I, like two percent of the world's population, am a redhead. I also have freckles. But despite 140million people on the planet having one or the other - or both - to some people it's still completely acceptable to see this as something inadequate. A weakness. Ugly, even. Or, according to the latest Match.com ads, an "imperfection".
Ginger. Aaaaargh! It is a term I have loathed for most of my life, since it became clear to me the stigma attached to the label. It is now arguably one of the words I most use in my life. What a turnaround. I decided to use it in my blog name, in an attempt to grasp my USP, and perhaps to finally, once and for all, embrace the millstone it has become around my neck.
It's international Redhead Days festival in the Netherlands next month and as a ranga myself (to use a slightly insulting-but-hilarious Aussie term) I think it only apt to comment on this clearly special event, created for the clearly special amongst us (apparently we make up just 1% of the world's population - most of whom are probably in Scotland).
Whether they choose to embrace it or not, redheads will be called 'ginger' at some point in their lives (or lots of points in their lives, more likely). Copper, auburn, chestnut-red, golden, strawberry blonde; it doesn't matter. They all come under the same umbrella. You are a ginger. But you are also a redhead.
What's in a mane? It's been said that blondes have more fun; that redheads are fiery and feisty (loathsome word though that is, applicable only to women who have opinions); that brunettes are serious and hardworking; that women with black hair are untameable and carefree (given the rarity and ethnic profile of the black-haired woman, that's a stereotype that merits a longer discussion on race).