Friday, May 13, 2011

The Redhead

Hi, this is... as I'm sure you guessed... Felicity. ;-)

According to Wikipedia, I share my red hair with 1% to 2% of the world's population. (More like 5% to 6% in regions where redheads are more common.) The colour of my hair is caused by a high amount of the pheomelanin pigment and a low amount of the eumelanin pigment. Wikipedia further tells us that, "Red hair appears in people with two copies of a recessive gene on chromosome 16 which causes a mutation in the MC1R protein." 
So basically, my red hair is a scientific fact, and I got it because of my genes. My sisters don't the same two copies of the recessive gene. It's perfectly normal to be a redhead.

You know what, though? A lot of people make assumptions about my personality because of the colour of my hair. People assume I must have a bad temper or get angry a lot. They assume I'm loud and have a sharp tongue. Some people even think I'm more into boys than my sisters are, or that I'm more aggressive and prone to be violent.

I'm not, though. I'm actually the quietest and most patient in my immediate family. I hardly ever get really mad, and when I get annoyed or impatient I often don't even show it. I'm generally very calm, and in fact I'm almost always the one who calms down my sisters and mediates their fights.

It gets annoying when people just assume because of how I look. I guess it's better than medieval times - people might have thought I'm a witch! Still, it makes me sad to be assumed to be troublesome, or to be laughed at for something that isn't even true just because I'm "the ginger."

I know lots of people get stereotyped, and most people who do have it worse than me. I try not to complain about it too much because I know it's not as bad as racism or sexism or homophobia. I just get irritated sometimes (and it's not because I'm a redhead, it's because people are being unfair!) and the blog is here in part for venting, right?

The Ginger Kid in the Family 


  1. Chère Felicity,
    Merci, merci, merci! I love this post so much. It is so true. At my old middle school, there was a new student who was from Germany. We had a fire drill, and I heard him scream, "if this was a real fire, all the redheads would be dead because they're witches!"
    Like you, I definitely don't act like the stereotypical redhead. My sister does...but not because of her hair color! ;)
    P.S. I think Blogger has been down for a few days; I posted yesterday and it was deleted? Then, I wasn't able to log in? I think they may have been doing maintenance work, but still...Blogger has been acting glitchier than normal. I hope the bugs are removed...

  2. Glad you liked the post, Sabine! :-)

    I realize this is kind of criticizing the paint job on the Titanic with this guy's statement, but... wouldn't a witch be LESS likely to die in some random fire? If you had magic, it seems like your chances would improve.

    It definitely seems like people (including that guy) feel free to say rude things to/about redheads that they wouldn't to others. Like we're fair game.

    Sandrine will always be Sandrine, no matter what the colour of her hair. I mean, a certain percentage of ANY group will have a temper, right?

    Regarding Blogger... yeah, it's been weird the last couple of days. We couldn't log in either. We didn't have anything disappear but some of our other friends did if they posted yesterday. Hopefully it's sorted out now!