I was born with red hair, and it took me a few years to love it. I was the only one in my immediate family who was a ginger, so I was convinced that I was adopted. I didn’t understand genetics so I figured if I didn’t look like my parents, then I must have come from another family.
Of course, I later learned that it was all in my genes. My grandfather had red hair, and we come from a Scottish heritage, so it all makes sense. But the feeling of not belonging and being outcast at school is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Pooja Ganatra knows that struggle one million times more than I do, because she looked so different her community thought she was diseased.
In 1991, Pooja was born to “typically Indian” parents, who had dark skin, dark hair, and dark eyes. Before long, it became obvious that their little daughter was unlike anything they had ever seen. With bright red hair, emerald eyes, and white skin, it looked like Pooja had come from Gaelic roots.
“When I was born, my family had never seen anyone who looked like me before because they all have brown skin, black hair and brown eyes, like most Indians,” Pooja said.
By the time she was three years old, Pooja began developing freckles. It was so foreign to her parents, that she was rushed to the hospital for fear of Pooja having a skin disease.
“When my freckles started appearing everywhere when I was three, because none of my relatives had ever gotten freckles before they didn’t know what they were,” she told The Sun. “I was rushed to the doctors because everyone thought it was a birth defect or skin disease.”
Things only got worse as Pooja got older.