Here in the UK, if you have ginger hair, you learn at an early age, to approach strangers gingerly.
Until they’re confronted with a head of glowing copper or titian locks, their faces don’t show whether they are gingerphiles, gingerthropes, or cringing gingerphobes.
Few folk are ginger-indifferent, so some try to knock the gingers down, deflate them, break their self esteem; and they often succeed.
Not many people know that I’m ginger, since the brightness faded away many years ago, leaving only hints of it between the blonde. So you could accuse me of being a ginger in disguise — although that would be unfair, since I don’t deliberately hide my ginger status.
Do my blonde tresses make me acceptable to the gingerthropes of the world, or would they consider me subversive for hiding my true colours? Should I dye my hair to reveal the truth about myself, even though by doing so I would be lying about the current condition of my hair?
And why should anyone care, anyway?
Gingerphile – my word for someone who loves ginger hair.
Gingerthrope – my word for someone who hates ginger hair.
Gingerphobe – my word for someone who is afraid of ginger hair.
©Jane Paterson Basil