A mother in Southampton, United Kingdom, took to Facebook in the face of thoughtless cruelty to remind the world how much words can hurt following a hurtful experience she and her 3-year-old son had on a bus one day.
Lauren Russell shared in a heartbreaking social media post that she and her son Noah were out on a public bus one day when a young teenage boy decided that her son’s appearance was worth harassing him for.
Russell explained that she and Noah both have red hair, but the teen—who she explained couldn’t have been older than 13—singled out Noah to mock for his noticeably bright hair color. The bully told Noah that he should have been taken away by social services because of his “disgusting” hair color, turning to a friend and meanly jesting that he would kill his child if it was born a ginger.
Despite being young, Russell wrote that her son could already tell that the words being sent his way were unkind. He asked her why he couldn’t have blonde hair like his older brother, leaving her feeling heartbroken that kids could use words to cause such hurt without even thinking about the consequences.
“Today my heart broke in two,” she wrote. “Whilst travelling on a public bus number 12, I witnessed such cruel behaviour towards my 3 year old son from a very narrow minded boy who couldn’t be much older than 13.”
She continued in her post:
Unfortunately this hasn’t been the first time and I know it won’t be the last. He’s been targeted by people of all ages.
And what for? Because he has ginger hair. My beautiful boy was told social services should have taken him away because his hair colour is disgusting. The boy then turned to his friend and said if he ever had a ginger child he would kill it. Now my little boy is only 3 and was left very confused.. I feel devastated as I to have ginger hair and no all too well what it’s like to grow up being singled out/ the target of such bullies.
He hasn’t stopped asking me why people don’t like his hair. He asked me if I could change it for him so people will like it. He asked me if he could be like his brother who doesn’t have ginger hair. I can feel my heart breaking every time he asks me. My little boy looks so sad and I want to make it better.
The reason I am trying to go public with this is because I know these cruel bullies are in the minority. I want to show my little boy that there is more good in this world than bad. There are kind and caring non judgemental people who won’t ever single him out.
I ask you all to please share this and show my boy how beautiful he is. I want to show him the good in this world with the power of Facebook. It isn’t okay to bully somebody for their hair colour, not now. Not ever. Thankyou xxx
Red hair is a fairly rare trait but is not all that uncommon, with an estimate that just 2 percent of the world’s population boasts ginger hair coloring. That makes it the second-rarest complexion next to albinism.
Redheads are able to produce their own vitamin D, never get gray hair, and boast a handful of other neat and unique traits like a higher rate of left-handedness and a better ability to sense temperature changes. But their distinct features, like anyone with visible differences from the norm, can make them a target for bullies, as Russell’s son was.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Russell explained that her older son, Charlie, told his younger sibling that his hair was “beautiful.” And as the pair’s younger twin brothers got older, one of them has seen his fair baby hair grow in a stunning shade of red, just like older brother Noah.
The mother of four’s message to the world, though, was in part a cry of injustice in a world where certain people are singled out for cruelty; it was also a call for good people to make themselves heard and prove to her child that the world is, for the most part, a kind and loving place.