Monday, October 28, 2013

The 5 Most Ridiculous Things People Say To Redheads....Or Their Parents

Do you have a redhead? Can you relate? Does this drive you as bonkers as me? As the mother of 2 redheads, I can't tell you the amount of insane things people have said to me over the years.

 
I will start by saying that I know the overwhelming majority of people who make these comments do not say them to be mean spirited, especially about a child. Red hair is beautiful, different and special.  I totally understand why many people are fascinated by it and feel the need to comment on it.  However, there's something about seeing a redhead that makes many otherwise intelligent people lose their marbles and say the craziest things.

 
Here are the top 5 comments we get on a near daily basis:

1. Where does the red hair come from? 
With all due respect, where do you think it comes from? I mean, aliens didn't come down from Mars and zap their heads with a laser. Red hair is not some kind of nuclear anomaly, it comes from the same place blonde, brown and black hair come from - genetics......or the salon. When you see a brunette, do you immediately jump in and ask, "Where does the brunette hair come from?" Probably not.

2Oh my God, look at that hair!
I'm not joking when I tell you that 8 out of 10 times someone meets either Brendan or Hayden for the first time, rather than looking at them and saying, "Nice to meet you" or "What lovely children", some people think it's completely appropriate to scream out "Look at that hair!" before even saying "Hello." To those of you who do this, unless you would walk up to someone with a blonde or brunette haired child and say, "Oh my God look at that hair!" please don't do it to a redhead.  It's so rude and how do you think it makes the child feel?

3. What an adorable little carrot top!
A woman I don't even know said this to me yesterday at school. I couldn't believe it. We were outside the school and Hayden was walking on the grass. Instead of saying something normal like, "What a sweet little girl," this woman walks out of the school and screams out, "What an adorable little carrot top!" Really? Seriously?

4. Ooooo, I love little ginger kids! 
OMG, don't even get me started. Referring to a redhead as a "ginger" does not have the same cute meaning as referring to a blonde as a "blondie." To those of you who refer to redheads as gingers - please. stop. it.

5. I hear redheads are going to be extinct in the near future.
Excuse me? I can't tell you how many people have said this in front of my children as if they are a different species or something. Redheads are not dinosaurs and they are not going anywhere.

Even the most well intentioned comments often come across wrong and can be hurtful to the child. Yes, red hair is not as common as brunette or blonde, but it is common knowledge that human beings are born with either blonde, brown, black or red hair.

A good rule of thumb, if you wouldn't say it to a blonde or a brunette....please don't say it to a redhead.

If you're a redhead or have a redhead, what's the craziest thing someone has ever said to you?

37 comments :

  1. My husband and I are brunettes and we get "Where did that red hair come from?" about our son ALL THE TIME. Drives me nuts. I also hate, "Well, at least he has a nice color red instead of bright red."

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  2. Hi Katie! Seriously, wouldn't it be amazing if we got a dollar for every time someone said something crazy? People can be so bananas sometimes :)

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  3. My three kids were born with bright copper hair, and after their first summer in the sun (year and a half to two years old), they turned blonde. Their beautiful penny colored hair never returned. I miss it so much! Just followed you on Instagram... your kids are adorable! My oldest is a Brendan also. Can't wait to follow more on your blog!

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    1. Thank you! I'm so excited to finally have the blog up!

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  4. My daughter has the most beautiful red hair. I usually get similar comments you posted above...but the worst is, "does she have a temper to go with that red hair?". How rude! To insinuate that all red heads have tempers is rediculous. My daughter is so easy going and funny. I don't think I can say she has even had a temper-tantrum...unlike the burnette down the street! Lol

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    1. Hi Sheryl! OMG, you are so right about that! We get that line too and I forgot to include it on the list. It is really such a ridiculous thing to say to someone.

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    1. Yes to all of the above! My son started Kindergarten this year. He recently cut his own hair with his Kindergarten scissors. It was so close to his scalp in places that he had to have a crew cut to fix it. It breaks my heart that he felt like he needed to cut it off! (I deleted my comment above because I didn't have a profile yet. So here it is again with my name!)

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    2. Hi Anne! Thank you for sharing. I feel like we're all in the same club or something trying to protect our kids from daily comments about their hair. So completely ridiculous.

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  6. I am a red head (strawberry blonde) and my first son has blonde hair...however my second has the most beautiful RED hair! I love it!!!! They could see it as I was delivering him! Yes I get lots of comments, but I'm used to it I guess, being a red head myself! I like being unique! Buy I do completely hate the whole "ginger" thing...it's terrible and derogatory!

    Hope I have another red head in my future!!!

    All four if your children are just beautiful! :)

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    1. Hi Maureen! Thank you! They're such good kids. I agree, the whole ginger thing just makes me go bananas.

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  7. I am completely in agreement! I am a redhead, gotten all of those, and hated being a redhead as a child because of those things. People STILL ask me where my red hair came from,,, seriously, Jupiter.

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    1. Hi Kimberly! Exactly. We are constantly dumbfounded why people always ask where it comes from.

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    2. I'm a strawberry blonde, so I understand the questions people ask. They want to know from which side of the family the child gets the red hair if the parents are not redheads. I got it from both sides. All of my blood-related aunts were redheads of all varying shades. My sister was (she's gone platinum blonde with age, lol) a lighter strawberry blonde than me. We were never insulted by the comments for half of the time it was followed with, I would love to have your color hair it is just gorgeous. People are envious, so don't let the comments bother you. Red hair is beautiful.

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  8. Yes, I get all those comments. Right now they seem to be genial and not mean spirited. I try to keep in a good mood about it, but sometimes it's hard. Skylar is 3 and has no clue what his hair color is (but the ginger comment really gets on my nerves). I'm hoping down the line he doesn't get bullied for his hair color (which I think is absolutely beautiful) and was my grandmother's color. I feel like I have a piece of her with me when he's with me.

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    1. Hi Nancy! I agree, I don't think most people are mean spirited at all. I just wish they knew how offensive most of these comments are, especially the whole ginger thing.

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  9. Hi All. I'm not a red head and I don't have any kids, but I have been wondering about why & how the concept of "RED HEADS" or/& "GINGERS" has been associated in some way to being "lower" (like an insult). Does the term "ginger" seem more offensive because of that association to something "less than" or/& is it the sound of the word or/& association to the concept of the ginger plant that is the trigger?

    l'm curious because I've been working on a way to show how hierarchical systems work in within language. And what you do you all think is the original ORIGIN of this strange disconnect based simply on this specific hair color? Thanks! :)

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  11. • And if any of you feel like expressing more, here are more questions:

    How come "CARROT TOP" was offensive, Liza? Association to a vegetable? OR/& the comedian? Something else? (How funny to call some other parent's kid a "CHOCOLATE TOP" or something random based purely on color? ~ :)

    And how do you all personally rank "COPPER TOP" as well?

    In other words, which words do y'all find most offensive / neutral / and COMPLIMENTARY based on everyone's collective posts?

    [Typos fixed ☺]

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  12. I grew up not really resembling my parents or sister, so I heard plenty of curious but inappropriate questions like "Are they real sisters?" or "Where did that one come from?" or "Are you adopted?" No, no, I'm not, yes, we're 'real' sisters, and I look like my grandmother, okay? So I feel your pain!

    That said, I think when people ask "where does it come from?" they expect to hear something like, "Oh my mom has red hair" because I think they grasp that obviously there was a gene for red hair somewhere in your family, but you and your husband clearly don't have red hair. In your case, because your mother is so famous and has such lovely dark hair and dark eyes, perhaps people are even more surprised that you have two children with red hair and thus feel the need to ask?

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    1. I was thinking that too. I think people are naturally curious. Maybe they are expecting an answer like "oh my brother was a redhead" or "It runs in the family, Irish blood" or something like that

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    2. Good heavens. People take offense at the weirdest things these days when so many truly horrific offenses go unnoticed or unremarked on.

      Of course people are fascinated red hair. It's unusual & beautiful. I've always wished I had it. (Did you know that all three of America's most eminent women poets - Emily Dickinson, Elinor Wylie, and Edna St. V. Millay - were redheads?) If you'll relax & take it as the compliment it is virtually always intended to be, your daughter will too.

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  13. Maybe society requires some GENETICS LESSONS and COMMUNICATING LESSON reminders in more media. (Though I suppose the concepts are there in other ways, generally speaking.) Well, this is a great start and people on the internet are finding it!! One of my Grandma's had red hair, so I must have this gene in me too ~ :)

    ✰ "21 REASONS RED HEADS ARE #AWESOMING" ~ http://www.buzzfeed.com/erinlarosa/reasons-why-being-a-redhead-is-awesome
    ~ #RedHead #RedHeads ☼ ❤ ♫ ~ :D

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  14. When I was little the kids bullied me & called me redheaded woodpecker, or asked if I was left out in the rain & got rusty.

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  15. Ok so I know this post is a little old, but I seen this and couldn't stop laughing. I myself am a readhead, and I mean the deep bright red! My brothers both had blonde hair growing up, now they have a light brown hair color. My parent both have brown hair also. When I was growing up I heard all of those as well. My mom use to say just smile and be polite! Lol needless to say I often did feel like an alien

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  16. I have red hair and my sister is blonde. Recently she had a beautiful redheaded baby girl. While at a party, some of our cousins said to her, "awww...it may change." Meaning don't worry, it may not stay red. My sister and I could hardly believe they said that out loud and funniest part is, they said it where I could hear!

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  17. Actually, as a towhead I got this all the time, it IS something people just walk up to blondes and say as well.

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  18. I don't understand. What do you think "ginger" means?

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  19. This reminds me of when I was little. I don't have red hair but I have freckles. Very noticable freckles. Many compared me to Punky Brewster growing up. I would get "Look at those freckles!" and "Where did you get those freckles" and I would even get adults telling me how I could remove freckles (like they were warts or pimples) I was very self conscious of my freckles because of that. I heard everything from "if you wash your face with the morning dew it will get rid of your freckles" and "they make creams to fade freckles" in front of me to my mom. It got to the point that I resented being called punky brewster. Even when people tried to be nice about and say "you know where freckles come from angel kisses (or fairy kisses was another version)" It took me a long time to feel comfortable with my freckles but now I can't imagine not having them. I'll be honest I think it made more confident all the comments I got. I had something special, something that not everyone has. I hope that will be how your children think, it makes them interesting.

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  20. I don't have red hair but I get the where did your hair come from question a lot. My mom is a very dark brunette and my dad has auburn hair. I am a blonde. I don't dye it. It is natural. I have two uncles with red hair and they are always called carrot top. One of my uncle says the he is not but wishes he was as funny as him.

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  21. My youngest daughter has Auburn hair...my two older children have dark brown hair....I get the where did it come from questions all the time....As for most outrageous thing someone said to me....well they asked me if I dyed her hair that color (and she was only 2 at the time)...are you serious?!?!

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  22. I have ginger hair (what exactly is wrong with calling it ginger?)
    and I get all of these constantly, also got "are you worried your kid will be too?" when I was pregnant.. err, no?

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  23. My husband has black hair, I'm dark brown haired (though I was a strawberry blonde child), my oldest daughter has the same as me - also poker straight hair like mine. My youngest has curly blonde hair and we get asked where it comes from. My most insulting comment (in my early teens) was really quite vile - being asked if 'the collar and cuffs' matched...!

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  24. As a red head, my biggest pet peeve is that we all must be related, right? See 2 or more red heads in the vicinity of one another and I guarantee you most of the people around them will assume they are related. If they don't think they are related that's most likely because they didn't see them at the same time and assumed they were the same person...we all look alike.

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  25. My kids don't have red hair but I've heard my fair share of comments that made me cringe time after time. My oldest daughter had Shirley Temple hair when she was younger. It was naturally that corkscrew curl and it was gorgeous. I had people come up to her all the time and ask me if I curled it. Yeah lady, I wake up every single morning and put my kid in curlers....the same kid who will barely lets me come near it with a brush! She's heard the Shirley Temple comparisons so much that she started going "yeah yeah, I know" whenever it was mentioned. I had to scold her for being rude but secretly I wanted to say the same thing. LOL

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  26. Ms. Huber, I stumbled upon your blog by happy accident. After reading your posts about your two adorable red headed children, Brendan and Hayden, I can understand your frustration about people being blindly insensitive at times with their comments. Maybe these insensitive people's either were absent or were not listening in middle school science class, when the explanations were taught. It's not like you are going to carry a family tree around with pictures, just for their benefit. Okay enough silliness. You have beautiful, healthy looking children. It is so sad that in these days and times, that adults have to open children up to these "life' lessons so early. I for one apologize for them. Okay one more solution before I sign off. You can have t-shirts made with a family diagram that contains photos of any and all red headed relatives. Like the kind they used to used to show who was related to whom on the soap operas like All My Children. :) Have a Blessed Day! Sabrina Foster

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  27. I recently wrote a post about having redheaded children and the misconceptions we face -http://ambertackles.com/motherhood-misconceptions/

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