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Ask a Redhead: Why Do Redheads Get Bullied And What Can I Do?

We have some daily affirmations for you to turn to anytime you're having a hard day

redhead bullying

Every week, we put out a call for your redhead questions. This gives you a chance to get advice or input from our team of redheads. From beauty and fashion to lifestyle, redheads are in a unique boat, and we want to help make this community a place where you can turn for all your redhead needs. 

This week we’re covering a topic that is (unfortunately) a common redhead experience: bullying, teasing, and name-calling. Redheads from Facebook and Instagram had questions about this theme, so we’ve picked a few to touch on here.

“What is the origin of redhead bullying? Like when did ‘carrot top, no soul’ start?” 

You may have heard of a term called “othering”, which, according to Very Well Mind, is “a phenomenon in which some individuals or groups are defined and labeled as not fitting in within the norms of a social group. It is an effect that influences how people perceive and treat those who are viewed as being part of the in-group versus those who are seen as being part of the out-group.”

Redheads are rare, making up less than 2% of the population. The “othering” of redheads has existed for centuries. In ancient Greece, redheads were thought to become vampires when they died, and redheads were accused of witchcraft in many places around the world. In more modern times, redheads have been targeted for their hair hair color for harassment and violence. The ultra-popular South Park episode “Ginger Kids” that aired in 2005 may have been the modern-day tipping point for openly harassing and bullying redheads

“As a redhead, how do you feel better about yourself even with all the ginger jokes?”

It can be hard to feel put down and joked about all the time, but the best thing redheads can do is rise above it. If you’re being joked about by someone you know, let them know it bothers you. Saying something might make them realize it’s not a joke. The people in your life who truly care for you don’t want you to feel bad, and if they persist, they aren’t a good addition to your life. We know jokes don’t always come from people you know — they also come from TV, music, and movies, and especially from social media. You might not be able to stop these outside comments, but you can know that you’re unique, you’re special and you have a whole H2BAR redhead community behind you who love and support you just the way you are.

“What words of wisdom or experience do you try to share with the younger crowds of redheads? As in dealing with bullying and so forth. I’ve always tried to share my life experiences and reiterate how beautiful we as redheads are.”

While redhead bullying and teasing can happen at any age, it’s most prominent among children and young adults. This means that older redheads have an opportunity to help create a support system and show young redheads that it does get better. For many young redheads, having role models and seeing what life is like outside of their bullying bubble is a game changer. So, be an active part of your community, be a supportive part of the redhead community, and help pave the way for a better redhead experience for generations to come. 

Always know that dealing with bullying can be tough, especially when it targets something as personal as your appearance. Here are some tips and advice for younger redheads:

1. Stay Confident: Remember that your red hair is unique and beautiful. Embrace your individuality and let your confidence shine through.

2. Seek Support: Talk to trusted adults such as parents, teachers, or school counselors about the bullying. They can provide support and help address the situation.

3. Find Allies: Surround yourself with friends who appreciate you for who you are. Having a supportive group can make a big difference.

4. Use Humor: Sometimes, deflecting mean comments with humor can diffuse the situation and show bullies that their words don’t affect you.

5. Educate Others: Some bullying comes from ignorance. If you feel comfortable, educate your peers about red hair and how common it is worldwide.

6. Develop Coping Strategies: Find healthy ways to cope with bullying, such as engaging in hobbies, sports, or creative activities that you enjoy.

7. Stay Safe Online: If bullying extends to social media, block the bullies and report the behavior to the platform. Talk to an adult about any online harassment.

8. Know Your Worth: Remember that bullying says more about the bully than it does about you. Their behavior is a reflection of their insecurities.

9. Practice Self-care: Take care of yourself by eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest. Taking care of your body can help you feel stronger emotionally.

10. Seek Professional Help if Needed: If the bullying is severely affecting your mental health, consider speaking with a therapist or counselor who can help you develop strategies to cope.

Red hair is a rare and beautiful trait that sets you apart in a positive way. Embrace it and don’t let bullies dim your shine.

Want your redhead question answered? Find us @howtobearedhead on Instagram and Facebook and look for the Ask a Redhead question box.

Rock it like a Redhead! 


READ: Redheads Speak On Being Bullied (Or Not). Were You?

READ: 10 Comebacks If You’re Ever Bullied About Your Red Hair

READ: Ask a Redhead: How Can I Be Confident + Love My Red Hair?