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Tesco Christmas Card Culled – Are Ginger Hair Jokes Going Too Far?

The Tesco Christmas Card That Has Been Called Discriminate Against Ginger-Haired ChildrenA Christmas card that shows a red-head being bounced on Santa’s knee and reads: “SANTA loves all kids. Even GINGER ones”, has been called “discrimination, pure and simple.”

A Tesco store in York removed the card from its shelves after complaints from 30-year-old Davinia Phillips. The mother of three, whose young daughters all have ginger hair, said society comes down hard on how people look, and she is disgusted by the card made by Essex-based greeting card company, Quitting Hollywood.

“It’s discrimination, pure and simple. I have shown it to a lot of friends and they are all disgusted by it,” Phillips said. “I just don’t find it funny at all.”

Often a man’s hair loss is the brunt of humorous banter and blonde jokes don’t leave much grace for our fair-haired counterparts either, but is the ginger jibe going too far?

Prince William and Harry share jokes of a balding and ginger natureEarlier this year, Prince William was caught joking with Prince Harry about his younger brother’s red hair, but only after Harry made fun of the future king’s balding crown.

An article about the psychological aspects of wit and humour, published by the California Folklore Society, says, “The impact jokes have on listeners depends on the social context in which the joke is told and visual images the joke creates in the listener’s mind.”

Ceri Radford, Assistant Comment Editor of the Telegraph, believes the Tesco Christmas card is not aimed at red-haired children, rather it’s marketed at the “adult, tongue-in-cheek market.”

“Note the economy-style price on the front, the clinically obese Santa and the low-rent, plastic Christmas tree,” Radford writes in her column. “It is not really poking fun at ginger people, it is poking fun at rubbish Christmas cards.”

A spokesman for Tesco said that some cards “are intended to be humorous”, but has apologised for the ginger card, saying it was never meant to offend. However, Phillips is still appalled by the card that she has labelled discriminatory.

“If it had been about a black child or an overweight child the store would have been shut down by now,” she said.

Raford seems to think, however, that the reception of the Christmas card is misconstrued and a little over-the-top. 

“Discrimination is a serious word which suggests unfairly depriving someone of opportunities, not mocking them gently through the medium of an ironic Christmas card…I don’t think we need to start building a bonfire for dubious Christmas cards.”

More Information:
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9 Comments

15th December, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Peter

I guess Ceri Radford is not a ginger herself. Unlike blondes or bald people, gingers are the subject of abuse from the time they go to school or even before. I can even appreciate a ginger joke right now, but nobody should ever underestimate the impact it can have on children and the way they develop into adulthood. Bald and blonde jokes don't start until a person has already reached an older age and therefore has more emotional defenses. Making fun of overweight kids is not tolerated, so why should it be ok to make fun of gingers?

15th December, 2009 at 6:12 pm

andy

The people claiming it's only a bit of fun haven't been shouted at across the street, ridiculed, or punched in the face for being bald or blonde.

20th December, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Angry

I want to know what awful parent allowed their child to have their picture put on a card like that? Poor kid will certainly grow up with no self confidence. Why should having ginger hair make you second rate to someone with boring brown mousy hair?

21st December, 2009 at 11:12 pm

john millward

Dear God it is a joke Get it a joke. Symptomatic of this country that we take notice of a minority of individuals who take life too seriously. The fundamental is was this a serious affront to people with ginger hair. Of course not - get real. As someone who had ginger hair and who is now bald I have been subjected to all sorts of ribald comments. Live with it and stop your whinging. As for Tesco stand up to these people

23rd December, 2009 at 11:58 pm

Jenna

I hate that its not funny at all im 12 and i have ginger hair and when my freind showed me i cryed its disrimation to gingers all over the world i think the people who made that should be sent to jail for disrimation its only a hair colour like but still why make fun of us? we are people not aliens or something so leave us alone

24th December, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Steve

I am 30 and I have ginger hair. I have been spat on, punched in the face, tripped over and generally ridiculed my entire life for the colour of my hair. I have been passed over for jobs(though they would never admit it). KFC refused to hire a lad for having red hair siting he did not "have the look they wanted" discrimination pure and simple. The army recently admitted that ginger recruits get more stick. It is real it is happening. Can you imagine the uproar if the card read "Santa loves all kids even black ones". I rest my case.

28th December, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Andy

For God's sake. Are we all to fall into the PC trap set by the Government? We are no longer allowed to have a sense of humour, can't make comical comments lest we offend some oversensitive soul. And then, we can all cry "well, if it was said about this minority or that minority, there would be an outcry." This is exactly what the Government wants, a sterile innoffensive society, all wanting to be victims, never shouting up for what they feel is right. A perfect control over stupid people. We're getting what we deserve I suppose.

11th March, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Ava

not very day you hear this from a ginger but im so proud to be one i love my hair and my friends do laugh but i dont care cause i no there will be no gingers in years to come here is a little song my friends made up " get back in your biscket tin ginger ginger got back in your biscket tin ginger ginger " ! some people say " did your mother buy you and your sister in tesco buy one ginger got a borbon free ha ha ha ha so thats me ginger ava

1st July, 2010 at 2:36 pm

ray

I think the Tesco christmas card was disgusting, especially as it was aimed at children, yes CHILDREN and at their special time of year.Would they display a card saying,even muslim ones or black ones? NO. My 2 yr old grand daughter is ginger and her mother has already had taunts and discriminating messages about her child plastered over the internet.It makes me very worried and concerned for my grand daughters life ahead because she is such a sweet little girl.What is happening to this society we live in. I put it down to ignorance and the mindless, tunnel visioned parents and adults need to be educated in order for the children to accept one another,whatever they may look like.

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