This 'Gingerism' Thing Is Not Funny and it Needs to Go
We're all well aware of the ugliness of racism, ageism, sexism and homophobia, but did you know that so-called 'gingers' - people with red, orange, or strawberry blond hair, are victims of 'gingerism' and being targeted by bullies for something so benign as their hair colour?
Likely all of us have heard the jokes at one time or another, it's the one 'ism' that seems to be widely accepted as okay to indulge in, as if those with flame-tinted hair are somehow intrinsically different and therefore deficient and deserving of ridicule. But lately things have taken a more grievous turn: Facebook groups initiated and joined by thousands of mouth-breathers and booger-eaters (it's a good guess) organised 'Kick a Ginger Day', which attracted police attention and as Canada's The Globe and Mail reported, resulted in one child being kicked 18 times at school before being allowed to go home, and terrified some red-haired children who had stumbled upon the groups on the social networking site so much they were afraid to go to school. No doubt, especially if they were already being bullied.
Even New York magazine is guilty of perpetuating the stereotype that redheads are in some way 'bad' or even evil. Shockingly, they ran a cover story for their February 10th issue entitled Why Children Lie and used three red-haired children (out of four), photographed looking shameful, as the face of the naughty, deceitful child:
And in the UK it's okay for major television networks to promote the hatred of gingers. Not surprising as the historically self-loathing Britain is home to what must be the densest population of redheads in the world. Here 'PC' still mostly means personal computer. (No offense is meant toward my British friends who are decent, evolved human beings, as this is a generalised cultural truth, as compared to more progressive countries, who in fairness may not be as reformed as we'd thought). I caught a show on SKY called Biggest Celebrity Mingers (minger is Brit slang for an ugly person) and the number one spot went to Prince Harry. The no-name commentator's face contorted into a hideous, gargoylesque mask rendering him worthy of the show's title (if he weren't some anonymous wastrel) when he gave the reason, spitting: 'WELL, HE'S GINGER!!'
Just recently Prince Harry was quoted as saying "I'm not ginger. I'm auburn, that's what I've been told." Don't be such a wuss, Harry, OWN IT! Stand up for yourself and your fellow gingers, or auburns or whatever, and be proud! Honestly. If a prince who has fought on the front lines can't handle it, imagine how an eight year-old kid in Flin Flon, Manitoba feels. Geez.
And for the record, Prince Harry seems to be widely viewed as the more attractive prince stateside (sorry Wills) and is considered to be one of the hottest men in the world by some very popular gossip bloggers (both male and female).
Renowned fashion photographer Tim Walker (my favourite) regularly demonstrates a clear preference for redheads in his choice of models. Hopefully little girls who think they might be at a disadvantage will see themselves in these breathtakingly beautiful shots: