Saturday, 27 April 2013

What made Goldilocks different from the 3 bears…



To explain my blog post's title, this blog is about my hair. Like Goldilocks and the 3 bears, my hair stood out from the crowd, as did Goldilock's seeing as her hair was golden and wasn't fur. From the moment I was born (literally) I have had people commenting on my hair. The reason for that is because it is red. Fortunately none of them were/are nasty comments. I suppose I have been really lucky in that sense - unlike some other red heads I never got taunted in the playground or bullied as I swam my way through high school.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some snide little remarks here and there but nothing that I couldn’t brush off and move on from. Obviously we are not the majority but rather the minority of the population, making us unique, whether the ‘haters’ like it or not.
   After reading a fact about red heads in NOW magazine, I decided to do some light research on my ‘red head’ origins, (dating back further than my Dad who also shares my fiery hair) and some general facts about us! Here’s what I found;



ORIGINS

Recessive genes - The biological reasoning (most complicated) behind the cause of ginger pigment is that it is caused by a recessive gene. This is caused by a series of mutations in the melanocortin 1 receptor which is located in the 16th chromosome. (Basically red hair is caused by genetic mutations). 
Celtic descent - While researching I learnt a little about my ancient family tree. On my Dad's side there are Irish roots, which would explain the red hair! Commonly known as having Celtic origins (Scotland and Ireland). 

FACTS

We’re fighters Due to our traditionally pale complexions we permit more sunlight into our skin. This results in more vitamin D intake than those with the average hair colour. Vitamin D prevents a disease known as rickets (bone deformity) and also protects against lung disease.
♥ Grey hairs? I don't think so! - Everyone dreads the day that their hair turns grey and although at 16 years of age I'm not thinking that far ahead, it's nice to know that that day will never come for me. A known fact is that red heads/ginger hair does NOT turn grey with old age! Instead the hair will turn a light blonde colour which may/may not turn into a white tone. 
 We're among the 1-2% of the population - Only 1-2% of the population in the entire world is actually a redhead! 


Surprisingly there wasn't a lot of information to be found on red heads but the stuff that I did find was either way too biological for my understanding or listed above! However I did come across some other information..
  I came across some terms that are used about gingers, such as 'gingerism'. 'Gingerism' is basically the term used for racism towards gingers. Another term that is used is 'Gingerphobia', the fear of gingers. I'm a bit loss for words as to what to think about these two terms. For one, I don't think either of them should exist. I'll start with gingerism. 
  Gingerism has always existed, dating back to when we were classed as 'witches' or 'unclean' offspring, we have always been associated with some sort of prejudice... What's different in the world today? Fortunately the horrific practices that went on a few hundred years ago towards gingers have been abolished, but racism still exists today and it still exists towards gingers. Like I mentioned above, I have been fortunate enough to avoid the school taunting. I've had some comments along the way, mostly from boys trying to impress their mates with their pathetic humour when I was younger, but honestly I can't say that it ever affected me that much. I've always been proud to be a 'ginger'. I was born this way, and in my opinion, ginger is a perfectly acceptable hair colour, as is brunette, blonde, black etc.
  When I read about 'gingerphobia' I though that it was a joke. I felt concerned for the people on this world who suffer from 'gingerphobia'.. What a terrible phobia that must be. Poor them. Sucks that they'll never be able to be my mate.  
  As I've grown older I've had even fewer negative comments and an increase in positive comments. I've had strangers in shops come up to me and compliment my hair colour. My most recent compliment was when I was buying a cake in a local bakery and a woman turned around and asked me what hair dye I used because she wanted my colour! 
  So to all you red heads reading this post (the 1-2% of you), be proud of being different. There will always be some jealous person who will try and knock down your confidence but my message to you is.. Be happy that you're unique because that's what made Goldilocks different from the 3 bears... 





Sources of information -  http://www.eupedia.com/genetics/origins_of_red_hair.shtml
http://facts.randomhistory.com/redhead-facts.html

PS: Did you know my blog has been SHORTLISTED in COMPANY magazine's Style Blogger Awards 2013? To vote for my blog click here
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