This brings me back to the other version of individuality I have felt when it comes to my hair colour and that is the 'being a ginger' individuality. Gingers suffer. They suffer in the sun, they suffer in school and they suffer trying to find pale enough foundation. My hair was bright ginger when I was wee and has dulled down to the aforementioned colour as I have become an adult. I personally did not suffer the ridicule that many do as children and teenagers, probably because it wasn't as bright as some others and also because I have never really cared about my hair, or anyone else's opinion. But. If anyone ever tries to tell me I'm not ginger when I am plainly sporting my natural colour I go booloo. I like being part of that club; I am on the less obvious end of the scale but I still have freckles all over my body, have to wear factor 50, cover up and sit in the shade when it's sunny and have hair that would be coloured-in orange if were ever made into a cartoon. All the hair on my body is ginger, from my head, eyebrows, legs, underarms and pubic hair. In fact, it is the less visible hair that remains bright orange. I love it. I love the colour, I love the fact that I am part of a small section of the population with this shade of hair. I love the freckles on my eyelids and knees. It's part of who I am.
The weird thing about being ginger as a female is that overall we get an easier deal than males of the same species. Being different, unusual and colourful as a man is not as desirable when you are male as when you are female, it seems. Things seem to have changed recently with famous male gingers such as Rupert Grint and Ed Sheeran and projects like the Red Hot 100 which aim to change the image of gingers in society. Of course, part of the teasing that happens occurs purely because kids are mean and anyone different is ridiculed at that age but it is still worse if you're a boy. The reason for that could just be that males of the species very often use teasing, even as adults, to bond with each other and they will find anything to pick on each other for; if you're ginger it's just to easy not to use that.
A downside of being a ginger girl is that it is just another reason for perverts to fetishise you. As if being a woman isn't enough, we have to be classified by hair colour or other parts of our bodies and how big or small they are. Blergh. I have encountered these creeps and I have also heard the phrase 'red heads are best in bed' which just makes me shudder, as if having a red/orange tinged hair means that our personality is affected by a socially constructed idea about what the arbitrarily assigned colour 'red' has. IT'S MADNESS PEOPLE, MADNESS.
So, in short, ginger hair is great, not weird or overly special. Just a hair colour. If the same percentage of people with ginger hair had brown hair then they would have the piss taken out of them too. Except you probably wouldn't call the brown-haired people night-walkers because they wouldn't get burnt just looking at the sun from indoors.