Thursday, 27 March 2014

Throwback Thursday: Being Ginger

I'm sure that many of us had things we struggled to accept about ourselves growing up and inevitably these were always the things that the kids at school would notice and laugh about.

Growing up ginger is not fun, with only 2% of the world's population having red hair, you are the prime target for bullies.   Kids love picking on people who are different.

As a child my ginger hair frustrated me.   Mostly because being shy it made it harder to blend into the background and I felt I wasn't able to wear red or pink because it "clashed" with my hair (very annoying in the 90s when I wanted to support Man Utd and couldn't wear the home shirt).





































Anyone else thinking I'm pretty brave for including such a horrendous 90s school photo?  It's good to have a smile at dodgy old photos.

As a kid with red hair getting insulted is pretty much a daily occurrence, not only at school but also by complete strangers in the street.  I remember someone I'd never met before once just shouting "GING-A" at me from across the road.  As a shy and awkward teenager that was pretty mortifying.

One of my favourite insults was whilst at Sixth Form when, complaining to a "friend" about my ginger hair, she reassured me by telling me "your hair is beautiful, but I wouldn't want it".   Erm ... thanks?!

Looking back now a lot of this bullying was harmless, kids messing about and not realising how horrible they were being.  What I find harder to understand is adults doing it, especially in the media.  Laughing at someone else's expense over something that they can't control just seems very mean to me. I wish people would stop and maybe think about the hurt they could be causing.  

When Girls Aloud first appeared on the scene Nicola Roberts, only 16 at the time, was bullied for being a "moody ginger bitch".   This poor girl who was still a kid was made to hate herself and spent the next few years desperately dying her hair and covering herself in fake tan to hide herself and fit in.  I love that she has now accepted herself the way that she is and has spoken out so strongly to young girls who suffer with their self image.   She has grown into a beautiful and confident young woman.

Like Nicola, the cruel words from others made me hate my red hair, and as soon as I got into my 20s I started colouring it.  Firstly I went really dark just so I could wear lots of pink and red and then a few years later decided to try out blonde.

I'm very happy to say that now I've hit my 30s I've finally accepted my hair and have grown to love it.  For the first time in years I'm not colouring it and am living my life ginger and proud.  It's fantastic to have hair that's different to everyone else, it's the kind of colour that so many ladies desperately try to recreate but unfortunately for them it doesn't come in a bottle.

I can now appreciate how beautiful red hair is, it changes colour depending on the time of year and when it catches the sun it truly becomes something very special. 

I was made to feel unattractive for such a long time but my boyfriend has fancied red heads for years and has really helped me realise how pretty my hair is.  Ask him to name his favourite famous ladies and many of them have red hair.     I don't blame him, there are some beautiful red heads in the media - Felicia Day, Isla Fisher, Deborah Ann Woll, Amy Adams, Christina Hendricks and of course Nicola Roberts ... just some of the ladies flying the flag for red heads and teaching young girls that being ginger can be fabulous.

The biggest fan of my hair will always be my wonderful Grandma who stroked my hair at Christmas and told me how happy she was that it's back ... and I think we all know that Grandmas are very wise and always right!

29 comments:

  1. I love this post! I think Ginger hair is beautiful and I can't believe how against it people can be.....I'd rather be ginger than go blonde!!!

    B x

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    1. Thank you :) My Mum always used to tell her they were just jealous, hard to believe at the time but now I think definitely true!

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  2. Great post. Young people will always pick on anything am that makes you standout. It could be anything young people can be cruel. I am pleased that you have fallen in love with your beautiful hair. It is a shame that we all take so long to love the things that make us who we are and not clones. Lucy x

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    1. I am actually very lucky cos I didn't really have it that bad I know people who had it so so much worse so I'm thankful for that :)

      Age is a wonderful thing eh :D I can't imagine life without my lovely hair now x

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  3. Great post. There is so much discrimination against ginger hair. I've hears it referred to as gingerism and likened to racism and it's true, it's unacceptable to insult someone about their skin colour so why should hair colour be any different?! I'm not a natural red head but I have been dying my hair red fir the last 5 years and I've actually wanted red hair since I was a little girl, my mum is a natural red head as are many members of her family and i always wanted red hair like her and like my great aunty Joan who was the most glamorous woman I had ever known. The little mermaid made me want red hair even more. We are not sure what colour hair Sophie is going to have and we would both love it to be red (my husband has always said he wants a little girl with red hair) but at the same time I don't want her to have to deal with any discrimination. Your hair is a beautiful colour and I gave to sit with henna on my hair for hours to recreate something similar.

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    1. Thank you! I have had similar thoughts myself, it's frowned upon to hurl abuse at someone because of the colour of their skin, why is it different when it comes to hair colour?

      I'm hoping that one day I have a little girl with red hair, although I'm sure it'll end up full circle, she'll hate it and I'll be saying to her all the things that my Mum said to me!

      x

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  4. What a fabulous post! I really enjoyed reading it (even though at times it was heartbreaking). I give you huge props for the 90's photo. I don't know that I have that kind of bravery yet. I hesitate to even include current pictures of myself in my blog and am only now getting to be mildly comfortable with it. Your hair and YOU are gorgeous! ROCK STAR!

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    1. Thank you! I'm hoping that everyone's old school photos are as hideous as mine .. the days before hair straighteners and tidy eyebrows! x

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  5. I'm a new follower, just wanted to say hi! Kids can be so cruel sometimes, I'm glad you are embracing your hair colour now because it is beautiful!

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    1. Thank you very much, and thanks for reading :) x

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  6. Kids can be brutal but your hair is absolutely beautiful! So glad you've embraced it being in just 2% of all the people is pretty damn cool!
    M x Life Outside London

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    1. Thank you :) I think as a kid being unique is awful, but as an adult you realise it's pretty bloody cool ;)

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  7. I'm a red head too and a lot of what you say rings true - I hated my hair in school - was never really bullied but was called ginger a lot and like you you certainly aren't made to feel attractive. I used to highlight my hair to make it blonde.

    When I turned 19 (and found GHD's) is when my mindset changed and now I absolutely adore my hair and he's I think it is beautiful!

    My 3 children have red hair and there are two other families in our school with red hair (one has 7 children) so it is not uncommon for them. I have not noticedor heard of any 'ginger' name calling and do wonder if maybe this sort of thing is starting to die out?

    Great blog post xx

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    1. I think GHDs so have a lot to do with my accepting my hair as well, definitely! It's pretty frizzy so frizzy ginger hair wasn't a great look .. hurray for straighteners!

      I'm so glad to hear that your kids don't have similar problems, hopefully picking on kids with red hair is a thing of the past!

      I'm sure I shall probably have little red heads of my own one day, my Dad has five girls and three of us are red heads so there's a strong gene there! x

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  8. Brilliant post Chloe! And your hair is so beautiful, glad you have embraced it! xx

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  9. I've secretly always wanted ginger hair- I think it's a wonderful colour although I always remember the girl with ginger hair in my year having the same issues as you.

    Also .... I had the same high school tie as you ... which sounds creepy lol, if you grew up in a small town in East Yorkshire, then it's a small world!

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    1. Ha! Weird! No, I originate from Norfolk x

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  10. You're beautiful Chloe and thank you for a post that's so personal. It's really good to get to know a blogger better when you read about someone's past and deep feelings. We all have things we're sensitive about; at school I had a frizzy mushroom bob and buck teeth! Thank good for getting older, growing into our looks and developing a style that works for yourself!! I'm so much happier in my 30's than I was when I was younger!!
    Lots of love,
    Angie
    SilverSpoon London

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    1. Thank you :) Yes, I was always told that your 30s are amazing and the best years of your life, and so far I have to agree x

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  11. Grandmas and supportive boyfriends/husbands are the best! I love your hair! People put down what is foreign to them and it stems from ignorance.
    I personally LOVE red hair. I used to dye my hair red during my 20s. I've since just let my natural hair grow out. but red is always my go to. Beautiful!

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    1. Thank you :) I've been to some other countries where I get so much attention because of my hair, other cultures think that red hair is beautiful .. just hope that one day Britain gets on board! x

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  12. Awww love that school photo!! :) I think you're really lucky to have red hair, it's nice to be a bit different :) If I had a nice natural colour I wouldn't dye mine but it's an awful mousey light brown colour :( x

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    1. HA! It's funny isn't it?! I still can't believe I put it on my blog!

      I definitely do feel lucky to have red hair now, it just took me a while to get there x

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  13. Lovely post, very brave and personal, yet, should be a lesson not to judge people on hair colour.. but, that's like asking for word peace, right!?
    For 3 years, in secondary school, I actually dyed my hair Auburn. I loved it and didn't get picked on much actually.. my gymnastic friends actually nicknamed me carrot, which didn't bother me.
    A know a few ginger haired ladies, and like yourself, most have hit an age where they are embarcing their colour.. and so you should! :)

    Ccaroline.x
    notesfromcaroline.com

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    1. That's the silly thing, people who colour their hair auburn don't get picked on ... daft!

      Thank you x

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  14. I have ginger hair but I really love it. I think it's quite unusual so people often comment on it. Sometimes in a derogatory way but mostly people like it. I love that during the year it's constantly changing colour and lightening in the sun. I have so many different colours and highlights in my hair. The hairdressers always love it because other people pay lots for the hair we have naturally so we should embrace it!
    Kate xx
    http://appreciatetheday45.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I love mine now too :) Someone actually complemented me on my hair today at work, and I gave them the biggest smile and said thank you .. something I never would have done a few years ago!

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  15. LOVE, LOVE. LOVE! Grew up with curly red hair and hated it! All the old ladies telling me "oh people would pay a lot for your hair!" Made me cringe..... Finally the last few years I stopped highlighting it and let it go natural and I LOVE it!

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