As the saying goes “you get what you are given” and in my case that just so happened to be ivory pale skin, grey-green eyes, rose-red cupid lips and thick, wavy ginger hair.
Until starting Primary School I was completely unaware that my hair colour was an issue, in my eyes I was no different to anyone else. Being an August baby like my own daughter, I was one of the youngest students in my class and having only just turned four-years of age I found myself being targeted by bullies all because of the colour of my hair.
I’m not sure whether you would class this as racism, I guess it’s like a form of racism but I would probably term it ‘hairism’ if there is such a thing. Either way I found that people were unnecessarily cruel and over the years the bullying escalated from verbal harassment to physical abuse.
Although the physical bullying may have subsided, the verbal bullying never really stopped and as a result I spent the entire of my education feeling uncomfortable, anxious and on edge. The endless name calling and ridicule became tiresome and not surprisingly I became paranoid, quick-tempered and defensive or as some may say fiery.
You would expect the teasing and taunts to die down over the years however even throughout adulthood I’ve found there are still some rather narrow-minded idiots that seem to think its their god given right to comment upon my hair colour in a derogatory fashion. It’s amazing how eager people are to stereotype individuals according to their appearance.
According to general heresay the colour of my hair has a detrimental effect upon my temper as I’ve been assured that redheads are short-tempered and fierce. Why on earth the colour of a persons hair should bear any relevance to their personality traits is beyond me. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if some redheads were a little on the angry side considering they too may have suffered a life time of bullying and abuse from small-minded cockwombles.
Redheads may bear the brunt of judgement, people often refer to us in the same way that they would describe a race, a tribe or a group yet in reality we are no different to anyone else… Or are we?
Science has actually proved that there are indeed a few aspects that set us apart making us physically unique:
- Redheads have a far lower pain threshold and often require a higher level of anesthesia during surgery or medical procedures.
- Redheads tend to wake from anesthesia more easily and quickly than most other patients.
- Redheads tends to be more likely to develop skin cancer than people with other hair colours (as they usually have paler skin which has long been known to be more susceptible to the sun).
- It has been suggested that redheads are more prone to suffering with allergies.
- The redhead gene is recessive, there are lots of people who may carry this gene but not exhibit red hair or any accompanying traits, they may however pass this gene onto their offspring as a dominant gene.
- Erin La Rosa claimed that redheads exude more pleasant pheromones thus attracting a higher proportion of mates because they are quite simply ‘more sexually desirable’. La Rosa says, “Our pheromone effect and our delicious scent has been scientifically proven!”
- Stephen Douglas (author of The Redhead Encyclopedia) suggested that redheads skin has a naturally sweet, musk-like scent. Douglas claimed that redheads’ scent changes with their emotions.
- Cort Cass (Redhead Handbook) states, “the continued presence of redheads was one of the issues that ‘haunted’ Charles Darwin because he could not fit redheads into his Survival of the Fittest theory.”
- Dr. Werner Habermehl, a leading sex researcher in Hamburg, Germany did a study about sexual habits involving hundreds of German women in which he compared women according to their hair colour. Habermehl found that redheads were more sexually active, having more sex and having it with more partners than most other women!
- Red hair is the rarest natural hair color in humans. Less than 2% of the world’s population are natural redheads!
- In 1997 it was discovered that in order for someone to be born with red hair both their parents must carry the MC1R receptor gene which is found on choromosone 16. This gene which causes red hair (which is recessive) is technically a genetic mutation.
- Mutant genes seem to like hanging out together, if you have red hair it is therefore more likely that you may be left-handed.
- Redheads find it difficult to absorb sufficient Vitamin D due to low concentrations of eumelanin in their body. This may sound like bad, but this lower melanin-concentration means that people with red hair can cleverly produce their own Vitamin D within their body when exposed to low light conditions.
- Redheads are incredibly sensitive to temperature and temperature changes.
- Redheads tend to bruise far easier, they are also said to have more sensitive teeth.
- Redheads never actually go grey!
So there we have it, red heads are a little different but should that be a reason for ridicule? Certainly not! I may have endured teasing, taunts and fallen victim to bullying but I’m incredibly proud of my hair colour especially after having two children who also have red hair.
So what if I stand out? So what if I’m a little different? At least I’m not drowning myself with peroxide and pretending to be something I’m not… Redheads rock and quite frankly I’m damned proud to be one!