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.)


Jess Manifesto said...

If it makes you feel better, I LOVE red headed men. <3 Glen Hansard

champagneandbenzedrine said...

Thank you, Jess! It is!

missy said...

i agree...and redheads are adorable...says the soft jewish curly red/brunette head...

PandaDementia said...

I've had the hots for a number of gingers, both male and female - and you are one of them! It appalls and confuses me that gingers are treated so poorly in Great Britain, and I'm sorry you've had to put up with the bias and the taunting, but I hope you know you're loved, as much for your hot gingerness as for your intellect & sense of humor! :)

sarahbear said...

I find that the loudest and proudest activists are often found doing the very things they protest about, just to a different set of folks. For instance, some of the people preaching about acceptance of polyamory, swinging and non-monogamy have said very rude things about monogamy. Kinky vs. Vanilla, fit vs. fat, men vs. women, atheism vs. religion. It's only okay if they're doing it.

I happen to think red heads are pretty hot, male or female. ;)

Dangerous Lilly said...

I don't know who made that remark, but IMO offhand remarks like that usually are a pretty good gauge overall of that person's general character. It's said without forethought and "censor".

If only beautiful-by-society-standards people were found attractive and mate-worthy then the human race would be in deep trouble. To completely discount all the things you mentioned - intelligence, humor, attitude, interests etc - IS superficial and isn't worthy of my time nor yours.

Good rant.

Rockin' with a Cock in said...

At the risk of sounding like an ass, there have only been a few redheaded/ginger men I've found attractive in my life. In my experience, it's not the red hair that turns me off, but some other superficial quality, like a facial feature or body type. (I'm superficial. I'm okay with that.) I've never found myself thinking, "Everything's perfect! If only I could select a different hair color from the drop-down list."

Of course, only a few percent of men are redheaded in the US, but even so, I've felt bad about it. I think on a relative scale, I'm attracted to a similarly small percent of redheaded, brunette, blond, and black haired men. There's just a larger pool of non-redheaded folks, so I feel like the actual number of hot red headed guys is small (because it is).

I'm sorry you've encountered these sorts of attitudes. I agree that attraction is based on a number of factors, and it would be better for all of us to try to avoid generalizing, since it's probably not what we mean, anyway.

LambChop said...

Hear, hear! I have a GINGER son, (and an ex-hubby I'd rather forget) but the ex always said it was "like racism" the way there's an anti-redhead bias. I think it's true.
I've noticed in popular culture (movies, TV, commercials, kids' books, etc.) that more often than not the BAD KID or the BULLY is an evil redhead.

The Righteous Harlot said...

Indeed it is a crass and superficial thing to say and you have my sympathy there, but... DangerousLilly says we should use censor and forethought. I disagree!

I think that the charm of Twitter and more spontaneous forms of posting is precisely their lack of censor and forethought. Self-censorship is insidious and makes for a dull world.

Treat such comments with the laughing contempt they deserve and don't let them spoil your day!

Yours, RH

Sex Toy for Man said...

Racism makes life unfair.

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