Feature

Cole’s redheaded pride

The supermodel suffered for being a ginger.

Lily Cole has suffered for being a ginger, says Martyn Palmer in The Mail on Sunday (U.K.). A supermodel with brains, she recently completed a dual-degree program with honors at Britain’s Cambridge University, has done some acting, and has a hand in a few businesses. But as a child, she was an outcast. “I was bullied because I have red hair,” she says. “Actually, I think I was bullied because some kids bully sensitive children. I was of the type who gets bullied, rather than the one who does the bullying, which I’m glad about.” She was called “carrot-top” and “ginger,” schoolyard taunts that are familiar to any redheaded Briton. “The names sound quite trivial. Now I wouldn’t bat an eyelid. But it’s not so much the words; it’s the meanness behind saying such things to a child.” After years of taunting, Cole came to assume that she’d face prejudice and hostility for the rest of her life because of her coloring. “The irony is that I now love my hair,’’ she says. “Years ago, a man with red hair said to me, ‘All redheads go through the same journey. You’ll hate it when you’re younger, and then when you are older you’ll start dyeing it because you really want it back. And I think there is that trajectory. It’s a wicked color to be.”

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