things only gingers understand

9 Things only gingers understand

(Or at least, my redheaded female counterparts.)

People telling you that you look tired despite having slept 12 hours the night before.

Nope, not tired. Not even a little. I just have translucent eyelashes and no eyebrows, and my skin is so pale that there are always some remains of a shadow underneath my eyes.

As much as I want full dark eyelashes and skin that isn’t always some varied shade of pink, it’s just not going to happen.

The inexplicable annoyance that sometimes comes over you when you’re referred to as a “ginger.”

Perhaps it’s because the term was created as a sort of slur, but I’d much rather be referred to as a redhead.

Let’s take a look at Urban Dictionary’s definition: “A human, characterised by pale skin, freckles and bright red hair. ‘Gingers’ are generally considered to be inferior to their more melanin-rich brethren, and thus deservingly discriminated against. Gingers are thought to have no souls. The condition, ‘gingervitis’ is genetic and incurable.”

Alright that’s hilarious, but you can see why I hate it. And yes it’s all in light-hearted fun, but boy it certainly didn’t feel that way when I was being teased as a child.

(Yes, I do occasionally refer to myself as ginger. Sometimes it’s just easier.)

When you get your eyebrows penciled in for a wedding/special occasion and the make-up artist thinks it’s a good idea to make you look like a Kardashian.

This happened at my best friend’s wedding, when I was a bridesmaid. I’m okay with eyebrow colouring – I had it done just before I moved to Berlin. (The blessing of light eyebrows is that I rarely need to wax or pluck them.) But THIS make-up artist made my face almost unrecognisable.

redhead with pencilled eyebrows

Admittedly, this doesn’t look all that bad in this photo. But it’s not ME. Get it?

I looked like a trashy hooker. As much as I abhor light eyelashes and eyebrows, I do not want my golden arches to look like they’ve been tattooed there.

Here’s a more normal version of pencilled eyebrows.

redhead with normal eyebrows

Not an engagement photo.

People automatically assuming you’ll identify with anything that’s ginger related.

Just like this blog post, in fact!

I don’t mind people sending me dozens of memes per day. I don’t even mind getting endless invitations to attend redheaded events organised around the world. It’s a big part of my identity, it’s true.

Just keep in mind before you send me something or tag me in something that you’re likely the 50th person to do so that day.

The weird obsession with Anne of Green Gables, or any other red haired celebrity.

Okay, Anne isn’t a celebrity. She’s fictional. But I love her. When I was really young, I started reading the first book in the series and was immediately enraged by Anne’s hatred for her own hair. I actually stopped reading because of it. I’m not even kidding.

But picking up the book 20 years later, I fell in love with her.

It’s the same when you see red haired folks on television. You feel a special kinship with them, despite their make-up artists also thinking that they’d be better suited to look like everyone else in Hollywood with dark eyebrows and unnatural tans.

The odd pride that comes with being a mystical unicorn.

Red hair and blue eyes are the rarest combination in the world? Why, that’s me! You’d be lucky to have me. I’m a rare gem.

People telling me to wear sunscreen and a hat, including strangers. Sometimes on tours.

I’m not sure if they’re aware of this but like, I’ve been ginger my whole life. I’m well conditioned to the fact that five minutes in the sun is enough to turn my already pink skin into a glistening, blistered sheath of cancer.

Yeah, I’m still prone to sunburns. But dudes, I’m nearly 30. I got this.

And, by the way, I do tan. Rather nicely, in fact.

Okay I bronze slightly.

The unbelievable irritation that sweeps over you when someone makes a “gingers have no souls” joke.


Three thumbs up for originality.

Hearing weird superstitions about red hair.

A doctor once told me, as a child, that he didn’t like seeing redheads go into surgery because we tend to bleed so much. This was after scheduling my tonsillectomy.

I never did get my tonsils out.

We’re also apparently crazier and angrier than most normal people. I suppose I’m not doing myself any justice with this post.

Bonus: Not having to shave your legs ever.

I’m fully expecting an onslaught of ginger jokes after this is published. Show me whatchu got. 

  • February 10 2016

    Being called pasty is the worst! Thankfully no one around me has participated in Kick a Ginger Day yet.

    • February 15 2016

      Same, although I’m amazed no one has! Haha.

  • February 11 2016

    All of this, all the time. My blog is as I’m not a full on ginger but with pale skin (and blue eyes too ;) ) freckles, whiter than white eyebrows and lashes I think I’m pretty much there, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
    Rebecca recently posted…My Favourite Road Movies (so far!)

    • February 15 2016

      Hahaha, yes! Redheads unite!

  • February 11 2016

    I am not a full red head… more auburn, but I still get the jokes.. and YES! We DO have souls! :)
    Melanie Messerli recently posted…SHARE THE LOVE

    • February 15 2016


  • February 11 2016

    In the US (at least where I live), being a red head is no different than being a brunette. I actually didn’t know what ‘ginger’ meant when I heard it on a British television show. I had to look it up.

    Being a blonde (in the US at least) you hear the jokes about how dumb blondes, how they don’t know how to do anything, etc. Basically we are dumb Barbies…

    • February 15 2016

      Really?? It’s a term that South Park used a lot, which is why Kick a Ginger Day came about. I hear it all the time in Canada!

  • February 11 2016

    I’ve always loved red hair, which probably stems from my obsession of The Little Mermaid and Anne of Green Gables when I was a kid. In High School (and my early 20s) I dyed my hair red for a time, but red dye fades so quickly (and I’m too low maintenance to keep up dyeing my hair every month), so back to blonde I went. Anyway I think redheads are awesome, no silly ginger jokes from me.

    • February 15 2016

      Red hair dye is soooo hard to maintain. My hair gets really bleached out from the sun when I’m travelling so sometimes I put a little bit of tint back in it (like the cover photo) to restore its real colour. But it washes out quick and doesn’t look great.

    • May 01 2020

      Try using Henna to go ginger. I am a redhead that is quickly approaching 50, and I have started having my red replaced with silver here and there. I tried expensive salons and DIY hair color in a box but it always became dull and faded. Luckily a friend from Morocco turned me on to Henna. I buy it on amazon for around $6 a box which has enough for several applications. It’s the only color that looks natural (exactly the red I was born with) and it never fades or dulls. I just have to touch up the new growth at the roots every couple of months or so. It’s truly amazing stuff, all natural and leaves your hair softer and shiner than ever before. Google it, I promise you’ll never go back to chemicals again.

  • February 12 2016

    All I ever wanted growing up was to be a natural redhead. Dyeing it red faded so fast, it just wasn’t the same.
    I remember when I was 8, getting mad at my mother for the fact that I wasn’t born a red head (little did I know it wasn’t up to her) haha.

    Now I’m dating a red head. No surprise there.
    Brooklyn recently posted…My Productive Day Off

    • February 15 2016

      Hahahaha, awesome! Oddly, I’m not attracted to male redheads. Perhaps I’m prejudice against my own kind?

  • February 13 2016

    Redheads are my favourite people. We have several of them in the family due to my Irish ancestry. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them.

    • February 15 2016

      That’s definitely where I get mine from :)

  • February 13 2016

    No more invitations to red-head events from me. I get the hint. Always enjoy your blogs.

    • February 15 2016

      Hahaha, you weren’t one of the people I was thinking about, actually!

  • February 18 2016

    You don’t have to shave your legs? I am legit jealous. Ps: I spent hundreds of dollars in my 20s to be a redhead. Those locks are stunning. pps: I am back to a brunette because I am too lazy to colour my hair…or shave my legs. I know. I’m a catch.

    • February 26 2016

      Hahahaha. The hairless legs thing is a total plus side of gingerism.

      • April 28 2016

        Wait, what? I’m supposed to have hairless legs? How did I miss out on that little gem, especially since IPL doesn’t work on redheads!

        • May 04 2016

          I thought mine were mostly hairless until I walked the Camino for a month. Yeeeesh.

  • February 28 2016

    I would LOVE to have ginger hair (leg shaving optional being a very fine bonus). I think it’s the most compelling hair colour. Like you, my redheaded husband is not attracted to his own kind. His loss ;) Anyway toss your head, darling and know you rule the world.

    • March 02 2016

      Hahahaha. I wonder why we’re never attracted to our own kind?

  • March 13 2016

    I’m not a red head, my husband is not either. My first born was/is a redhead. No one was more surprised than me. I could not believe it. My next born was a brunette my last born is a redhead.
    It’s a redhead sandwich.
    My brother married a redhead and was surprised he didn’t produce any. Maybe when he has grandchildren.
    My son the oldest has produced two g/sons that are red
    the middle daughter has produced brunettes, the last daughter, the redhead has produced a blonde boy and is prego right now and I bet will be another blonde.
    So I have a family of redheaded g/kids (2) and another set of (2) brunettes, and so far one blonde with potentially another blonde.
    Some have both the genetic abnormality (both have to have it), and some don’t.
    there’s redheads all over both my genes and my husbands. But neither of us.
    Strangely though, while pregnant with my firstborn, my hair bleached out into a nice shade of red over the summer. That should have been a warning.
    My son spent his childhood enraged when anyone made a comment about his beautiful hair.Once my husband toke him to get a hair cut and I got a call from the salon to make sure my husband had my permission. I thought that was funny until he took our daughter to a salon once (her hair was almost to her waist), he made the mistake of buying ice-cream cones for them all then getting into the car with all the windows open and her hair was covered in many flavours. She threw such a fit that he unloaded her into a salon to get it all cut off. I got a call that time too. “are you sure, its really just less taumatic to just wash it for her”…
    No, she insisted that it be cut short right now…, she was tired of all the hair. Then the beautician called me back to ask if I wanted to pick up the pile of locks. It’s been all over my house forever. Why on earth would I want more of it. Sheesh.
    Did you know red hair falls out more
    Did you know red hurts more when released from a ponytail etc.
    Did you know redheads need more medication for pain
    Did you know redheads have more hair and usually it’s thicker strands.
    Did you know that redheads pick on their non readhead sibling….
    and…you know…I don’t follow the theory that redheads and blue eyes are rare….I’ve never seen anything other than redheads with blue eyes.

    Love your blog.

    • March 15 2016

      LOL I love that the hairdresser needed your permission. I don’t feel like my red hair was such an abnormality. My entire father’s family has red hair…people know me immediately because of that, haha.

      And I do believe that redheads lose more hair than others. My roommate gets annoyed when he finds my long strands of hair everywhere, haha.

    • April 06 2020

      I don’t care how your eyebrows looked at the wedding – I woulda danced with you!

  • September 12 2020
    Pam Hapgood

    I stumbled across this while surfing the net. I have Auburn hair. My Paternal Grandmother didn’t like me much due to my hair being red. Never knew why. In my family tree there are 3 of us 1st cousins who have ginger hair. Sorry, I like saying ginger better. I also have hazel eyes, but will turn aqua if I wear that color top. Tanning in my childhood was non existant. As I got into my 40’s & up, I joking say that my Italian heritage finally kicked in. Back to the family tree. My 1st born daughter had blonde hair. She is in her early 40’s & has naturally red highlights. My 2nd daughter had light brown hair & naturally has more red highlights than her sister. Of course I have white eyebrows & eyelashes which drive me crazy. I always wanted brown.

  • November 07 2021

    My youngest son is 7 months old. He came out red headed! But he has beautiful long dark reddish brown eyelashes! Very light eyebrows though. I was so surprised. His father and I have two together, our older son is light brown haired. They are the youngest of 10. (We have a blended family, I had six, he had 2, then we had two together.) None of our other children have red hair. So we got one cute little red head. Since he’s been born I’ve been googling all the info!

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.