Red head bullying

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
46 replies 3.7K views
patchwork_catpatchwork_cat Forumite
5.9K Posts
I would welcome some advice. My DD has genuine strawberry blonde hair. It is red, blonde and some browner hair.

She is being bullied by about 3 girls who catch the same bus. They have to walk about a mile to the bus stop and when she is let out at 3.30pm it is getting quite dark. As a 12 year old I am concerned about the fairly long walk on her own. She walks down with these 3 girls and they have started making disparaging comments about her 'ginger' hair.

I want to talk to her teacher, but she doesn't want a fuss. Two of the girls really are quite precocious and unpleasant individuals. Advice please on how to handle this.



  • Rather than her protesting that her hair "isn't really ginger, it's strawberry blonde" how about she points out that Nicole Kidman, Nicola from Girls Aloud, Lily Cole etc etc all have ginger hair and are all gorgeous and incredibly rich so it can't be all that bad a thing and she would rather be slightly unusual than boring boring boring ...

    Hope that helps

    Ellie (a natural blonde btw!)
  • Ruby_MoonRuby_Moon Forumite
    521 Posts
    Tell your daughter to tell the girls that she doesn't mind having ginger hair and they can comment all they like but she loves it. Like the poster above says, tell her to name idols.
    As for anything else, I wouldn't do anymore because I wouldn't want to make an issue out of it.
    It sounds as though it is teasing more than bullying and I do believe that children have to learn to deal with some teasing in life themselves.
  • But unusual is the last thing you want when you're 12.

    Is there any other way she could get home?
  • Kay_PeelKay_Peel Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    How does your daughter feel about the comments? Is she a spirited and feisty little one who can give as good as she gets, or is she beginning to be worn down by the drip-drip nastiness? I think you've spotted the problem early enough to make a real difference and before your daughter becomes a nervous wreck.

    Personally, I wouldn't take it up with the school yet - unless the bullies are getting to your daughter during school hours.

    I would remove her from the ordeal of having to walk home to the taunts and ridicule from these three herberts. If she didn't have ginger hair then they would pick on something else to put her down - glasses, what she's wearing, body fat, you name it.

    It really depends on how your daughter can cope with the options of:

    - Changing the routine.
    Surprise the bullies and your daughter by meeting her half way along the walk home, every once in a while. Walk with them for the rest of the journey. It will unnerve them.

    - Confronting the bullies yourself.
    If you find that your daughter is upset when you meet up with the group, say something like: 'Are you alright? What have they been saying to you this time?'
    Turn to the bullies and say: 'Keep away from her. I'll be talking to your parents about your bullying."
    They'll probably be shocked to be associated with the word 'bully' and may well try to be nice to your daughter in future.

    - If it gets worse, write to their parents or visit their homes. Tell the parents what you have told us and say that you will escalate your complaint - you will inform the school and, if that doesn't work, the police.

    - If there is any physical contact or threats, inform the police.

    - Tell your daughter that she has beautiful hair.

    I'm a ginger myself. So is my son. My daughter has strawberry blonde hair. We've all suffered taunts and put downs and learnt to give it back. It's never got to the bullying stage - but I can imagine that it would be very wearing and scarey for your daughter.

    Good luck and I hope you can help your little one to put it in perspective (they are making disparaging remarks about her hair - so what? They're jealous! They are just plain nasty individuals and their opinion counts for nothing.).

    Learning how to deal with these sneaky pieces of work will set her up for the rest of her life. Honest.
  • tandraigtandraig Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    your daughter naturally has hair that women spend a fortune on getting! tell her that hun. they are jealous of her and this is their way of making themselves feel superior.

    ask your daughter if this happens in school too - if it does a phone call or visit to head of year is in order- if not -
    nip this in the bud - before long it will turn into downright bullying (if it hasnt already). as another poster said - meet her at the bus stop one day and look at each of them in turn - then say - enough of this bullying - next time i talk to your parents.
    were these girls friends previously? your daughter may be outgrowing them or is brighter than them or - my thought - your daughter is turning into a real beauty and they dont like it!
  • patchwork_catpatchwork_cat Forumite
    5.9K Posts
    Thank you, the thing is she really isn't ginger - as Kay says she is red and so is her son, but her daughter is strawberry blonde my DD is too, it isn't a euphemism!

    Yes she is feisty, but it is getting to her, new school - everyone jockying for position. She has none of her primary friends at new school - grammar with wide catchment. We have a parent-teacher meeting tomorrow. Thought I would mention it with no names, no pack drill!

  • BitterAndTwistedBitterAndTwisted Forumite
    22.5K Posts
    Good idea Patchwork Cat. Your daughter needs to know and understand just how rare and beautiful strawberry blonde hair is. I'm a borderline one myself and my sister is a proper redhead and so are her children. They've got beautiful Titian-colouring and are lovely and attractive people. In fact, why not consider finding reproductions of paintings featuring redheads so she knows how valued that colouring always has been. Heard of the website redandproud?

    Try and impress on her that those who bully others because of their physical appearance are covering up for some pretty nasty internal deficiencies of their own, hidden from view but a hundred times less appealing.
  • patchwork_catpatchwork_cat Forumite
    5.9K Posts
    We tell her it is stunning, when the sun catches it it glows! When she was born in the hospital room the early sun used to catch it and I laughed and thought - golden child! I told her they are jealous, DH and I laugh because it is what both our mums would say when we were kids and anything happened like this!

  • tandraigtandraig Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    my grandson is a real red head! in the sun it looks so stunning! his mum is the same colour but dyes it blonde!!! because of teasing at school! its a real shame as i think her natural colour would be so much better! I ask her - are you going to dye his hair too? I bet she would!
  • patchwork_catpatchwork_cat Forumite
    5.9K Posts
    We have come to the conclusion that she is going to laugh and say why are you worried about my hair, worry about your own, next time.

This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Energy price cap could be extended beyond 2023

New plans have just been announced by the Government

MSE News

Cheap contents insurance for tenants

DON'T assume your landlord covers you

MSE Guides

Summer sizzlers round-up

Incl £2ish sun cream & £1.50 disposable BBQs

MSE Deals