The Stigma Of Having Ginger Hair

The Stigma Of Having Ginger Hair 1

For decades children and even adults have been teased, bullied and belittled for having red or ginger hair. Unique and bright fiery locks are the target of derision from peers, with hurtful taunts made about the genetic side effects of the ‘ginger gene’ and the supposed attractiveness of people who are born with it. Red heads fight a never ending battle against judgemental people, purely for the fact they’re different.

Ginger haired people have had to put up with gingerism for years, and every now and then tragic stories emerge in the press about children that have been bullied relentlessly at school – sometimes even to the point of suicide. However, cases like these seem to be getting rarer and the attitudes towards red-headedness appears to be changing. Could being ginger finally be a quality that’s valued and envied rather than mocked and derided?

Hot Red Headed Role Models

There is plenty of reason to suggest that being a red head is no longer such a big deal, and actually something to be really proud of. One great reason is the presence of highly successful red headed celebrities – particularly women – in mainstream media acting as role models. Actresses such as Karen Gillan (who was once criticised by parents for being too sexy for Dr Who), Kate Winslet, Emma Stone and Christina Hendricks have not only been present in hit television shows and Hollywood movies, but have been lauded in lifestyle magazines for their attractiveness and beautiful red hair. These women are sex symbols and an inspiration to ginger ladies to wear their hair proud and not feel ugly or unattractive.

Likewise, in the fashion industry, attitudes to red headed women are also changing, with catwalks and magazines putting beautiful ginger models right at the forefront alongside the blonde and brunettes. Natural ginger models, even those with freckles such as Lily Cole, are becoming world famous icons and reshaping the perceived image of attractiveness. Being ginger can be shown as unique and beautiful, rather than as an ugly genetic defect to be ashamed of. A red head can be as hot as the shade of their hair colour.

The increasing acceptance of red hair in mainstream fashion has also led to women with other shades feeling quite jealous of their unique sisters. Ladies from all corners of society are buying red hair dye in their droves and trying to achieve fabulous hair like their ginger idols, furthering the cause of red headed validation. Famous musicians like Rhianna, Florence Welch and Hayley Williams all rock the red headed look, prompting their fans to pick up the hair spray and join the red head party.

Changing Standards?

The ladies seem to be doing very well when it comes to their red hair being loved, but the guys don’t quite have it as easy. Although there are plenty of cool and highly successful ginger men in popular culture, from comedians like Conan O’Brian and Louis CK, to musicians like Ed Sheeran and Joshua Homme and actors like Rupert Grint and Seth Green, the red headed look is not seen as stereotypically sexy for the lads. Being a ginger guy still has its stigma, and the number of ‘Top Sexy Red Head Guys’ articles are greatly outnumbered by ‘Hottest Red Head Girls’. However, this hasn’t stopped ginger guys from getting on in life and breaking free from their pasty nerd perceptions.

Although the days where ginger kids are roundly mocked for the colour of their hair and accused of having no souls, attitudes are changing. The red haired look is viewed as being very sexy, fashionable and exclusive for women and guys too don’t have to feel restricted in their ambition by their hair colour. Being red headed is praised for its uniqueness. 

So if your hair is a beautiful flaming red, be proud, because your look is one of the most exclusive on the planet and no bully can take that away from you!

 Author: Louise Hennessy is a fashion blogger with head of bright red hair that she loves.

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