Carrot-Tops: Being Red Not So Easy

In the British Isles, some redheads feel discriminated against.

ByABC News via logo
July 15, 2007, 7:41 AM

July 29, 2007 — -- Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman and Marcia Cross all have one thing in common. Besides being successful actresses, the three ladies are all redheads.

Some call them carrot-tops, copper-colored or believe stereotypes about feisty personalities. But in at least one country, being a redhead isn't so easy.

The British Isles feature more redheads than anywhere else on earth. But some people who have the genetic trait said they feel discriminated against.

"It's horrible," one woman said. "I mean, I love redheads. But people are quite anti-them."

In England, the flame-haired are called "ginger" or "ginge."

Photographer Charlotte Rushton said people often yell at her in the street and she often feels like part of a minority.

"The nail that sticks out gets hammered down," Rushton said.

The nation that gave the world Ginger Spice, the Duchess of York and Lily Cole may be ginger-phobic. And it is not a joke.

One British family of redheads, the Chapmans, told the British media it was driven from its home by abuse including anti-redhead grafitti, vandalism and physical assaults.

Even Prince Harry has said he was bullied at school because of his hair. Apparently, his army buddies called him the ginger bullet magnet and his girlfriend calls him the big ginger.

"Somebody with ginger hair will stand out from the crowd." said Louise Burfitt-Dons of the group Act Against Bullying.

Waitress Sarah Primmer just sued her boss for sexist and "ginger" abuse and won $35,000 compensation.

"When you get older, you don't expect people to say things about the color. It's not nice," she said.

Even TV comedian Catherine Tate highlights such absurdity with a fictional refuge for abused gingers on "The Catherine Tate Show."

"We have all sorts of gingers here: Gingers in denial, confused gingers even militant gingers," she joked on her show.