Last Friday night, I got the opportunity to watch a delightful documentary called, Being Ginger.
It’s about a filmmaker from Austin, TX, who travels to Scotland for school, when he realizes people find him undesirable because of the color of his hair. He then decides to make a documentary where he alludes back to the bullying of his youth and how it affects his life now as a Ginger who is looking for love in Britain.
Why don’t people find Ginger men attractive? What is wrong with Gingers? The documentary, Being Ginger addresses these questions, which ultimately lead to more shallow findings.
What should be asked is this: How does a ginger joke manifest itself into outright rejection?
During my Facebook chat with the director, I mentioned that I found it interesting that he never intended the film to be about bullying. In the beginning of the film, he said it was intended to be funny and light.
Scott P. Harris 8:05am
“While I think that it is now about bullying, I also think it was important to the film that I came to that realization honestly. I didn’t want to make a film that [w]as just about bullying, that would have turned too many people off. I needed it to [be] funny first.”
Just as bullies have layers that start off as a joke, so do “Gingers” who accept this pyramid package as a joke. You cannot accept the top layer without being affected by everything that comes out of the person’s heart.
It’s easy to trade smiles while humor takes the lead. At first, it was about the red hair, then the freckles are mentioned, and then it’s the “genetic mutation.”
Teasing leads to joking at inappropriate occasions, which can easily be defined as bullying. In the film Scott talks about sitting in the café with a cute girl when a man comes up to them, points at him and says to her, “You aren’t dating a Ginger, are you?” People take what was made a socially acceptable joke into an opportunity to tear down another.
I am not for muting ourselves for fear of causing harm. But I do think that everyone should check their hearts before they open their mouth. I sometimes will refrain from making jokes when I am in a toxic setting. At the moment of being stressed or moody, I actually am blinded to think that my thoughts are harmless to express. I don’t realize that I am transferring one toxic environment onto another person.
We cannot know what is in another person’s heart. We can certainly establish boundaries as to who is healthy to be around. To be politically correct would kill all of the fun in showing loving attention to others. The playful word “Ginger” does not have to be a dirty word, but that does not give people a right to corrupt humor with their toxic thoughts. I applaud this documentary for making the viewers come to a conclusion about what comes out of their mouths.
Click here to watch the documentary trailer.