There are some pictures floating around the web of a seal pup who has been shunned from his group. His immoral act that caused this rejection? His fur is the wrong color. He's a redhead. As a fellow redhead, my heart broke for this little pup.
There's been a lot of talk lately about bullying. Allow me to share a little secret though. Bullying has been going on forever. It's only now that we're talking about it. However, growing up as a fair-skinned, freckled, redhead, I had my fair share of name-calling and shunning. Unfortunately, I truly believe even if we were all just gray blobs, there would still be name-calling and there would still be shunning. There just always seems to be people out there who need to put down others in order to build themselves up.
I heard it all though. Every name and insult you can think of, I'm sure I heard it, and more than once as well. I hated my hair when I was growing up. It made me different at a time when I just wanted to fit in. I would have given anything to have straight, blonde hair. It wasn't meant to be. With my complexion, nothing but red fits. Anything else would have looked completely out of place.
Now that I'm an adult, I'm slowly starting to accept my hair. There are some days that we're still not on speaking terms, but that's because humidity does terrible, terrible things to it, and I live in a place where humidity is an everyday occurrence. But, where I once saw something that made me an outcast, I now see something that makes me unique. And you know what? Unique isn't so bad after all.
I hope that little seal has a chance to grow up and realize the same thing.