because this is the thing. Almost every time I indulge in a rant about the hatred directed towards people with red hair in this country (or, in this case, in Canada, which surprised me, because it’s normally the UK that abuses its “gingers”), some bright spark comes along and tells me to “lighten up” or “get a sense of humour”.
A quote from the article I linked to above:
“Student Ken Logel said: “I have a few buddies with red hair, you just kind of kick them lightly just as a joke but when it gets carried away that’s not cool.”
No, that’s not “cool”, is it? I mean, a “light kick” is just fine, obviously. Because it’s SO FUNNY when people call you ugly and maybe leave you bruised and battered because of the colour of your hair, isn’t it? And that’s not AT ALL like abusing someone for the colour of their skin, or their religion or race, now, is it? On no, my mistake: IT IS. It is the same. And every time I write about prejudice against redheads, and compare it to prejudice against black people, or Jewish people, or < insert abused mimority group here > I’m told that I’m doing a disservice to victims of racism because what I’m talking about is SO MUCH LESS IMPORTANT, and is a JOKE, and doesn’t actually matter because for crying out loud it’s JUST HAIR.
Yes, it is. But now people are actually being physically attacked because of it. Now there are Facebook groups inciting violence against people with a certain colour of hair. How is this different from inciting violence against people with a certain colour of skin? Oh yeah: it isn’t. It really isn’t. And now I find myself wondering how many more attacks like this there will have to be before people start to admit that no, it’s really not cool. It’s not cool to beat people up for ANY REASON, be it skin colour, race, religion, or even hair colour. The fact that people think the first three are unacceptable (which they are) and the last is “just a joke” absolutely boggles my mind, it really does.
(Oh, and the “you can dye your hair - people can’t change the colour of their skin” argument? I SHOUDLN’T HAVE TO dye my hair to avoid abuse, any more than people with black skin should be forced to try and lighten it, or hide themselves away. People just shouldn’t abuse others, end of story.)
I’m glad to see that the police seem to be taking this incident seriously at least. But I can’t help wondering how much more of an outcry there would be if there was a “National Kick a Black Day” or a “National Kick a Jew Day”.
(Thanks to Emma for sending me the link to the story)
Ginger and proud
So, yesterday I went to the hairdresser and had a big ol’ chunk cut off my hair.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of those entries, where I end up screaming and crying that OMG, it’s SO UNFAIR, and I HATE MY LIFE. No, this is actually a good hairdressing story – or as good as a hairdressing story can get for me considering I’m still growing out a MULLET, obviously.
Anyway, as you know, after my last brush with hairdressing hell, I had sworn to never let a pair of scissors near my head again, and to just let it grow until it got so long I had to employ a team of small children to walk behind me at all times, carrying it. I believe the name “Rapunzel” was mentioned. And the thing is, I totally intended to stick to this plan, but a few weeks ago I suddenly realised the plan was fatally flawed, because while it is true that the front part of my hair has, indeed, been growing, SO HAS THE BACK. At the same speed. So if I just let it grow I would basically never be free of the Mullet. I’d just have a super-long mullet instead. Yeah.
Gradually, then, the unwelcome truth became evident: if I ever wanted to hold my head up in public again, I would have to just bite the bullet and submit to having large chunks cut off the back of my hair every few weeks, so that eventually the front and back would meet in the middle, so to speak, and I would have “normal” hair again. Maybe.
Well, for the last few weeks, each day I have faced an almighty battle not to just pick up a pair of scissors and hack it all off myself. It is THAT BAD. And yesterday morning I woke up, looked in the mirror and realised that I could not tolerate it ONE DAY LONGER, and that if I couldn’t get it cut right that very day, I would be doing it myself. Given that I am the clumsiest woman alive, the second option didn’t sound good even to me, and so it was that I found myself in the car and driving towards the only salon I knew might be able to squeeze me in on a Saturday afternoon, repeating the mantra, “I will not ask for a fringe, I will NOT ask for a fringe” over and over again. In fact, I repeated that mantra so many times I’m actually amazed I didn’t just walk into the salon and shout “NO FRINGE!” at them.
I didn’t, though. And they told me, yes, they could fit me in, so, with fast-beating heart, I sat myself down with the stylist and told her the tale of The Mullet, after which she moved in for a closer look at the offending hair.
“OH MY GOD!” shouted the stylist, jumping back as if stung. “This is… this is a MESS!”
Now, I have to admit, I felt ever so slightly smug about this reaction. The thing is, no one has ever really believed me about how bad this haircut was. For the past two months, I’ve mostly tied it back, cunningly trying to disguise the fact that I now looked a lot like Billy Ray Cyrus, when viewed in a certain light. And, you know, there is the fact that I’m a known drama queen, and I just know most people have listened to my tale of woe and thought, “yeah right, whatever. Bet it looks exactly the same.” But it was NOT the same. And this New Stylist had instantly seen it for what it was.
“There’s a really big difference between the length at the front and the length at the back,” she said, staring at the hair as if it might bite her. “It’s almost like…”
“Like a mullet,” I said. “Yes, I know: you can say it.”
“Yeah,” said the hairdresser, warming to her theme, “But the thing is, I bet even YOU don’t realise how bad this is. I mean, you can’t see the back of your head. Seriously, YOU SHOULD SEE THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD!”
I just nodded at this, as if I hadn’t spent hours in the bathroom over the past few weeks, holding up my little Sephora mirror to try and view the back of my head. And then weeping. And drinking.
“I mean, I’d have hated to have seen this when it was first done,” continued the stylist, who was actually starting to enjoy herself just a little bit too much at this point, really. ”That must’ve looked TERRIBLE.”
Then she tried to persuade me to let her cut it to shoulder length. “It won’t fix it,” she said, “But it’ll make it look less like a … well, you know.”
Readers, I held firm. I know she was right, but I was nervous enough about being back in The Chair (“You must be terrified!” said the hairdresser cheerfully as she started snipping. “I would be!”) without adding the pressure of a Dramatic Change into the mix. So we compromised, and she cut it to just a couple of inches under my shoulders. This actually still feels like a Dramatic Change to me (when I brush it I get that horrible sinking feeling when the brush suddenly encounters air and I’m all, “OMG WHERE IS MY HAIR?!”), but I realised a long time ago that when you have long hair, no one ever notices the fact that you suddenly have four inches less of it than you used to. This theory was proven last night when we went to visit my parents and neither of them noticed, even when I swished my head around ostentatiously. They just thought I was having a fit or something.
Anyway, it’s still going to take months to grow out the mullet completely, but the point is, I have at last had a haircut that didn’t make me cry afterwards, and I think this could be a turning point in the career of my hair. I feel like maybe the ancient curse has been broken, and there is new hope that the mullet may one day be defeated. And I was going to blow-dry it and style it all nice, then get Terry to take a picture of it, but then I thought, “Why do that when I can just sit around on my ass letting it dry naturally and get all frizzy first?” So I did. Then I remembered that when Terry takes photos of me, they generally end up looking something like this:
He took this while we were out walking the dog today. “Take a picture of my hair,” I said. “Try not to make me look like a lunatic,” I said. Gah. So it looks like this is about as good as it’s going to get in terms of photos of The Hair:
There were others, but I swear to God, I had my eyes closed and was frowning in every. single. one. So, um, yeah.
Maybe I’ll ask for a fringe next time?*
Q: Why do redheads take the pill?
A: Wishful thinking.
Q: What do you call a good looking man with a redhead?
A: A hostage.
Q: What do you call a redhead with large breasts?
A: A mutant.
Stop me if you’ve heard any of these before, by the way. I discovered them all by chance, last week on Facebook, where I stumble upon a hitherto untapped source of redhead hatred. “Red hair sucks – I’d rather die!” is the name of the group that initially caught my eye, but a quick search revealed dozens of others, including “Redheads are gingers and they have no soul”, “If you have red hair I’m sorry, but we just can’t be friends” and the short but sour “Redheads suck!” Nice.
Of course, I’ve always known that if assholes could fly, the Internet would be an airport, but it was still a little worrying to discover that prejudice is alive, well and thriving on one of the web’s biggest social networking sites. Facebook is going through a bit of a “media’s darling” phase at the moment, but while most people are probably using it to stalk old school friends and play Tetris Tournament when they
should be working (I know I am), others are apparently using it to try and incite hatred towards that much maligned social group – the gingers.
The problem is that there’s no arguing with these people. Believe me, I tried. I sent a message to one of the more offensive posters on the “Red hair sucks” group. “Hmhmhmhmhm,” came back the answer. We’re
clearly dealing with a powerful set of intellects here, which is kind of reassuring: they’ll never prove that we “have no soul” if they can’t even string a coherent sentence together. “Am kind of dumb,” my idiot correspondent admitted in a follow-up message. Well, you said it…
The other problem with all of this, of course, is that if you are a “ginger”, you’re not allowed to be offended by it. To admit to feeling even a little bit hurt by such overt hatred is to admit to having no sense of humour, because most of this drivel – not to mention the teasing and negativity redheads get in real life – tries to masquerade as “humour”. It’s funny, you see? “Geez, lighten up!” they’ll tell you if you so much as raise an eyebrow at the “hilarious” jokes. “Stop taking things personally! You have to be able to laugh at yourself, you
know – especially if you’re a ginger!” Boom boom! I’d imagine blondes probably feel much the same way about the “dumb blonde” jokes that float around: funny, sure – as long as they’re not directed at you.
As “funny” and “lighthearted” as you may believe it is, though, there’s a serious side to it all, too. How many little redheaded girls (and boys) are growing up believing that they’re fundamentally unlovable and ugly, just because of all of these idiotic comments and oh-so-funny “jokes”.
Is it really OK to make fun of a whole sector of society and call it “humour”, I wonder? Or is it only OK when it’s not about you?
(Note: this is actually a column I wrote yesterday for Dollymix, but I figured I’d post it here, too, seeing as this site still gets so many hits from people who’ve Googled phrases like, “If my unborn child turns out to have red hair, can I kill it?” and the like. Asshats.)
… to all of the people (the many, many people) who’ve been finding this blog lately after googling some variation of “worried that baby will be ginger” or “chances of having ginger haired baby” or “can I dye my baby’s hair if it is ginger?” (No, I’m seriously not kidding on that last one):
Please, do the world a favour: just don’t breed. It’s way too risky. We have enough stupid people in the world already, thanks: we don’t need the likes of you diluting the gene pool any further.
I mean, seriously, if this isn’t evidence that people should have to apply for a license to breed (and pass all kinds of anti-stupidity tests along the way), I don’t know what is. And I really hope that these people don’t have red-haired babies: not through any concern for the sheer embarrassment of the parents (I mean, GOD, imagine having to be seen with it!), but out of real concern for the children who might be born to people like this.
It absolutely terrifies me that there are people out there who would seriously consider dyeing a newborn’s hair because they don’t think it looks nice. It frightens the crap out of me that there are people worried that they might not be able to love their child if it’s a redhead. Poor kids. What a start in life, eh.
I’m being serious: I don’t think these people should be allowed to breed. They really don’t deserve children.
That is all.
Hey peeps. Tonight I’d like to talk about how hideously disfigured I am. No, this is not a digging-for-compliments exercise or even a self-indulgent entry focusing on the fascinating subject of how insecure I am about the way I look – I’m way too old for all that jazz. No, I actually am hideously disfigured, and do you know how I know? Why, because the good ladies over at the Handbag.com forums told me so, of course. Repeatedly.
Actually, let’s be fair: they weren’t talking about me in particular, and I’m sure if they were to meet me they’d all be quick to assure me that, of course, my hair is perfectly lovely, and not at all the shade of red – sorry, “ginger” – that so offends their eyes. Yes, folks, we’re talking about hair, here. Specifically, red hair – or “ginger” hair as they like to call it. Why, hair just like mine in fact! Isn’t it awful? Don’t you just pray that your children, should you have them, are never cursed with this particular disfigurement? Lots of people do (pray, that is), and who can blame them?
The discussion I’m talking about was actually pretty tame compared to some of the ones I’ve seen, and some of the comments I’ve heard. Comments like, “Oh, don’t worry, she might grow out if it! It might turn blonde!” (Said to my mother when I was a babe in arms) and, “Tell me, Amber, do you ever worry that your children might inherit It?” (No, do you ever worry yours will inherit your complete lack of intellect?)
The thread in question starts off with … well, with a question. A “very serious” and deeply distressing question. Our protagonist is worried that she might one day have a red haired baby. I know! I mean, aren’t we all! She’s been lucky so far: neither she nor her partner have the dreaded Curse, but – and here’s the kicker – his mum (who hopefully never reads Handbag.com) does, and so did her gran. I mean, you can see their dilemma, can’t you? They could have a redhaired baby! In fact, no, let’s not mince our words here, let’s say what we mean: their child could be an ugly-ass ginger!
Now, personally I’d just get sterilised and adopt, no question. That’s certainly what I’m going to do, because, God, I’m ginger, and so was my gran! And my Great-Gran! I mean, any child of mine would surely be doomed, and I may as well be honest: when I tell people I don’t want children, what I actually mean is “I couldn’t be so cruel as to bring another redhead into the world”.
(Y’all get that I’m being sarcastic here, don’t you? OK, just checking…)
It gets worse, though. Rather than simply suggesting sterliistaion, the women on the handbag forums set about very earnestly working out what the odds might be of this poor girl having “a ginger”. They come to the conclusion that it’s probably around 4:1. The original poster decides she can live with that. What she would have done had the odds been higher is anyone’s guess.
It doesn’t end there, though. Once everyone has shared their relief that our protagonist probably isn’t at as much risk as she might have thought, someone comes up with the idea – and this is a stroke of pure genius, people – that in order to avoid having a baby with red hair, you could first of all have GENETIC TESTING to determine whether you carry the mutant gene. If you do, then presumably your way is clear – you don’t breed.
God, I wish someone had come up with this sooner. OK, I wouldn’t be here, but on the bright side, neither would any of the other “ginger mingers”. We could have a world totally absent of redheads! Oooh! Oooh! I know what we could do! We could make it so that only people who have the type of colouring we deem to be “attractive” – people with blue eyes and blonde hair, say – were allowed to breed, so we had a whole society of aesthetically pleasing people! Now, I know I’ve heard something like that before… Where was it? Never mind, I’m sure it’ll come to me…
(Right after this point was made, by the way? Someone else – someone who actually has red hair herself – posted asking if this type of testing can actually happen, because, and I quote: “I’d never forgive myself if I passed my red hair onto one of my kids.” I swear I’m not making this up.)
Now, I’m not a scientist. (I’ll wait while you stop reeling in shock at that one, shall I?), so I have no idea whether it’s possible for the miracle that is modern science to identify the “redhead gene” and thus rid the world of redheads. (We will be sure to slam the door on the way out.) The fact that supposedly intelligent women are even discussing this kind of idiocy on a public forum, though, leaves me gasping in horror at the depths of stupidity that some people will plumb.
The truly sad thing about all of this? This is about the fifth or sixth time I’ve seen this type of thread come up on a discussion forum, or even, as I’ve said, in normal conversation. Something I learned from a very early age is that people really don’t like redheads, and they’re not ashamed to say so, in the way that most people would probably think twice about voicing the same sentiment about, say, black people. I mean, just imagine it:
“God, I’m so worried: my partner’s mum is black! What if our baby is black too, I couldn’t stand it!”
“Oooh, that would be awful, but don’t worry, hun, the chances are slim, lol!”
Original Poster: “Thank God, for that! Imagine, a black baby – YUCK!”
Bright Spark: “You know, what you could do is you could be genetically tested to see if you carry The Gene that makes people black.”
Idiot Poster: “Can anyone tell me if that’s actually possible? You see, I am black and I would never forgive myself if I passed my black skin onto one of my kids!”
See, it would never happen, would it? No, that would be racist and unforgivable. It’s fine to say the same things about us redheads, though: for one, we have no feelings – none at all – and for two, we’re not a different race or anything. Hell, we’re just ugly. And we all know how much fun it is to hate ugly people!
For the record, I love my red hair, and always have – yes, even when people at school called me “traffic lights”. I wouldn’t change it, not even when it brings out the very worst, most prejudiced part of some people. And, you know, as a wise man once said: I can dye my oh-so-ugly red hair. These people will always be stupid.
I think I’m going to start up a new clothing line. It will consist mainly of t-shirts, and they’ll all say “RED AND PROUD”, or maybe “I’D RATHER BE RED THAN
dead A F*****G MORON”. Stop me and buy one.
Pass the message on, people: the redheads will inherit the earth. And they’re angry.
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