My Experiences Growing up Ginger

Every Ginger/ Red Head Will Relate 

“Get back in your biscuit tin, ginger… ginger”

How original :/

I can’t really remember the first time someone thought they were hilarious enough to point out the fact that I have ginger hair… I mean, stating the obvious is a far cry away from stand-up comedy – but apparently people were easily amused. It must have been in my first year of high school when the boys discovered their balls and decided they were some sort of comic genius’s, when in reality they were just dickheads in blazers and ties that they couldn’t even do up themselves.

I wanted to do this post as I KNOW people with red/ ginger hair will be able to relate. I wouldn’t consider my experiences growing up ginger as bullying – because I don’t think it’s possible to bully someone with a resting bitch face like mine, try and insult me and I’ll bring up something embarrassing you did 10 years ago in such a monotone, satirical way that you’ll forget one spec of red hair is on my head. I’m also the first person to take the piss out of myself, so when someone else does it I don’t really care. HOWEVER, I know that a lot of people do experience bullying growing up, not only those with ginger hair, but anyone that’s considered different in one way or another. So I wanted to put a light hearted spin on my experiences, to highlight that other people’s opinions literally mean nothing, and that being different is a GOOD thing.

After all, red heads are only 2% of the World’s population 🙂

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Nicknames:

  • Ginger
  • Ginge
  • Red
  • Ginger Nut
  • Carrot Top
  • Copper Top
  • Ginga Ninja
  • Rusty
  • Red Cabbage
  • Freckles
  • Chucky (either Chucky child play or the one from Rugrats)
  • Orangutan
  • Fire Crotch (I’m deadddd at that one, no one’s EVER called me that, but I’ve heard of it before)
  • Firestarter
  • Guar (a ginger that smells of piss and biscuits)

Are you naturally Ginger?

 “Excuse me, is your hair naturally Ginger?”

Erm no, because one day I woke up and thought – you know what I’d love? To wake up and be teased all day for having ginger hair. It’s the way people say it as well… like they are 1. In awe that your hair actually grows ginger, as though they’ve never seen anything like it before or 2. In a slightly disgusted way, but trying to sound interested.

I always wonder what their intention is exactly? One time at an event someone came up to me and said:

‘Me and my friend have a bet on as to whether you are naturally ginger or not?’

Like what was the lead up to you coming up and asking me that? I’d love to have been a fly on the wall in that conversation. ‘Nah, she’s definitely not naturally ginger she doesn’t look like it’.

At the end of the day, you don’t see a brunette or blonde walking down the street and have a compelling urge to know whether their hair is naturally that colour.

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Walking Around School:

The layout of my high school was similar to a University campus, we had separate buildings for each subject, so at the end of each period there would be a mass influx of people walking around from one building to another.

This was peak time rush hour for people to ridicule me instead of addressing me by my actual name. I would sometimes take tallies on the number of times I got name called walking from one lesson to the other because it got that peak. Bearing in mind the gap between lessons was 5/10 minutes max, and most of the time I was only walking about 100m from one building to another. I’d have people shout names across campus at me, walk past me and say ‘alright ginger’, ‘guar’, ‘ginge’ etc. etc…. I must add that the names weren’t meant in an offensive way, most of the time it was just my friends simply saying hello – by chucking an insult my way, as you do.

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I also used to get SPAM’d a lot. Basically a SPAM (not to be confused with the tinned meat), or SPAM-head, is slapping someone with considerable force on the forehead. It’s typically meant for people with large foreheads, or anyone that is an easy target – I fell under the latter. Countless times I’d be innocently walking along and have someone walk past me, shout ‘ginger!!’ and SPAM me on the head. Which is all fun and games until you have to walk into class with a red hand mark imprinted on your forehead.

Blushing:

 One of the many downfalls of having pale skin is that you can go bright red in the face for no reason whatsoever. I would go red at ANYTHING remotely embarrassing, especially when I was young –if a guy even did so much as to speak to me, my whole face would go red. Ffs. People were very quick to pick up on this, and my ‘friends’ went through a phase of singing a round of HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me at the beginning of each assembly. It didn’t take the entire boarding house 5 seconds to catch on. So every morning I would have about 200 people shouting happy birthday to me whilst I sat there red as a tomato dying on the inside.

Some of the guys also went through a phase of slapping me with table tennis bats because it would leave a red mark. Funny.

 

Lookalikes:

People always feel the need to point out famous red head people that I don’t remotely look like, the only thing in common being the fact that I have red hair.

Here are some serial offenders:

  • The Ginger one from Spiderman (Can’t remember her name)
  • Lindsey Lohan / The Kids from Parent Trap
  • Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones
  • Jessica Rabbit (my fav one obviously)
  • Eliza Doolittle
  • Gretchen from Recess
  • Someone said I looked like Holly from Power once and I got in a fight with them -_-

The Unwritten Rule:

 Gingers don’t date other Gingers.

This is an unspoken rule but it is factual. If you think about it, when have you seen a proper ginger couple walking around hand in hand?? It doesn’t happen.

I’m not quite sure of the reasoning behind it, but I know that I’ve turned down people before purely because they are ginger. Bad I know.

Day Walkers:

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So everyone has seen this South Park episode, and they LOVE to remind you of it if you’re ginger. It’s the one where they state that Gingers have no soul… which is maybe why I am a Witch? Who knows.

Anyway, Day Walkers are a very rare. They are not your typical type of red head because they can go out in the sunlight and won’t turn into a crisp, they don’t have pale skin and freckles either.

I’m unfortunately not a Day Walker, I can be in the sun for 10 minutes and get sun burnt. My sister is a day walker however, she has red hair but no freckles and her skin tans. Raging.

Which brings me onto my next point…

Fake Tan Disasters:

Fake tanning when you are a ginger is a high risk operation. Too much fake tan clashes with your hair and you can end up looking like a tangerine.

One thing that really frustrates me, and was particularly bad for me growing up, was peoples need to point out my uneven fake tan, especially on my hands.

Omg look at your hands Ellie!!”

Funnily enough, because I use my hands for nearly everything and they are in front of my face, I’ve actually already noticed this fact… so why, three hours later in the middle of the class in front of everyone, do you think it’s a good idea to point out the fact the I have orange palms. OBVIOUSLY I’M NOT BLIND, I have two eyes on my face to acknowledge this long before you.

In addition… no matter how many times you point out that my hands are orange it won’t stop me from tanning because I tan for one reason and one reason only… to not be pale. So please, just allow pointing out the obvious.

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To conclude, despite the rollercoaster ride that I have endured growing up being Ginger, I’ve survived. I can’t say my experiences have been the same as everyone else’s, I know a lot of people are victims of bullying and really struggle with coping. With this post I just wanted to highlight that if you are going through something similar/ have been through something similar, just know that more times than not people are only saying stuff to you out of their own insecurities. As you get older you realise how insignificant the opinions of those people who teased you growing up are.

I’ve said this many times before, having Red Hair really is unique and should be embraced. Why would you want to look the same as everyone else anyway?

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I would love to hear your experiences and answer any questions, so please do get in contact with me!

Ciao for now – Elz, the Witch.

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