Wednesday, September 21, 2011


A tinge of the ginge.

Tim Minchin says that only a ginger can call another ginger, ginger so as a card-carrying life-long member of the ginge brigade I am completely qualified to write this blog.

There’s been a bit of talk around the cyberhood about redheads this week, so I thought I’d be utterly original and join in.

I don’t quite know when the redheaded renaissance began. If, in fact, we were ever fashionable to begin with.

Perhaps it was due to Nicole Kidman in BMX Bandits, before she sold out to Hollywood and bleached her freckles and hair to smithereens.

What about Molly Ringwald. Now there’s a redhead to be proud of.
Breakfast Club anyone?

Maybe it goes all the way back to Anne Boleyn. She was after all a wife of the King. 
Never mind that her beheading was popular sport one sunny afternoon, we haven’t forgotten her have we?

I grew up in a small country town and attended an even smaller public school where the only other redheads were my brothers.
I don’t know if it affected them, but I still recall the pain of people calling me
Carrot top
Bluey – which seriously made no sense to me as a child.
Fanta Pants – which now makes me chuckle but back then was a torment worse than forgetting your sports uniform on Friday.

And as a teenager
Fire crotch (which honestly, took me a while to work out, but then again I am known for my naïveté and puberty was a little late to hit)

And most recently

I’m not sure you should be allowed to dye your hair red as an adult. It doesn’t seem fair that you get to do it when it’s cool and accepted.
You should have to suffer. Endure a decade or so of schoolyard bullying.

The redheaded ridicule has once more come to a head (pardon the pun) because apparently Denmark, home to the world’s largest sperm bank, is no longer accepting redheaded sperm due to a lack of demand.
How rude.

I however, have some insider knowledge on that exact sperm bank, as it helped grow the delightful daughter of some dear family friends of ours.

According to them, the bank is very definite on matching sperm as closely as is reasonably possible to the mother/s involved.
And lets be honest, how many Europeans would actually be authentic redheads. Maybe a few Italians (unless my childhood language teacher was lying to us all) but who has ever seen a Norwegian redhead. Or a lederhosen wearing ginger.
It just doesn’t happen.

I think in fact, that the sperm bank is acting in the interests of the unmade children.  Performing a pre-conception civic duty if you will.

The only retort my mother would ever let me utter to those mean little kids was that old gem sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me, which was a complete lie because the words did hurt, and I wasn’t interested in testing the theory by being hit with a stone or stick either.

These days I’ve dealt with my pain, it’s made me a stronger individual, just as that other cliché my mum used to throw my way whatever doesn’t break you makes you stronger predicted.

These days I prefer to refer to this elite group of individuals as blondes with heart and brunettes with personality.

And as I gaze at my daughter and note the tinge of ginge in her few strands of hair, I wonder if that’s just the response I’ll be telling her to say in years to come.


  1. As the sister of two 'rude reds' I have heard it all before! The thing that strikes me as odd with the sperm bank rejecting reds is that redheadedness is a recessive gene.

    You actually need reds on both sides of the family to produce reds, so if the donor is 'otherwise suitable' and you, as the Mum, have no reds to call your own, you really shouldn't be able to produce a red head with your red headed sperm donor! Does that make sense at all?

    Complete discrimination based on ignorance. Very un-Norweigan.

    Cool post x

  2. thanks lady, yes well, those Scandinavians don't see much sun...xx!


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