Monday, August 23, 2010

"I don't find redheaded men attractive."

"I don't find redheaded men attractive."

A blogger who I was actually a fan of casually threw that into her twitter stream the other day and, while it certainly wasn't her intention, it made me pretty mad.

Yes, I took it personally - because I'm redheaded and I spent the first two decades of my life hearing people say things like that. But just because I took it personally doesn't mean it's also a pretty shitty thing to write.

Hey, don't get me wrong. I know that we're all attracted to different physical types - I'll admit I've got a soft spot for Italian/Jewish looking women, prim and proper brunettes and fit-but-fat blonds.

But I don't think I've ever said "I'm not attracted to blah-de-blah" as an entire group because attractiveness involves so much more than just looks.

It's a subtle cocktail of looks, personality, attitude and brains and to rule one out or in based on something so utterly superficial as the color of their hair is... well, utterly superficial.

I'll admit, there are physical types I prefer - but it all depends on the individual. That's why I've dated a skinny black girl, a gorgeous plus-sized model, a native American (with apparently museum-worthy teeth) and a honey-blond English rose and I honestly considered them all equally beautiful.

Similarly, on the blogsphere, two of the bloggers I secretly have the hots for live gloriously outside the boundaries of what heterosexual men are 'supposed' to be attracted to - but that just goes to show how utterly meaningless society's standards are in the real world.

What really got my goat about the redheaded comment was that the sex positive community does so much to combat negative assumptions about people's looks - the blogger in question even retweets stuff about the 'fat acceptance' movement.

I think it's an EPIC fail to apparently try to combat society's bias against representing fat women as attractive, while simultaneously passing the same judgment on any male unfortunate (or fortunate enough, as I like to think of it) to possess two copies of a recessive gene on chromosome 16 - which causes the mutation in the MC1R protein that leads to red hair.

I mean, it's actually worse than bias against big women. Larger women can at least try to lose weight to attempt to fit in with society's impossible standards of attractiveness (not that they should be required to) whereas if you're born ginger that's the way you're going to be for the rest of your life (and trust me, I've tried both blond and brown and neither works.)

If somebody had said 'I don't find Indian men attractive' or 'I don't date black guys' then it smacks of racism and superficiality - so I just find it pretty ironic that the same sort of person who would so actively combat that form of body-image negativity would quite blithely contribute her own.

Fact: Red hair is also a racial characteristic - in my case, it stems from Anglo-Scots heritage I can trace back to the lowlands of Inverness.

I left my homeland because people with ginger hair were the target of a quite disgusting degree of abuse there - up to and including being physically attacked.

Fortunately, Americans are (generally) a little more evolved than Brits and I haven't experienced anything of the sort on this side of the Atlantic - until that blithe little tweet brought all my anger and frustration bubbling back to the surface.

Well, not that it really matters. I don't find superficial women attractive, so if that tweet is a true representation of this blogger's character (which, in all honesty, I really don't think it is) I guess the feeling's mutual.

(FYI, I don't really think that the blogger in question is superficial - but I did think her comment was kind of poorly thought out, even though, I'll admit, I took perhaps a little too much personal offense at it.)