My self-esteem has been affected by the fact that I have ginger hair. Aside from issues with my family I have for all my life had to deal with other members in society whether they are friends or not. They have always used the colour of my hair against me as they are all too aware that I am different from them. My self-esteem was damaged because not only did I have to live with the idea that I looked different from others I actually had them tell me on a daily basis, essentially I was judged daily on the colour of my hair. Even with friends I was not safe from the comments, when we were joking around together and making comments and jokes being ‘’ginger’’ was an insult used against me. Even in the most light-hearted of situations being ‘’ginger’’ can surface as an issue: In December 2009 British supermarket chain Tesco had to withdraw a conversional Christmas card which left the public offended it read: ‘’Santa loves all kids. Even ginger ones’’.
For a period of my life I began to realise that I didn’t look like the rest of my family, unlike myself the rest of my family didn’t have many defining characteristics. In fact, my appearance was so different I began to question my role in the family. I went through Tuckman’s team development model heavily applied to my family once my brother and sister where born, I began to realise the stark differences in the way we looked and this caused a lot of tensions between myself and the rest of my family. Once formed as a family ‘’storming’’ occurred for many years as I felt that I was so unlike the rest, perhaps this is because they were all typically blonde and brunette with similar skin whereas I was ginger and freckled all over. As time went on however we were able to ‘’norm’’ as a family because I grew into an image of my mother, although we may not look the same in terms of hair or eye colour we both share similar facial features such as the nose. 15 years on from the birth of my youngest sibling we as a group are finally able to ‘’perform’’ because I no longer feel like the black sheep.
Whilst still living in Essex, London I was experiencing a vast variety of different cultures, races, ethnicities and nationalities and therefore I was aware as most children in the area were, that there was alot of racial tension between conflicting groups. Being raised in a society which consisted of African, Indian, Chinese, Muslims, Sikhs ect. a lot of pressure was taken off me as an individual because the colour of my hair wasn’t considered an issue when comparing differentideologies and skin colours. Before moving to a typically white community in Lincolnshire I never truly understood nor appreciated that I was different from other children of the same race. Suddenly my red hair, pale skin and freckly appearance became apparent to me because everyone else categorised me as ”different”. For a period of time in my life I always remember the word Ginger was an operative insult used out on the playground I would always wonder to myself ”why couldn’t have I been just like everyone else?”.