Redheads Are Uncool
Red hair as an indicator that a character is a misfit.


(permanent link) added: 2012-08-01 17:24:37 sponsor: lexicon (last reply: 2012-09-13 15:10:08)

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Young redheads are often portrayed as not fitting in with their social peers because the color stands out and so does the person like a nerdy Red-Headed Stepchild. It probably comes from how gingers look pale and therefore sickly like a bedridden weakling. The person it secluded so she (or he) is more comfortable by herself then with other people. She just lies there in her pajamas and if anyone tries to interact with her she'll passively try to not interact or aggressively drive the person away. In fiction they're more high functioning but basically the same.

They're often gingers, redheads with pale skin and freckles, but not necessarily. She might have intellectual hobbies like reading. Her clothes are probably far from stylish and she likely has minor health problems. She is easily picked on for these things, not necessarily for her hair color, unlike the Red-Headed Stepchild. She also has a tendency to be scared of life like the Shrinking Violet. If she's not then she'll be an uncontrollable Fiery Redhead who gets herself into big trouble. Despite how different she is, she can grow out of it and by the time she matures she can be expected to blossom into a self-assured person who is calm, strong, and elegant. In the mean time she will probably make a loyal friend.

The character might think that it's just her hair color making people look down on her like the Redheaded Stepchild, but if it was a different color she wouldn't be so self conscious and make herself look bad. Dye jobs tend to backfire though. A sign of maturity is fixing up her hair but keeping it red.

The Brainy Brunette can similarly not fit in, but her geeky intelligence gives her a calm confidence that the redhead lacks. Young blondes are Hair of Gold while mature redheads are wanted by heroes.


Examples

  • Twist of My Little Pony shows several stereotypically nerdy traits, such as a curly red mane and tail, pale coat, large, large glasses, and a nasal speech impediment (she has a hard time pronouncing W's and S's). She is the last one in her class to get her cutie mark before the cutie mark crusaders.
  • Willow of Buffy is presented as a bookish nerd with considerable computer skills, dowdily dressed and easily intimidated by more popular girls in school. Willow becomes much more confident in college, finally finding a place that respects her intellect, and to show that, she has embraced the redness of her hair by having dyed it a brighter red.
  • Anne of Green Gables is a very cheerful person, but at times could get very careless and cause mishaps. Her relationships with the people of Avonlea began unusually friendly or openly hostile because they teased her about her red hair, which she hoped would some day darken into a real handsome auburn.
  • Rowling introduces Ron Weasley of the Harry Potter series as "tall, thin and gangling, with freckles, big hands and feet, and a long nose." He is insensitive and immature, feels overshadowed by his older brothers, and feels embarrassed to have to use second hand supplies and wear second hand cloths. On top of all that, he plays chess.
  • 7th Heaven has an episode where Mary's high school friends tease a girl with frizzy red hair for wearing flannel and being fat.
  • Chuckie Finster of Rugrats, danger prone, cowardly, wore glasses that would break from time to time, had a perpetually stuffy nose and was often picked on by other kids. So much so that there were entire episodes devoted to him having an operation that temporarily cleared his nose, him trying to dye his hair black to fit in with the rest of the kids, and his other quirks.
  • In the pilot of Smallville nine year old Lex Luthor is being chastised for being scared and keeping his eyes closed while on the helicopter ride. Once he opens them he gets more scared and needs to use his inhaler because he has an asthma attack. That day the meteor shower caused him to lose all his red hair.
  • As Mallory Pike of The Babysitters Club is the only one in her family with red hair, glasses and braces. Mallory often feels unattractive and an ongoing plot arc of hers was trying to convince her parents to let her spice up her look with contacts, pierced ears, and a new wardrobe. She also feels like her parents treat her like a baby.
  • Trisana Chandler, Tris for short, is a character in Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic series. She has curly red hair (her friend Briar calls her "Coppercurls"), gray eyes, and wears spectacles. She believes herself to be fat and is called "Fatty" a few times by some of the series' crueler characters. Before she learned control over her magic, strange things would happen when she got angry or emotional, such as causing it to hail indoors or to strike lightning nearby.
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