OP/ED: Ginger: soooo much more than just a spice
I’ve been toying around with the idea of writing about gingerism for a while now. You know, the awesomeness of being a ginger. I’ve been a ginger my whole life, no kidding. I came into the world with a flaming red melon – none of this strawberry blonde stuff for me. And I didn’t always appreciate being a carrot-top. (By way, to all of you nimrods who called me that in grade school, carrot tops are actually green. Do your research, sheesh!)
Anyway, it took me a while to embrace my natural coloring. I mean, it’s tough being different to begin with and gingers have always had a rough go. We’ve been burned at the stake, called names, and now there is actually something called ‘kick a ginger day’. But I’ve realized that all of the ginger-haters out there are actually just jealous because gingers are just plain incredible. We are like amazing freaks of nature!
Actually, that is kind of true, did you know that red hair is the most recessive hair color and is caused by a genetic mutation? How awesome is THAT?!
I’m like a follicle Spiderman!
So, I thought it should be my job, as a copper-haired columnist, to share some ginger facts and educate the world on just how awesome we are:
· Redheads require up to 20 per cent more anesthesia during surgery. (Scared now, aren’t ya’?);
· We will eventually become extinct. Which means we are kind of like an endangered species and we should be protected, not kicked;
· Our bodies can make more vitamin D at lower sun levels than any other hair color. (which is basically MAGIC!).
Now I’m not going to sugar coat the entire column. There are a few ginger facts that are a little on the more negative side. It’s only fair that I share those as well.
First of all, we are more susceptible to skin cancer – not cool. Therefore, sunscreen is often our best friend.
Second, we have tempers. Now, it took me a while to admit this to myself, but there is really no denying it. It’s not your average temper, though. At first, whatever offense will just slide off of our freckled backs.
“No big deal.” we say. “It’s all good.”
But little do we know that it is planting itself deep inside our soul, lying in wait, festering and boiling with quiet resentment, until one day something triggers it. It could be seeing the person who ticked us off, it could be a stubbed toe, anything minor really. And all of a sudden … HULK SMASH! Yes, it often seems unreasonable, and yes it is terrifying for small children.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
And last but not least, redheads often look sickly and tired, even when we are feeling ultra-healthy and well-rested. Seriously, it’s true. Especially if we’re not wearing make-up. Boy, do I feel sorry for ginger boys. Don’t worry, it’s just our pasty skin, uber-black under-eye circles and glow-in-the-dark eyelashes. You would be amazed at how many times I have the following experience in the supermarket…
I see someone I know rolling down the aisle.
Crap, I’m not wearing mascara.
We start the whole pleasantry thing … then it comes.
“Christine, are you feeling okay? You look kind of tired.”
Now at this point I have two choices: I can tell them that I actually feel great and just got back from an incredibly restful vacation … or I can play along and save their feelings. I usually choose that latter.
I’m nice like that (another ginger trait).
“(Cough, sniffle) Umm, I am feeling a little run down actually,” I usually say.
“Yeah, I thought so. You look really pale. Go get some rest.”
“Yeah, thanks (cough) I will.” JERK!
Now I know about 30 of you are feeling horrible right now and thinking about the time you and I have had this type of interaction.
Don’t worry about it. I’m used to it, and it’s my own fault for going out without some blush.
So there it is. All the ginger facts you’ve been craving. So the next time you see a ginger sitting around magically making tons of vitamin D on a cloudy day, try not to be jealous. Sure, you may not be so kick-ass that you need more anaesthesia than everyone else, or you may not be so special that you are at risk of extinction … but you’re still unique in your own, completely average way.
In fact, feel free to give the lucky ginger a little snuggle, and tell them how special you think they are.
After all, we are practically endangered.
And it’s probably best to stay on our good side.