Ginger Awareness

Afton Cy, Reporter

While being a redhead is actually a rare, beautiful feature, many redheads or “gingers” are often the target of jokes and scrutiny.

Brian Goudreau, a teacher at West High School for 28 years, gets his red hair from his father who had the same kind of hair as him. As Goudreau gets older his red hair has started to fade and he said, “the most common question I get asked being a ginger is, ‘are you a ginger?’” In fact Goudreau didn’t even know what the term ginger meant until a few years back.

Clarice Ruhlin-Hicks, a junior at West, also has a natural ginger flow, along with her sister Camille Ruhlin-Hicks. Clarice’s favorite part about being a ginger is “that it’s so unique.” Unlike Goudreau, Clarice feels like she has a natural bond with other gingers. She said, “When I see them, I’m just… drawn to them.”

Gingers are often the butt of jokes, such as that they steal souls. Most gingers would disagree, but Clarice embraces it. She says, “it gets a little cold sometimes but I’ve been living like this for 16 years I’m used to it by now.” Just like her sister Clarice, Camille loves being a ginger. If she dyed her hair another color she would just change it to another shade of ginger-ness. Her favorite part about being ginger is, “there is a bond between her and other gingers.” The worst thing anyone has said to her because of her red hair is that she is a “spawn of Satan.”

Hannah Bousselaire, a 17-year-old senior at West, loves being ginger. She gets her fiery red hair from her birth mom. Bousselaire jokes, “I would tell you how many souls I have taken but its too many.” Bousselaire, standing at 4’10” and having bright red hair, says the most common question she gets asked is, “are you a leprechaun?” Bousselaire does a good job laughing off those jokes and adds that she believes it is ever rare to “see a ginger with eyebrows.”

Being ginger is unique and it’s a privilege. According to The Guardian, less than two percent of the United States and the world has natural red hair and Scotland has the highest percentage with only 13 percent of residents sporting red hair. Red-haired people usually have pale skin. In the 1400’s most people believed that redheads were the devils spawn or they were accused of witchcraft so they would be sentenced to death, according to a study from the University of Chicago.

Most people say having red hair is a curse, that gingers are souless, and have bad tempers, but the people at West embrace it. They have a bond that connects them and it can never be broken. Nobody understands except gingers, they are the two percent.