Pi Attitude Zone: Conformity & Stability

Seeing Red and Getting Hairy

It is a sign of humanity’s advancing civilization that society in more and more countries provides legal restraints on the persecution of minorities, whether they be identified by nationality, race, language, skin color or belief system.

But try telling that to people in Britain with red hair.

Your correspondent is one such, (well, was, until his hair turned grey some years ago, and then got eliminated entirely in favor of a full Kojak baldie cut).  But he vividly recalls the epithets heaped scornfully upon him and his kind during childhood. These included Carrot-top, Ronald McDonald, Ginger-snap, Duracell (i.e. “copper-top”, geddit?) … The list went on, and so did the “good-natured” (really?) joshing and abuse.

By contrast, redheads are considered glamorous and slightly exotic in countries like the USA.  This makes their “different-from-the-rest-of-us” reputation and their way of attracting snide comments in Britain all the more peculiar.

The rap for redheads goes well beyond mere appearance. Redheaded people are supposed to have attitudinal issues too, provoking jokes like “What’s the difference between a terrorist and a red-head? Well, at least you can negotiate with a terrorist”.

Could it all be something to do with the high incidence of red hair among the Celtic races? Scots and Irish citizens are often accused of what we’ll politely call belligerence and obduracy….

Small wonder, anyway, that many British redheaded people prefer to refer to their hair-color as “titian”, “auburn” or “strawberry blond”…  anything but “red”.

Zone: Conformity & Stability Country: Multiple Geographies Product – Other