Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Loving Myself

Last night I watched a documentary on television called F*** Off, I'm Ginger! about the discrimination some ginger people face over the colour of their hair. Apparently, it's mostly men with ginger hair who have this problem.

The presenter, Dan Brown, interviewed ginger men and women to get their perspectives. Ginger women are seen as being fiery and attractive, while ginger men are seen as geeky and unattractive. A scientific expert interviewed believed women treat the ginger guy's hair and fair skin as a sign of genetic weakness.

One ginger guy was so fed up with the way he was treated moved to France where he said he was accepted. He finally moved to New York where he met his wife. He hopes to live in America permanently.

Dan set up a meeting with the advertising agency, "Saatchi and Saatchi" to create an ad campaign that would help to change people's perceptions of gingers. They came up with some images which compared successful gingers with non-successful ones.

In the meantime, Dan put two adverts in the lonely hearts section in a national newspaper: one describing himself as a ginger and one without. He had a total of 3 responses. One ginger woman responded to his ginger ad; and two women responded to his other non-ginger ad.

There was one ginger man who turned the argument on its head. He had long ginger hair and he seemed to be very happy. He said his turning point was when he dated the most popular girl in school. He figured that if he could date her then he could date other women.

I've just thought of a good looking ginger bloke - Prince Harry.

As a child I had ginger hair, which is unusual for a black kid growing up in Africa. My hair wasn't as red as white people's hair but it was ginger. My nickname at school was "Ginger." I was very paranoid about my hair colour and did everything I could think of to make it go dark. Over the years it's gone darker. Years ago I decided to embrace my gingerness and started dyeing my hair in paprika, terracotta or red, and I really enjoyed being a ginger. Then I got fed up with it and stopped.

I once had a brief relationship with a ginger (white) guy. He looked like the taller version of Tintin from The Adventures of Tintin books, which I loved reading as a child. He even had the same quiff. I thought he looked adorable. My friend was very paranoid about his looks. I told him I liked him the way he was but he couldn't accept it. After a month we broke up.

The problem with holding on to that mentality that people don't like you because of your hair, skin colour, gender, sexuality etc, you're likely to keep creating experiences that confirm your beliefs. Even when you are loved you are not going to be in a position to accept that love because you're too busy feeling sorry for yourself. My ginger ex-boyfriend mostly dated black women because he believed white women weren't interested in him. The more he believed in his unattractiveness the more unattractive he must have appeared to white women and even to the black women he dated. Oh well, you live and learn.

Back to the documentary, the presenter concluded that it's really about accepting yourself as who you are. Why should it matter what other people think of you? As long as you accept yourself, that's all that matters. I am in total agreement. If someone doesn't want to date you because of the colour of your hair, why worry about it? I would see it as nature's way of weeding out unsuitable partners. Besides, if you're really serious about being in a relationship, you only want one person anyway.

After the documentary was a show called The Underdog Show. A group of celebrities have been paired up with rescue dogs and enrolled in a six-week crash course of doggie disciplines. The format is each week celebrity handlers and their dogs compete in various disciplines and a dog is eliminated until one dog is crowned top dog. Last night, the two dogs with the least votes were put through some disciplines. One of the dogs was called Ginger. Even though Ginger had performed better than the other dog, he was still eliminated. Poor Ginger! I hope Ginger doesn't take it personally.

Life is about being true to myself and honouring all that I am. I don't see my colour as a hindrance nor do I pay any attention to what others think.

I love myself as I am.


Related articles: Me, Mine, My, Myself and I are One; Non-Judgment and Faith; Be the Love You Wish to Experience; Tintin Books I've Now Read; Love Dissolves Grudges; Be Proud of Who You Are