Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stop with the ginger shaming. A PMS Inspired rant.

Sometimes, when I get PMS, I go on these rants, and have arguments with people in my head before I have it with them...
Sometimes I write it down.


When my daughter was born, I required a caesarean section after a complicated pregnancy. All I wanted to hear from the medical staff as I lay on the operating table, shielded by blue sheets to prevent me seeing my insides, was that my baby was OK. I didn’t care at all what gender she was, what she looked like, whose eyes she would have or if she had hair, how big she would be or even if she had to go to the nursery for a bit. I just wanted to hear that baby squeal and for the medical staff delivering her to say the magic words that their concerns were unfounded and my baby was OK.

I heard those words, and I will be forever grateful that I did, but I received those words after I heard the words, “Wow, a red head! Look at all that red hair!”

My tiny little girl at just 5lb, 2 oz., was indeed a red head. The first thing I saw, before I knew if she was a boy or a girl, was the largest crop  of wet, curly red  ringlets I had ever seen on a newborn baby. Ringlets that were stuck all over her head in perfect red circles, and then they whisked her away.

Soon that red hair was washed and dried, and puffed out from her head like bright red plumes of smoke. So remarkable was her hair that everywhere we went, comments were made. The words used were all positive, “What beautiful red curls! What I would pay for a hair colour like that! I hope she never dyes that hair!”

Our little girl grew so used to people commenting on her hair, that if she were introduced to someone, and they didn’t make a comment about it, she would run her hands through her hair and say, “Did you see my hair?”

It bothered me greatly that my little girl was so used to people meeting her and making a comment on her appearance that she noticed if they didn’t.  Even though most of the comments were positive, it still bugged me.

As she grew older, she started hearing things like, Gingers have no soul. She has been called a Ranga, a Ginger, been told to stay out of the sun or she’ll end up an awful freckly type of red head, Ronald MacDonald, Blood nut, Fanta head.. I am going to stop here.

One awful woman while we were out shopping pointed at her and said to another woman that was with her, “Look, a Weasley!” Followed by a hideous cackle.. 

Now.. I also happened to take in this woman’s physical appearance, her nose was very large and snout like,  I certainly would not have ever made a remark about her physical appearance, or perhaps even noticed it at all had she not been so ugly on the inside. Man, nothing peppers my peen hole, more that people being awful to my children.

What I WANTED to do is point back at the woman. I wanted to say loudly, “Look at that big ugly woman with a nose like a pig!”

I wanted to ask if she was happy about people pointing at her and making comments about her physical appearance.

I wanted to follow her, head bobbing and finger snapping all over the place, To tell her that I hoped she made a comment about the wrong persons physical appearance one day, and that someone broke her awful nose so that Medicare would fix it for her.

You know… because my inner bogan, will. Just. Not. Go. Away, no matter how much I pretend it’s not there.

I didn't though, because my daughter was with me, and I want to teach her to rise above people like this with her fabulous-ness and grace. I want her to understand that people say these kinds of things because they are miserable with themselves and therefore, are miserable enough. 

Also she is five, and she couldn't care less yet, what people say. I want it to stay like that for as long as possible.

Last time I checked, making hurtful comments based on someone’s physical appearance was against the law. Yes, I know.. So is threatening to break someone’s nose in the car park of Coles, but whatever.

I know most of the jibes made at redheads, are made in good fun but it doesn’t make it OK.

My little girl should be able to go anywhere and do anything she likes without people feeling the need to comment about her physical attributes, she is just a child, and had absolutely no say in the colour of the hair she was born with, making her feel inadequate because of it is not acceptable.. We all need to stop pretending this is OK.

In summary..Get rooted.

I’ll also have you know, that now I have had this fight in my head, I will not hesitate to have it with anyone. Loudly, and publicly.. because I have much less regard for how I appear in the eyes of others than I should..

If I ever hear anyone make a derogatory comment about the physical appearance of any of my children, In fact if I happen to hear  a derogatory comment about the appearance, race, gender, sexuality or ability of ANYONE and it’s within my earshot. .. I will let you have it, or quite possibly,  depending on my mood, or time of month, I may just run- ya –down,  with -mah- car.
*Head bobble, *finger snap. Mmmmm Hmmmm.

Let’s never speak of it again.

Completing in a 30 day blog challenge.


bodyandfeetretreat said...

Some people have no idea and no matter what you say to them they still won't get it. I hope she embraces the colour of her hair and tells anyone who is nasty about it to get stuffed !
Have a great day !

Emmas Brain said...

People can be such Aholes. I hope she embraces her hair too. Have a beautiful day. Xx

Emmas Brain said...

People can be such Aholes. I hope she embraces her hair too. Have a beautiful day! Xx

Naomi Tsvirko said...

As a redhead who has had to endure this my entire childhood - I thank you for this post :)

Emmas Brain said...

You're very welcome. X

Lisa Lintern said...

Some people are like this about my 5yo daughter's name. Her name is Siofra pronounced Shee-fra. It's an Irish name. My daughter was born in Ireland, her father is Irish so really, her name makes total sense from where we're standing. It's Irish for 'little fairy', so I personally love it (and so does she because she thinks it makes her a real fairy). We knew it would be an issue when we moved back to Australia but we also counted on people understanding that the world is a big place and that not everyone sports an anglo name like 'john or mary'. And most people don't react...but you always get the odd idiot who declares (in front of her) "Why did you give her a name like that!?"...and that makes me want to hurt people too... Oh, and as for red heads. I'm married to one. And I can tell you that those people with aversions to red heads are really missing out... :)

Emmas Brain said...

I think Siofra is a beautiful name. We copped a little of the same with Andie's name, because heaven forbid, we have two boys then a girl. People have said to me, "You finally had a girl and you went and gave her a boys name!" Gah! It makes me want to kick everyone in the dick. Xx

Mumabulous said...

Nicole Kidman, Isla Fischer, Julienne Moore, Christina Hendricks. Red hair is the most beautiful physical trait a person can have.

river said...

Gingers have no soul??
Where the heck does that come from?
Silliest thing I ever heard. I know lots of redheads, they all have souls.
And they are all lovely people in character and looks.

Mummyfried said...

I love this post. It's brilliant. As a child growing up in a country town in Australia, I was teased for my big brown eyes and Greek name. I shortened my name because people wouldn't try to pronounce my full name. I rarely responded to comments but wish somebody had taught me a simple polite but clever retort..of course it's still too close to the bone for me to think of one even now! 'Wow, you really don't see the beauty in individualism do you?'; or 'Wow, did anyone ever tell you that you are rude?' My girls have traditional Greek names and both have big brown eyes. I pray they don't get the same treatment. If I were with you and decided to speak up, I got your corner.

Claire said...

I'm a redhead too. By far the most offensive comments are sly and subtle digs and enquiries as to whether or not I might have red public hair also. Or, hilariously, does the carpet match the curtains.

Claire said...

Pubic not public!

Emmas Brain said...

Gah! What's with that!? Who goes around asking what colour your pubes are!? It's just ridiculous. :( x

Emmas Brain said...

I have no idea, but it makes me sad that my little girl hears things like that. X

Emmas Brain said...

Exactly! X

Emmas Brain said...

When I was a little girl, I wanted a beautiful exotic name so badly. I hated my plain name. But man.. Kids are mean!! I got your corner too babe. We can finger snap all the jerks together ;) x

Sara-May Monaghan said...

I'm a redhead and so is my daughter. When she was born, a midwife actually gave me her condolences that my daughter was born with red hair... Can you imagine saying that to someone who has *just* given birth? I could have ripped her head off right then and there.

Now my baby girl is starting school next week, and I just hope she has a few more years of believing she is gorgeous and has beautiful hair before bullies start beating that self belief out of her.

Emmas Brain said...

Far out.. I can not imagine what I would have done if the midwife had have said that to me!?! That is DISGUSTING!! My little red head is starting school too. I worry about her getting bullied all the time :/ at the moment she is so proud of her red hair, I really hope that doesn't change. :( huge hugs xx

jheni mor said...

Ahh the inner bogan. I call it " mummy kyrptonite" cause when someone threatens my child it does not matter that ive been reading " Pride and Predjudice" frive minutes before. I will mummy -kick the crap outta you. I think its a throw back from the cave-man era.. at least - thats what I tell myself. I wasnt as well behaed as you though. I witnessed a 10 year old attemot to push my 2.5 year old off a moving swing set. Well. Im sorry to say it but if that little shit didnt know those words before that day - he sure as hell known them now as do his parents. Violence may not be the answer but a well time C*^t did the trick!! I think it comes down to jealousy and people needing to comment on features which distinguish others from everyone else. Society on a whole is screwed, you know this right? xx

Jen I said...

When my kids were younger (and even sometimes now), I'd be out with them, and people would stop me in the street to tell me how beautiful their skin was. What lovely brown skin they have. What a lovely complexion. And then look at me as if they were expecting an explanation for it. Or as if they were continuing the sentence in their heads with, "obviously not from you, with your blotchy pale skin". I know their "complisult" (compliment and insult at the same time) is just their version of a polite way to try and figure out why my kids don't match me. And after answering "yes, their father is Japanese" for the hundredth time I got sick of it and would just say, "yes, thanks, they're very lucky". And the person making the comment would either continue their rudeness by asking where they got it from (not me), or asking if they were adopted (even more of an insult that they thought I couldn't even play a part in producing these beautiful children), or just umming and ahhing because I hadn't answered their statement which was obviously meant to be a question. In the playground kids call them Chinese one week and next week say their tans are like Abos. I find myself constantly reassuring my children that it's fine to have darker skin and in fact it's a super bonus and will save them tons on spray tans and reduce their risk of skin cancer. But I do tire of being stopped in the street and interrogated about how I managed to get two beautifully olive skinned children without having such skin myself.

Emmas Brain said...

Man, I guess it's certainly not limited to red heads. People can be such jerks. Xx