It took a while, but in the recent years I’ve come to accept my ginger status. I hated it as a child, and as a teenager, but now that I’m a semi-functioning adult, I’m okay with my discoloration. I’m everybody’s token redhead friend, and it kind of works for me. No one ever forgets my name, people constantly compare me to a mermaid, and my boyfriend claims it’s relatively easy to find me in a crowd.
Obviously there have been some hard times. South Park single-handedly made my pre-teen years a living nightmare. My siblings call me “Lucifer” to this day. Pretty much everyone I come in contact with insists that I don’t have a soul, which is probably accurate, but nonetheless hurtful. Everyone assumes I can’t tan for shit and you have no idea how difficult it was to find a passable fake ID when I was trying to sneak my way into bars. I’m always equipped with a baby picture on my camera roll, just to disprove any assholes who try to tell my I dye my hair. It’s a rough life.
But nothing has affected me more than the identity crisis that followed the very obvious lack of ginger emojis.
Honesty, I’ve never been crazy about emojis. I never use them while texting, and the only time someone has ever assigned an emoji to my name was when my ex boyfriend put a peach by my contact (he said it was because it looked like a heart, but like, there’s definitely a heart emoji, so his argument is invalid). But now that I’ve made this discovery, I’m starting to wonder if the reason I’ve never been crazy about emojis is solely because I’ve never been given proper representation. There’s a whole world of hair flips and princess crowns that I’ve never been able to be a part of. I really have no idea what I’m even missing.
To be fair, I initially commended emojis for incorporating different races, skin tones, and hair colors because fuck yeah, diversity. I celebrated this change up until the moment I realized my people were clearly left out of the mix. I mean, I know we’re only a tiny subset of the population. And yes, I know we’re kind of creepy and tend to make the rest of you vanilla folks violently uncomfortable. But we still make up roughly two percent of people, whether or not the evil genius who invented emojis wants to acknowledge our existence.
Okay, so being a redhead isn’t technically an ethnicity, but come on, you have to give us some credit. After further investigation, I’ve learned that there are petitions and alternative keyboards you can download to exhibit your ginger-ness. But I don’t want to have to protest failed diversification attempts or further cloud my phone with useless apps I don’t really need. All I want is a collection of regular emojis raising their hands, or falling in love, or having a series of child-like occupations, all with red hair. Seriously, Apple– my Irish ancestors didn’t endure deadly potato famines and low-wage factory jobs for this shit. I’m a bonafide redhead and you will treat me with the respect I deserve. Living in a world with a crippling lack of ginger emojis is no longer a reality that I will accept. .