Lots of us moms search for dolls that look like our kids and families. For example, as a woman born and raised in Latin America, I appreciate seeing dolls that are diverse and representative of many backgrounds. It’s important to me that multiple skin tones and hair colors are reflected in my own kids’ toy collections.
Moms of redheaded kids want representative toys for their kids as well. Not every doll their child plays with has to have red hair of course, but for most redheaded kids, it would be nice to have at least one redheaded doll in the mix. But if you search for dolls with red hair, you’ll notice that they’re very hard to find.
Dolls with Red Hair Are Uncommon Because Red Hair Is Uncommon
Why are redheaded dolls so hard to locate? Living here in Ireland, I see red-headed kids all over the place. As a mom who works here at Lottie, it makes me want to work even harder to ensure that those kids can find dolls that look like them.
As we all know, if kids don’t see themselves represented within the toys they play with, it’s harder for them to find self-worth. While it’s great for kids to pretend to be something other than what they are, you don’t want kids to take away a message that there is something inherently wrong with the way the look, or with their DNA.
Kids want dolls that are relatable. Dolls that make them feel like they can identify with them. And a diverse set of dolls that reflect not just the way they look, but toys that also mirror the appearance of the many people in everyday life.
Check out our Lottie Red Hair Dolls!
Globally, redheads make up just 1-2% of the world’s population. One of the largest concentrations of redheads happens to be right here in Ireland, where 10% of kids (and grown-ups) have red hair. So, while being a redhead is more common in some places, if you’re a kid growing up in Ireland, you’ll “only” be different from 90% of the kids in your class. In many other countries, you might be that kid who looks like only 1 in 100 or 1 in 200 other kids. This makes many redheaded kids feel unique, and can make them feel special, but often, it makes them feel like they stand out in negative ways.
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Kids with Red Hair Often Face Bullying
Because red hair is so uncommon, redheaded kids face some challenges that are unique. They often are called “carrot-top” and told “better dead than red on the head” by other kids in school. In the United Kingdom, redheads are often nicknamed “ginger,” a term commonly meant as an insult.
In the United States, redheads are often reduced to being called just the color of their hair, even by strangers (“Hey Red!”) Mocking kids is bad enough, but the challenges redheaded kids face often go far beyond just name-calling.
"I had a teacher look right at me the first day of class and say 'I don't like redheads, so don't expect things to be easy in this class for you' in front of the whole class."
The well-known singer Janet Devlin dyed her hair red after rising to fame on the television program, the X Factor, but quickly began to regret it due to the negative comments she faced, as she stated in this article from the BBC:
"I had never experienced such abuse for my appearance. I was 16-years-old, people called me Fanta and wrote abusive comments on my YouTube page… I dyed my hair back to blonde, partly because I missed it, partly because of the online abuse."
It’s well-documented that the negative stereotypes about redheads go back many thousands of years, from the times of the ancient Greeks to medieval Europe and beyond. Writer Jacky Colliss Harvey, who wrote the book “Red: A History of the Redhead,” discussed the discrimination many redheads face.
As she explains, "Unfortunately bullying of children with red hair is still common and people with red hair are often seen as acceptable targets because they're not one group and not a race. It's one of the last great social prejudices."
Consider these other saddening events of redheads being targeted:
While it’s important not to conflate the discrimination that redheads face with more systemic racism that exists against many minority groups, no one can deny that redheaded children are at a higher risk of being bullied. They stand out, look different to other kids, and as such, often feel like the “other.”
Inspiring Facts to Share with Your Redheaded Kids
Obviously, you don’t want to make your kids feel bad or worry about having red hair, in spite of the statistics.They should be proud of who they are!
Here are some inspiring things that, depending on their age, you might want to share with your own redheaded child to help them celebrate their unique hair color:
Redheads were also the least likely hair color to be viewed as “naive” according to the same survey.
Lottie Dolls Proudly Makes Dolls with Red Hair for All Kids to Enjoy
At Lottie, we want all kids to feel represented, no matter their skin or hair color. And, we believe that even kids who represent a group that is the majority where they live should also have dolls in their collection who look different from them. It’s important for all kids to develop empathy for others who might come from different backgrounds and abilities than they do.
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