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  • Ellen Tetstall, 24, civil service, Edinburgh.

    Scotland is my home. My accent is southern English. My granny in Northern Ireland has the same colour, mum is pretty ginger and my brother and sister have freckles. My eyes, freckles and hair are all the same colour. I am a genetic marvel.

    When I was little I was bald till I was two then I grew a ginger crown. I feel blessed with it now. I think people are very happy to joke about ginger hair.

    A street performer in covent garden once shouted “you with red hair!” and I wore a cap in London after that. I think I rely a lot on my hair now because its bright and different. I was brought up in England.

    In year 6 boys made lots of smutty jokes. I was 11, my face was covered in spots and that made more self-concious, something I wanted to hide. I bruise easily, like Lindsay Lohan!

    I think its fabulous now, I have always felt Scottish, its special in Scotland. I describe it as fiery.

    There is a weekend in the spring when the freckles appear that heralds the start of the summer but no tanning. The freckles hide in winter.

    In Uganda a boy cried because of the hair, they associate it with witchcraft. There was a manga (comic) bible and the only character with red hair was Judas! Granny misses it, mum see herself as ginger and my husband likes it now.

    At our wedding the best man said our children would be like orangutans because he is hairy and I am red! My dad was olive skinned.

    I would say auburn or red as ginger is a word of insult.

    When I was younger everyone wanted to be baby spice, from the spice girls, but I was always ginger spice. When they re-formed I felt more comfortable being her. In my wedding photos from summer it looks orange, in winter it looks dark. Burnished copper mum says.

    Apparently its hard to dye red hair, I tried but it didn't work.


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