A distraught three-year-old boy asked his mother why he had ‘horrible’ hair after he was bullied for being ginger – and her response has become an online hit.
Lauren Russell wrote an emotional post on Facebook after she witnessed her son Noah Gilbert being picked on over his hair colour.
The 24-year-old, from Southampton, had boarded a bus with her son when teenagers in school uniform began making fun of his ginger hair.
Ms Russell claims the comments included ‘I would hate my child to be ginger, I would kill it’ and ‘All kids with ginger hair should go straight to social services’.
Despite being just three years old, Noah picked up on the comments and later got upset, asking why he couldn’t be blonde like his older brother Charlie.
When he asked Charlie why he had ‘horrible hair’, his blonde sibling replied that it was ‘beautiful’.
Ms Russell was so upset that she posted about her outrage on social media. In a lengthy post, she wrote: ‘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. I can feel my heart breaking every time he asks me.
‘It isn’t okay to bully somebody for their hair colour, not now. Not ever.’
Messages of support and photographs of other red-haired children have now come flooding in with her post receiving more than 18,000 likes.
Some comments suggest that Noah looks to Ed Sheeran, Prince Harry and Damian Lewis as his red-haired role models.
She said: ‘This has had such an effect on Noah, it’s just unfair. I have naturally ginger hair too and I remember being bullied growing up, but not as young as three.
Noah, whose three siblings are blonde, was upset by the comments and asked his mother if he could change his hair colour
Despite being just three years old, Noah (left) picked up on the comments and later got upset, asking why he couldn’t be blonde like his older brother Charlie (right)
When he asked Charlie (with whom he is pictured) if he had ‘horrible hair’, his blonde sibling replied that it was ‘beautiful’
‘Noah’s now really aware of his hair colour and thinks it’s horrible. He doesn’t understand why he isn’t blond like his siblings. I couldn’t believe these spiteful teenagers could upset my son like that.’
She added: ‘Since sharing what happened on Facebook, I’ve had hundreds of people messaging me from the UK, all showing support and saying how gorgeous Noah is. When I read all the nice comments to him, his face was priceless.
‘I hope he’ll be able to forget the nasty remarks now, but I still want an apology from the teenage boy. I’ve already contacted the high school he goes to so that he can say sorry to Noah in person.’
As well as having Noah, Ms Russell and partner Nathan Gilbert, 28, a window fitter, have five-year-old Charlie and seven-month-old twins Jacob and Zachary, who are all fair-haired.
Noah, who describes his own hair colour as ‘orange’, had never before been upset about his hair.
Noah (pictured as a baby), who describes his own hair colour as ‘orange’, had never before been upset about his hair
His mother is pictured as a baby with her twin sister Georgina and her late grandfather William. She says she was also bullied over her hair colour as a child
Ms Russell said: ‘We got on the bus after picking Charlie up from school like every other day. There were a couple of boys at the back and one boy said loudly, “I would hate my child to be ginger, I would kill it.” Then he said, “All kids with ginger hair should go straight to social services.”
‘I saw Noah staring at him and he’d definitely taken the comments on board, so I said to the boy, “How dare you?” But all he said was he hadn’t noticed my son was ginger.
‘He only looked about 13. That was what worried me the most – that a schoolboy can turn around and say something so cruel.’
She added: ‘That night, Noah said he wished he had the same hair as Charlie. He said to Charlie, “I have horrible ginger hair, don’t I?” But Charlie told him he had beautiful hair.
‘He has never mentioned his hair colour in the past. It has never been a problem for him before. When he learned his colours he would say his hair was ‘orange’, but that wasn’t something to be bothered about.
‘IT ISN’T OK TO BULLY SOMEONE FOR THEIR HAIR COLOUR, NOT NOW. NOT EVER’: LAUREN RUSSELL’S FACEBOOK POST IN FULL
Today my heart broke in two. 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.
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