Monday, 13 February 2012

A Ranty Pants Red Head Post!

I am a proud red head. In fact, if I was to nominate my favorite feature, it would be my long red hair! I was delighted when two of my children were born with a great shock of the stuff…my eldest daughter was born with a bright red Mohawk!. I feel happy, proud and honored when a passersby on my blog, or in real life tells me how lovely their hair is…

…but it wasn’t always this way. During my childhood and early teenage years, I would have given anything NOT to have red hair. I was teased mercilessly because of it. I was called a red-headed chook and an orange carrot top. I was convinced nobody wanted to be my friend because I had red hair.

Fast forward to my adult years and I wouldn’t have it any other way…. I still don’t like the word ‘orange’ J…..But I have learnt to appreciate my hair colour! My hair has been the subject of some often hilarious pick-up lines (….yes…red ones do go faster, by the way….and yes I am a REAL red-head!) and I leant that sometimes what makes you different also makes you stand out in a crowd and remembered. Now,  I would never change my hair color!

Me and my hair at a a soccer game


However, there are two things yet that I have not reconciled with being a red head. The first is the term 

‘Ranger’.

Ranger is derived from the orangutan, a large, orange tree dwelling ape. Honestly, would you like to be called a name after a hairy primate? I have to admit that I just don’t like the term. Maybe it is the sound of the word. ‘Ranger’ can be almost thrown, or spat out of a persons mouth if it is used in a derogatory way.

I dislike this word when used to describe me or my children. I also don’t like it used to describe the current Prime Minister of Australia. Regardless of ones political beliefs or persuasions, I think it is a low act to simply bring a person down based on their appearance. I can’t believe that it is socially acceptable to do this!

My friends teenage niece is intelligent and beautiful, and she also has red hair. This girl has taken a different approach and  taken ownership of the word ‘Ranger’. She makes a joke of it and describes herself as ‘everyone’s favorite ranger’. She uses the term ranger to sign off on her emails and facebook posts. Although I am proud and a little envious of the way she has taken ownership or the word, I worry that such a beautiful an intelligent girls defines herself simply by her red hair….because surly this is not how other people see us…just our red hair??? …or is it??

This brings me to the second part of being a red-head that bothers me. That is the propensity of non-redheads to think that all people with red hair look alike. You would be amazed at how many people have said

  “…..There is someone from my home town/school/ mothers group with red hair and she looks just like you! Do you have a sister there???...”

If there is a red-haired child on a TV commercial my children even get asked if they have been on TV!

I do realise that I, and the other people mentioned share red hair and a similar pale complexion. I also realise that most of us are probably not lacking in the freckles department! However red heads, like other people, have different facial features and different personalities. We are not all related. We are individuals.

 Red-heads should not be defined, grouped and stereotyped  simply by the color of their hair but, just like everybody else, what is on the inside…our personalities.

I would love to hear what you think of the term ‘Ranger’? If you are a red head, or have children with red hair, do you like being referred to a ranger….or do you ever get told you look just like somebody’s mothers cousin, who also has red hair?? 

OK rant over now….I feel so much better!!

I am joining in with Jess from Diary of a SAHM who has also written a great post about hair (!!) (great minds obviously think alike!) for  the wonderful Tuesday link-up  #IBOT (I blog on Tuesday) Come and read what others have blogged today!



27 comments:

  1. I am a loud and proud redhead! The term "ranger" doesn't really bother me but I completely understand how it could be used and taken offensively.
    All my children have the hue, but Roo is the most red of them all. In our house we prefer the term "ginger", because it's a nicer word than "orange" and not quite "red".
    The worst thing I was ever called was:
    "Red headed rat rooter"
    which even at the age of eight I was aware was rather ironic, because it was a redheaded boy that yelled it at me across the playground!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment! I love the term 'ginger' I think I might start using it in our house as well!. Luckily, I think times have changed a little, and kids are a little more accepting of diversity. My kids haven't really been teased at school like I was...yet!

      Delete
  2. Myself and my oldest have ginger tones in our hair. We're not full on red heads, but it's pretty obvious that we are of the ginger persuasion. I think Strawberry blonde and auburn are the proper colours that you'd call us, though we do have the typical translucent skin that comes with it, too. I was never teased though, a lover of hairdye from an early age no one knew what my natural colour was! I'm not fussed by the term Ranger though, and it could be worse. In the UK they call red heads Ginger Mingers. Minge being the name for, ahem, ladybits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bee! You're right! It could definitely be worse!!

      Delete
  3. Thanks so much for your lovely comment! I love the term 'ginger' I think I might start using it in our house as well!. Luckily, I think times have changed a little, and kids are a little more accepting of diversity. My kids haven't really been teased at school like I was...yet!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dont like the term 'Ranger', I discourage my kids from using it too...why...use such silly names!! My redhead friend prefers the 'strawberry blonde' label for her hair color...I bet you dont have any visible grey hair...that has to be a bonus, hate the greys...but only on me :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jen! I admit that there are no greys...it is going paler with age though!

      Delete
  5. I can imagine the way it would probably annoy you - same as Blondes being sterotyped as dumb. I personally adore red hair and when I was younger I used to have my hair dyed a gorgeous strawberry blonde. :) Glad you wear it proud! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sonia for understanding! I guess it annoys me mostly because I don't want my kids teased in the same way I was....so far so good!

      Delete
  6. One of my best mates at school was (and still is) a curly redhead, and it suite him so much! I have never thought anything of red heads really. I didn't even know of the term ranger unto
    Julia Gillard.
    I think my mum always wanted red hair. My gran apparently had it, and she would often comment on the red in my hair (where?) when I was in the sun. I guess I've always considered it an honour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jess! I love my red hair now too and I love how you describe it as an honor! I just don't really like the term 'ranger'.

      Delete
  7. What stunning hair it is.
    You should be proud.
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love red hair and so does my boyfriend... sadly neither of us have it!

    i can't believe people can be so stupid as to presume all redheaded people must be related!! How annoying!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Laura for your supportive comment!

      Delete
  9. Im a Proud red head too! I was teased constantly as a kid about it, it took a long time to learn to love it but I do now and wish I had a red headed kiddo! I dont mind the term Ranger, I can see how it can be but I try not to let thing like that effect me anymore.. i get called a ginger ninja (no idea why cept it rhymes) and I hate being called orange as well- lol!!

    I am constantly told I look like nicole kidman, christina hendricks (dont mind that one heehee) or the chick out of that 70s show.. just because you have the same hair colour it does not make you look like someone lol!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Sarah, thank you so much for commenting! I'm so glad that you understand!!

      Delete
  10. Both my mother and mother-in-law are red-heads so I was hoping that one of our children would be too. The most beautiful little girl I ever saw (as a preschooler, I taught her Sunday school) had gorgeous long red hair and porcelain skin. Our kids all had ginger tones as babies, but the eldest two have darkened with age, and the youngest is beginning to go darker too. Sad.

    Funny with the 'ranga' term that the people who use it most tend to be red-heads (at least in my circles). I didn't realise the origin of it - that does make it offensive really!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can't believe people have said some of those things to you or others. How disrespectful! And like lots of people, I pay good money to get red tones into my hair. You are lucky to have it naturally! xo

    ReplyDelete
  12. I don't really like Ranger because I've only heard it used in a negative way. But love the idea of owning it and taking control of the name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Marita...the idea of owning the name and taking control is starting to grow on me too :)

      Delete
  13. Love a red head! I have two red headed cherubs, wouldn't have it any other way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nat! and your cherubs are absolutely gorgeous!!

      Delete
  14. I understand a little as I get the 'dumb blonde' label from family at times. I would hate the therm 'rangar'. And for the record- I most emphatically do not think all red heads look the same!:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Robyn! I bet the 'dumb blonde' thing gets old really, really quickly!!

      Delete
  15. I'm with you! As a fellow redhead, I HATE "ranger"! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    ReplyDelete