Judging on appearance is pretty un-PC, so how come redheads get so much time in the stand-up comedy spotlight? Dad Matters columnist Sam Cummins takes up the cause.
Truisms are a funny thing. They’re meant to be a folksy inspiring way of imparting knowledge, you know, “When deeds speak, words fall silent!”
Sometimes they can take a more sinister tone, how scary is this one: “You get the children you deserve”. No thanks, not fair on me or the kids.
Then there’s: “The truth will always out.” Which in my case, it did.
When my beautiful baby boy, my first born, was pulled kicking and screaming into the world, he carried the sins of his Celtic forebears on his head. Recessive genetics, bursting into life. Red.
A head that looks like the result of generations of cross-breeding between buxom rosy-cheeked Scottish farmer’s daughters, and ruddy Irish butcher’s sons. Underneath the red haze a big round face, a blank canvas for the sun to paint freckles on.
He’s a minority. A two percenter. Rare as an Aucklander who doesn’t talk about house prices. God’s great sense of humour, punishing me for one lame joke too many.
The redhead holds a strange place here in Aotearoa. Subject of much ridicule from many. While it may be fetishized in women, the same is not true of men. There is no male Samantha Hayes. Trump will be president long before a real red-headed man reads the news.
So what does life hold for the little redhead? If it goes well, maybe playing the bass in a ska band, or even fleeting fame as a front rower in a rugby league team. Life’s not easy when you have to wear sunscreen inside, but the adversity seems to build character. Some of the best people I know are rangas, excelling at sports, music (think HD Steve from Brick vs Face, as opposed to Ed Sheeran), being good people and getting angry. They seem to get better looking as they age as well – yeah, I see you Dave Dobbyn. They’re easy to spot in a crowd too.
I’m no child-psychologist, but I know letting other people define you by how you look can’t be healthy (Ironic, right? I just spent four paragraphs doing just that.) But I am a pragmatist; the Tropes, jokes and memes aren’t going anywhere. Crying about it isn’t going to help.
It’s your job to give them little bit of hazing at home, toughen em up, and equip them with some burns to reply with – “Whatever man - I can dye my hair, but you’re stuck with that face for life!” Hug a Ginger day? Keep them at home or let the red mist descend and give them a buck for every fight they get in, win draw or lose.
And just remember, "Red Hair – Don’t Care."
Sam Cummins lives in the Bay of Plenty with his wife and three young sons. In his in-law's garage. Which pretty much sums up everything you need to know about him.
Click on the link to read Sam's 'no holds barred' perspective on people-movers, skateparks, and sex after baby.