Monday, May 25, 2009

Fear of the Ginger

Why do people fear the ginger, meaning those with red hair? I've heard references to ginger kids or people in a derogatory manner. And I decided to get to the bottom of it. So I did a little "research," which mainly involved reading wikipedia. Also, as a side, I came across this weird site called The Ginger People that sold ginger, and its mascot is a person made of ginger root with a platter of ginger pieces. It would be cute if it wasn't so freaky. But I digress ("per usual," as Tina would say).

The first time I heard of this phenomenon was on South Park. You can watch the full episode called Ginger Kids here. For a class presentation, Cartman delivers a speech spewing hate and prejudice against ginger kids who he describes as pale-faced with red hair and freckles. He says they have no soul and could not survive in the sunlight--like vampires. This speech causes everyone in school to hate the ginger kids. To teach Cartman a lesson, his friends turn him into a ginger kid over night, using skin bleach, hair dye and fake freckle tattoos. Cartman wakes up to find that he has turned into a ginger. Cartman goes to school and is a victim of the prejudice he started. In response to this, Cartman establishes the Ginger Separatist Movement to help the ginger kids. Then he quickly turns Hitler-like calling the ginger the "chosen race." Cartman is cute as a ginger kid...until he turns evil, of course.

So where did this idea come from? Throughout history, red hair was the mark of a savage or signified evil. Red hair and green eyes were thought to be the sign of a witch, werewolf or vampire during the Middle Ages. Recently, the dislike of the ginger is more discrimination than superstition. There is speculation that the dislike of red hair may derive from the historical English sentiment that people of Irish or Celtic background, with a greater prevalence of red hair, were inferior. Fast forward to today, and you have the South Park episode.

So it appears that the present day misunderstanding of the ginger may have roots in history! Or we can just blame South Park. Haha! In any event, leave the poor ginger alone...and don't look directly at them. Just kidding!

5 comments:

Laura said...

Velly interlesting. I think red hair on girls is nice like the old Lindsey Lohan. Seth Green is pretty cute with red hair too.

Tara said...

And also, Julia Roberts. Although I don't think she is a natural red head.

Kim said...

i don't know about evil...but i can tell you that i have a little red head (although not bright red) who can be quite feisty! and i've seen some pretty bratty ones before too...especially little boys.

Tara said...

Hi, Kim!! You have a ginger kid! Haha! According to Cartman, she is a daywalker because she can withstand sunlight. Just a lil' tidbit.

Vanessa said...

Red hair is the rarest hair type.. i actually think they're going to be extinct soon. So whenever I see a redhead, i automatically think it's bottled :oP