NowThis editorial producer Brian has red hair, which meant that he was an instant target for bullies growing up.
He was called things like “carrot top,” and told that he had no soul, thanks to a joke on “South Park.” He was treated like he had some sort of genetic defect, and that he deserved their verbal or physical abuse.
Red hair is still treated like an anomaly, even today. One study found that 6% of men and almost half of women with red hair across 20 countries have faced discrimination purely because of their hair color.
Brian says things didn’t begin to change until after he left the bullies behind. When he moved to America, he discovered that people didn’t automatically hate the fact that he’s a redhead.
The launch of the red-haired Apple emojis on the iPhone also helped validate him, since he was forced to use ones with brown, black, or blonde hair instead.
“When Apple adds these new emojis, redheads like me will feel more represented than we ever have before,” he stated. “we’re often the butt of jokes — but for me, there’s something else to gain from this. It means that the bullies were wrong.”