And yet in a world where discrimination is, rightly, outlawed against hate crimes directed at race, religion, ageism, size-ism (fat shaming) sexual orientation and -this year’s cause du jour, transgendered people- there still seems a lot of prejudice against redheads.
Less than 2% of the world’s population are redheads.
So the relative rarity of them around the globe make them ‘something different’ to a lot of people and gingerism exists as a result, to the extent that there was a Kick-a-Ginger Day (!!!!) on November 20th and its loathsome hate crime -lets call it for what it is- even has its own website.
A ‘joke’ site it may be…but in our world we know that ‘jokes’ are sometimes taken quite literally by some knuckle-dragging nincompoops. It seems it’s one of those areas of looks where people feel they can readily and easily pass remark in a sneering, condescending or even contemptuous way.
I don’t approve of their focusing on the ‘c**ks’ aspect of it. It’s just a rather minor aspect of what makes up, hopefully, an attractive, intelligent redhead.
I’ve long held a slightly different view to redheads, given that I live in a country boasting 13% of its population as natural redheads -Scotland- the highest per capita in the world. Just across the water, in Ireland, 10% of the population are naturally red.
So I’m surrounded by redheads to the extent they’re ‘invisible’ to me. I would never dream of judging someone on hair colour, yet so many do…
No one would dream of shouting ‘Jew!’ at a Jew, or ‘faggot’ at a gay person anymore (well, some do, but as a species I hope most of us are more grown up than in previous, less enlightened generations). So why is it apparently OK to shout ‘ginger!’, in a derogatory manner, at a ginger haired person?
While red hair is offered on every hair for sale in SL, it seems that there’s a relatively rare number of redheads around inworld. Of course, this might merely reflect the avatar driver’s ‘normality’. If you’re choosing a hair in, say, Scandinavia then the likelihood is that you’re going for blond(e). A complete and utter generalisation, I know, but you hopefully get my point. Going ‘auburn’ or ‘ginger’ (or indeed black haired) is not going to be your choice when trying to create an avatar you can identify with and ‘own’. I know I tried blonde when I first entered SL, and that hair’s still lurking in my inventory, even though I’ll never utilise it again in SL. But a blonde ‘me’ didn’t look or feel right. Something closer to my own hair colouring made the Ella avatar feel like I possessed her a bit more.
Time, I think, to celebrate the redheads in RL & in SL offering their own type of sexy and sensual, beautiful and attractive.