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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Gingers do have souls

    Last weekend, notoriously noted as “Halloweekend,” I couldn’t help but notice a trend in costumes. Alongside the slew of police officer costumes and animal ears paired with sleazy apparel, were plenty of “gingers.” People actually painted their hair an unsettling color of red, paled out their faces and ornamented themselves with brown marker freckles. I’ve never really analyzed this stereotype, but I kept seeing these creepy photos pop up online. What on earth is up with people’s fixation of hating on redheads? Perhaps I’m the only one who doesn’t understand what the deal is with this ginger stereotype.

    The ginger stereotype has been prominent for centuries. In medieval times, redheads were thought to be emblems of sexual desire — but not in a good way. It was more of a homewrecker stereotype. It was also noted that red-haired people had temper problems and fiery personalities. In some cultures, people believed that people with red hair and green eyes were witches.

    The stereotype softened in Elizabethan times in England, only because the queen herself was a ginger. Red hair swiftly became fashionable, and it was portrayed in various paintings and artworks. However, the modern stereotype of red-haired people is different. Gingers are yet again mocked — we’ve all heard the whole “gingers don’t have a soul” phenomena.

    Now I’ll be honest, I don’t know anyone who literally hates gingers. I do know a huge portion of my acquaintances constantly mock them and always makes the excuse “It’s because they’re a ginger.” Someone enlighten me how your hair color contributes to your personality flaws. Last time I checked, the genetics that define complexion doesn’t factor into one’s character traits. I could be wrong here, but I’m sure that the hue of your hair is not directly linked to your soul. Gingers are becoming the new dumb blondes of this generation.

    This is nothing more than society’s passive aggressive attempt to single out a minority with different aesthetic attributes than the norm. You no doubt hear this ginger reference constantly, yet you’ll hardly hear someone point out how ridiculous this whole stereotype is. Everyone seems to just go with it, rather than trump up an answer for why.

    Of course, nobody wants to be “that guy” who stands up for the underdog, and typically when these references are used, it’s in a totally joking way. Perhaps you might say, it’s better for people to stereotype and mock because of something silly like hair color, rather than marginalizing someone for their skin color.

    Is it really any better to make fun of someone’s hair color instead of their skin color? They’re both uncontrollable physical features. Even still, the large part of people mocking gingers are in fact making fun of their skin complexion as well, so really you can’t say they’re not mocking them for their skin color too.

    It’s essentially the same thing: taking physical appearances and directly attributing them to a reason to be disliked and mocked. This fixation on making fun of gingers needs to fade away.

    — Ashley Reid is a journalism sophomore. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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