Students squash ‘ginger’ controversy


Sydney Teeter

Seniors from AP English Literature and Composition each with different hair colors and types line up hand-in-hand March 8, 2023.

Sydney Teeter, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Nicknames can inherit a meaning anywhere from lighthearted jokes to derogatory insults. The nickname ‘ginger,’ has a debatable connotation, therefore many non-redheads avoid the term to dodge causing offense.

“My view on ginger discrimination is that it’s somewhat of a joke, often used to parody the infantilism of broader, more deeply rooted discrimination based on physical characteristics. It’s an in-group, and I have a very positive relationship with my hair color identity and the immediate connection it creates to anyone else who has a similar complexion,” said senior Gavin Costello.

Though it can be used negatively, it is not regularly offensive or hostile enough to present a huge issue.

“I think the difference is ginger means the hair is just more orange and redhead means that your hair is more red but I sometimes use those words interchangeably,” said senior Elizabeth Strong. “There is nothing wrong with using the word ginger, I’ve been called that all my life and it has never offended me.”

Most redheads agree that ‘ginger’ is an appropriate way for redheads to refer to one another.

“It is a pretty friendly name, at least to me. It’s not alienating, and particularly fraternal when used by other gingers,” said Gavin.

However, exceptions exist that take the nickname too far and use it as a means to bring others down. ‘Carrot top’ is a particular example of when the nicknames get taken too far.

“This guy that rode on my bus always called me carrot top and would make inappropriate jokes about it, it was so uncomfortable,” said Elizabeth.

As long as used in moderation, and not used with ill intent, most red-haired students don’t mind being referred to as ‘ginger.’

“I don’t really care if I’m called ginger like it really doesn’t affect me because everyone gets called stuff. Like if someone acting dumb you say something about them being blonde,” said freshman Will Dortch.