I Was Bullied for Having Red Hair

I was standing in the lunch line when I heard it. Someone behind me said “ginger” in a low voice, and then some kids burst out laughing. I turned around to see some older boys I didn’t know. “Look at the freckles…ginger kid…” one whispered to his friend as they all stared at me. Then they laughed even harder. 

Ginger Kid

I ran out of the lunch line, no longer hungry. I was hurt—and confused. What were they talking about? I have red hair, and I’d been called things like “carrot top” and “sunshine red” before, but never a “ginger kid?” What was that?

When I got home, I went straight to my computer and Googled “ginger kid.” I clicked on the first thing that came up: Episode #911 of…South Park? That TV show? I did some more research, and what I found out really upset me. On the show, ginger kids—redheads—are disgusting and dumb. They can’t survive in sunlight and have no souls. 

At school the next day, it seemed like I got teased twice as much as before. I didn’t get it. Isn’t making fun of someone for the color of her hair the same thing as being racist? Why would anyone do that to a nice, friendly girl who had never done anything mean to them?

Did I Have a Soul?

Things got worse. It seemed like practically everyone in my class started calling me a “ginger” or a “ginge.” They told me I had no soul. Boys sang mean songs about me. Some people would even stand in front of me when it was time to go out to recess. “The sun is too dangerous for you,” they’d say. “You’d better not go out unless you want to get fried!” The teachers never realized what was going on, and I never told. I was afraid that might just make things worse.

I started to feel really bad about myself. I’d spend hours crying in my room at night. I truly began to believe that I didn’t have a soul and that nobody could love a ginger. I was convinced everyone was better than I was. My self-esteem sunk to practically nothing. I even lost faith in my family, and I thought they were faking their love for me, the only redhead in the bunch. Everyone hates me! I’d think. Why can’t I have blond hair or brown hair, like my little brother or my parents?

I began to convince myself that I was losing my friends, too. They would tell me over and over again, “Madeleine, we love you! Don’t listen to those bullies!” But somehow I would twist the words up in my head until “Madeleine, we love you” became “Madeleine, we hate you! We can’t believe we used to be friends with a ginger like you!” I was sure they would all leave me and I would never have friends again, unless I dyed my hair and moved to a brand new town.

A Stronger Person

Even though I was so sad, my friends stood by me. Month after month, they stood up for me through all the name-calling and teasing. They made me laugh when I felt like crying. But even though I was so grateful for my friends, school still felt like a nightmare. I think the worst part was that I never knew when someone would start in on me. I felt like there might be someone waiting to tease me around every corner…and why? Just because I had red hair? It was so unfair. My red hair wasn’t something I had control over. I never asked to have it! I was born this way, and I couldn’t do anything about it. For people to make me feel like there was something wrong with me because of it was stupid, I knew, but it still really hurt me.

The end of the school year was coming, and I was feeling totally fed up. I was so tired of feeling bad about myself. I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I decided not to listen to them. That’s when realized I never had to listen to what mean people said. Who were they, some dumb bullies, to change the way I felt about myself? Making me feel insecure and self-conscious was exactly what they wanted, and I wasn’t going to give it to them anymore. This was my life. Why didn’t I listen to my friends and family instead? They were the ones who knew me and loved me. They were the ones who were important.

Proud to Be a Ginger

That was definitely a turning point. Something inside me changed. Before, I’d always tried to ignore the teasing and pretend the bullies weren’t getting to me, but I think they knew how much they upset me. Now I really didn’t care what they said, and it showed. I started standing up for myself without getting upset, or I’d walk away with my head held high. After all, who said being a ginger has to be a bad thing? I’m learning to be proud of it.

The more confident I got, the fewer mean comments I heard. I guess picking on me just stopped being fun. I still get the occasional “Hey, ginge!” or “What’s the ginge doing here?” but I don’t pay attention to them. There’s no reason to. What’s important is for me to be the person I want to be and not let mean, rude people stop me.

As hard as all this was, I feel like it made me a much stronger person. I’ll never let someone make me feel bad about myself like that again. And if you’re being picked on for something—whether it’s red hair or something else—I hope you won’t, either. Be proud of who you are!

Comments

Red hair is super unique and really, really pretty! :) I hate stereotypes like "dumb blond" and "Ginger". They're just plain mean and pointless! Like Madeline from the article said, she didn't have any control over her hair color and the bullies didn't care. I'm glad she was able to get through the situation with her head held high.Never let the bullies keep you from shining like the bright stars you all are, girls!

you are beautiful ( I have always wanted red hair!!!!

Red hair is butiful, don't try to hide it!

I agree to red her is pretty and you should not hide it. I even wish I had red hair!

my hair is dark blond, nothing cool about it. red hair stands out in the crowd,be proud!!!

Love who u r!!!!

never think red hair i bad it is best and love who u r

I AGREE.  

I have always been a blonde! If I could change my hair color, I would make it natrully red!

i totally agree! i have blond hair and i always wished it was red or brown. but remember this, you are beautiful no matter what color your hair or skin is! be proud to have your color hair, because you are perfect just the way you are!

Madleine, don't listen to them.  You just have something in common with me.  My hair isn't red though.  Don't listen to stuff like "carrot top" and "sunshine red".  Just listen to "fiery red".  It is just like flames.  My hair is a golden blond/brown with black highlights and dark brown highlights.  They are natural.

We are all beautiful in our own way as long as we know that it doesn't matter what the world thinks.  To me I don't care if someone is beautiful on the outside it only matters if they are on the inside. People pick on other people because they are insucure themselves. You need to belive in yourself. Like Marilyn Monroe once said "Always, always, always belive in yourself, because if you don't then who will."          

I complely agree with you

I agree! I love red hair, it's unique and really, really pretty!

Thats such a beuatiful story!!! You were absulutley right not to let those bullies dull your sparkle!!! Its acually kind of funny becuase when I was little I wanted soooo desperatly to have red hair!! Dont let any of those bullies get to you! You are who you are and you can never change that!! Be proud to be you!

Red hair is beautiful! I don't know why people think it's a bad thing! Red hair is the rarest hair color IN THE WORLD so be proud to be you! I hate steryotypes like "ginger kid" and "dumb blond" because they are just not true! When I was little, some people at my school were doing a similar thing (i.e: dumb blond) but it wasn't as bad because they were younger kids and weren't as mean. It eventually got worked out and now everything is back to normal. I think it's awesome that you stood up for yourself like that! ~Puppydogluvver  

that is deep!!!

People should not be made fun of becuase of hair color! To any one who has been bulied: Dont worry! I've been bulied lots of times in my life! i know how you feel!! ~ Isabella ~

There are SO many bullies in the world... and at least one in everyone's life. Problems such as yours are really tough to deal with, because you had natural red hair, and that can't be changed. I'm glad that you ignored those bullies, and I hope that many other girls can learn from what you experienced!

you are so right! you should let what people say get to you. even though im almost in 5th grade, i've never dealt with bullies yet, i know that you can let what people say get to you

First of all, teasing for any reason especially about things you can't control is completely wrong, and shouldn't be done. Second of all, I think red hair is the most beautiful color of hair ever! I wish I had it. So all red heads outthere be happy with your beautiful hair!

I love you your so true My BFF Has Red Hair and I think its AWSOMEE!:P Its' cool and RARE I would be so happy. The only reason they were bulling her is because they wish they had it Hahahah :) ~Beauty256

man, I am so inspired! you stood up for yourself to those mean bullies.. and i cant believe someone would say that... red hair is so unique :) :) :) you are such a good role model!

That was a great story! Remember to stand up to bullies. The bullies don't really care how you look. They just want to make you feel bad.

The same thing happens to me sometimes! But a lot of my friends say that they wish they had red hair! Be proud of it! Good job sticking up for yourself and not letting the bullies drag you down!

I totally agree. I have been bullied for my family roots. That didn't stop me. I have also wanted red hair too.

I love your usernames lol. WARRIORS ROCK!

Thanks, i am so in love with warriors.

Warriors are my fave series! My personal favorite is Firestar.

Red hair is extremely beautiful so don't be intimidated by bullies. You should be proud of your unique hair color!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Medeleine, you are so awesome and brave! I could not imagine what to do if I were you! It was so fab that you learned to be proud of who you are!:-) I admire you so much!!! I wish I could meet you in person cause that would be very, very, exciting!!:) Thank you so much for the story! You must have put a lot of effort to write it here, and I just wanted to say that you are one of the AWESOMEST GIRL'S EVER!:)

Girls should be thankful that they even HAVE hair!:):)

LIKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ~Soccer Girl01

Way to go Madeleine!

That's a really awesome story! And it dosnt matter what hair types you have or how you look, everyone is bueatiful in their own way! I have tons of friends who have red hair, and there the most sweetest friends ever! If you are being bullied be strong, and know that you are bueatiful in your own way!

Having Red hair is a gift! Be proud of it! I have red hair and thats what makes me so special! One of my friends call me Ginger, but I love the name! She doesnt mean it in a bad way, she means it in a cool, spunky way. By the way, Madeleine, I have the same name as you! We both have red hair and the same name! COOL!

To girls who have red hair: You are like diamonds in a coal mine. Diamonds are rare, beautiful. So are red haired people. You have an out of this world personality. Your hair color just happens to support the fact that you are original, unique, fun, and beautiful. I would love to have red hair because of the originality that comes with the color. Inside this coal mine called earth, we are all the same. But girls who have red hair are the diamonds shining bright. NEVER feel insecure abouut yourself. There is at least one quality that you have that everyone loves about you. If you have red hair, you are BORN with one of these qualities. Keep shining:)

WOW that is so amazing and inspiring

cherrycolagirl, I love how you wrote your comment! I TOTALLY agree with you. Just love yourself for who you are!! :D best wishes, girlie!!

Thanks girl!!

That means a lot! I'm a redhead, and sometimes I just feel too different. Thank you!

I have red hair, so this is amazing to read. Everyone comments on how they want MY hair, and I'm always like, "Seriously?" I love my hair and I take great pride in it, but I don't really think about it a lot. To me, it's hair. Everyone's hair color is different in some way, how come we all aren't picking on each other? Because it doesn't matter, it's what makes us different.

Wow, Madeline! You are SO strong!! I was bullied when I was younger too. I have a beauty mark (mole) on my face and all the time kids would make fun of me because i was different. Now because I'm older, I've learned to love myself, and my beauty mark makes me unique. By the way, I'm new to Discovery Girls. Can anyone give me a few tips? ~Gerbilloveandcare :)

im so sorry you were made fun of. okay, since you're new, i should introduce myself. this place is really fun and you can make loads of new friends. i would love to be your friend! im helena! i love music, running, hanging out with friends, laughing and writing! cant wait to get to know you more!! :) -helena

Hi! :) Wow, okay, is this THE Helena? The girl in the magazine? :D I would love to be your friend too! Everyone is so nice here!!

I'm sorry you were bullied. And I admire how you think positively of your beauty mark now! So welcome to DG! I'm Serena and I'd love to be your friend! There are lots of awesome and sweet girls here, (just like Helena, the other girl who replied) and you can make tons of new friends! I'll introduce myself too. I like playing clarinet, writing, track, cross country, donuts, laughing with my friends, and reading DG! I hope we can be friends!!

Wow, Madeline! You are SO strong! I was bullied too when I was younger. I was bullied because i look different. I have a beauty mark (mole) on my face, and kids always made fun of me because I looked different. I used to wish I didn't have my beauty mark, but as I got older I realized my beauty mark makes me unique. And I'm new to Discovery Girls, can anyone give me some tips?

Hi! My name is Kate!(: i'm 13 years old!(: Welcome to this awesome and wonderful DG website!!! kids shoudn't make fun of you the way you look, I'm sorry!:( I Also have a mole on my face, so we have something both in commen!(: 

I actually wish I had red hair!

Haha me too!(:

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