Friday, 17 October 2008

The death of gingervitis

Today, la wonderful Belette Rouge blogger inspired me to write about the plight of ginger kids with her post about the colour orange. For many years, adults have sung the praises of my fiery mane and made me promise 'to never, ever die your hair some crazy colour when your hormones start rendering you temporarily insane'. Yet, simultaneously my peers continually teased me, although of course I knew along that 'they're just jealous of your pre-Raphaelite style curls, honey'.

So when I came across the International Ginger Kids Foundation, I was inspired to write a speech about it for an oral assignment at school. And today, when I read La Belette Rouge's post, I went in search of the IGFK's website: I was surprised to find that it was no longer in existence. Here is the IGFK's bebo page, which gives you some sort of idea about the site's content.

I have mixed feelings about the death of the Ginger Kids website. Whilst it was certainly a useful source, perhaps now the death of the website means the death of the disease. Maybe now we can all be finally free to embrace the orange. Anyway, here are some excerpts from my top-grade-speech:

According to the IGFK, or the International Ginger Kids Foundation, Gingervitis is a serious hereditary disease, of which the main symptom is having red hair. Those suffering from Gingervitis have no souls, and if bitten by a Ginger Kid, it says on the IGFK website, the victim must ‘immediately wash the wound with soap and water, apply alcohol or peroxide if available and call their local poison control for assistance’


One example of the aim to undermine the confidence of redheads everywhere. is the name given to the so-called disease, of which red hair is the main symptom; Gingervitis. On the surface it may seem harmless, but there are negative connotations to this word. When I originally spoke out about my dislike for the IGFK and the disease of ‘Gingervitis’, I was presented with some very surprised expressions, which I could not understand. One particularly honest friend explained this to me later; asking why on earth I felt so passionately about gum disease. I realised that everyone thought I was referring to Gingivitis, a condition where the gums become inflamed due to plaque build up. This infuriated me further; it seems unnecessarily malicious to have such a close similarity between the terms for a hair colour and a gum disease.


It is unknown who exactly started off this subtle campaign against red hair, but this is not a matter of importance. The important question which plagues the minds of all redheads is; why? The answer, I feel, lies in the following statistic, taken from the research for a home hair dye kit:

‘Of the women who choose to dye their hair at home, the most choose to become redheads’

Therein lies the answer; it’s envy.


  1. Envy is the only possible reason/cause/rationale.

    Mr.OM is a redhead. All my best friends have been redheads. What's MY problem?


    I loved your composition.

  2. Thank you!
    Your childhood picture does have a little bit of the strawberry blonde about it...

  3. How VERY bizarre! Who would go to so much trouble to stir up hatred for redheads? It's so WEIRD!

  4. I love you taking up the cause and I totally agree that it is envy. Also, I could not agree more that it is absolutely envy that motivates such antipathy. Congrats to you for standing up for gingers everywhere.
    Love this post and so glad I inspired you to share it with us!!