By: Annajo Terrill
Redheads should love October for many reasons–the changing weather, the fall color palette, pumpkin-spice everything–but along with these ‘Redhead-Friendly’ fall features, October is also Anti-Bullying Month.
Although I’ve finally reached an age where most of the comments about my red hair are positive ones, as a teacher I still see firsthand the bullying that occurs among children simply because someone looks different.
Redhead bullying is something many of us experienced throughout our adolescence. Maybe it was name-calling, off-color jokes, isolation from classmates, or even physical harm, but whatever the magnitude, it’s never easy being a victim of bullying.
For one mother of a redheaded toddler in Queensland, an Australian state covering the continent’s northeast, enough was enough.
Melissa Giret’s son, Roman, was born with fiery red hair, and even at his young age of 21 months, she has noticed him receiving negative attention. While at daycare, she overheard some children laughing at him and saying his hair looked funny. This came as a shock to her, because all of the adults who had commented on Roman’s hair only had positive things to say.
Giret immediately began to worry about Roman’s future in school, knowing that bullying is a common occurrence. She wanted him to feel good about himself and his hair color, so she began looking for children’s books with redheaded protagonists.
When her search came up with very few results, it inspired her to pen one herself. The result is Roman Has Red Hair — a still-in-the-works self-published book.
Giret told Daily Mail, “I wanted to write something that I could read to Roman before bed with beautiful colored pictures that made him feel great about himself.” Roman Has Red Hair tells the story of a little boy with red hair. Like most redhead kids, he doesn’t like his hair; so he wears a hat to cover it up, but eventually Roman discovers the benefits of red hair, like being camouflaged in the autumn leaves, and grows to love it.
To me, the book sounds reminiscent of Julianne Moore’s Freckleface Strawberry series, which features a young redhead who is learning to embrace her differences and love the skin she’s in.
It is a welcomed change to see children’s literature branching out in such a way.
Giret plans to self-publish her book and is raising funds now to do so. She has currently raised $1,700 of her $2,900 goal. To read more about the Giret’s story or to contribute to the cause, you can visit her Go Fund Me site here.
Like Roman, Rock it like a Redhead!