Growing up with red hair can be extremely tough. But young redhead, Alfie Coleiro, did a historical and brave thing this week: he stood up to his bullies on live TV.
Picked on for his ginger hair, Alfie appeared on ITV’s This Morning show on Monday to read aloud a poem he wrote that directly references the bullying he has suffered.
Here is Alfie’s poem…
Bullying ain’t nice
It ain’t cool
Just because I am ginger
You’re so so cruel
Are you really like this?
Have you not got anything better to do?
Or are you gonna treat me like gum on the bottom of your shoe?
You’re an idiot – you have made me cry
But that’s not the case
Not even my home is my safe place
I see the messages and feel like c**p
It’s like I’m stuck in some sort of trap
So I’m not okay
But I will say I’m fine
I make people happy and people fake their smile
I might be faking mine
I’ve got love and support
That’s all I need
Just please own up
Please please please
Don’t be like this
Don’t be mean
Can’t say it to my face
So you sit behind a screen
But I’m gonna carry on with life
Do what I wanna do
Don’t interrupt me anymore
I’m done with you
So I’m not gonna sit there, cry and freak out
But without a doubt
I’m not gonna blend in
When I was born to stand out
The poem first attracted attention when Alfie’s father, Jay, shared it on social media, saying: “A message to the bullies who told my son to kill himself because gingers are worse than cancer – this is his message back.”
Twelve-year-old Alfie had previously been sent upsetting messages on social media, Playstation and by text.
His mum Nyree, said: “The school has been great. As soon as they found out about the messages they held an assembly for the whole school.
“They said if the messages didn’t stop they would have to get the police involved.
“And it’s worked, although we still don’t know who sent them the messages have stopped.
“We were also anxious because we have four boys and three of them have red hair. But as parents we are just so proud of him that he didn’t rise to it.
“He didn’t lose his confidence or lose it in general. He’s always been a popular boy – he loves making people happy.”
Alfie’s poem-reading on TV has brought the conversation back around to redhead bullying, which is a topic that can’t be ignored.
Alfie is exactly right when he says in his poem that redheads were born to stand out, and that is something that should be celebrated and used by all gingers to let them thrive in everything in life.