Isla Fisher: Gentlemen will say inappropriate things to me about being a redhead

Isla Fisher was a guest on Busy Tonight and she was so cute and funny. Like Hecate, who has been in the audience at Busy’s show twice, I enjoy her interviews because she seems to know everyone and gets them to open up. Isla was still a little reserved, but she told a wonderful story about the first time she was on stage and how that helped her become an actress. She also said that men say rude things about her being a redhead, but she didn’t specify what that was.

On how she got her love of acting
I feel like I’m an actress because my mom used to do amateur dramatics and she once did a performance of Twelfth Night when I was about seven and she let me go on stage when she [sang] this number. It was so exciting I didn’t have to go to school and there was an audience. I think that was the beginning of my love of being the center of attention.

Do strangers say weird things to redheads?
Sometimes gentlemen will say inappropriate things. I say weird things back so.

[Busy Tonight via YouTube]

That’s such a sweet story about how she was influenced by her mom growing up. After the redhead story she talked about getting her shoe stuck in a grate at a party and they were borrowed shoes! She was on her hands and knees trying to get the shoe out of the grate and it was so busy that people were walking over and around her, like Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. She wasn’t shading them for not stopping but it figures that they didn’t.

After that Busy did a bit where she asked if Isla would hook up with specific characters her husband, Sacha Baron Cohen, has played. It was funny and you get the impression that they’re not into doing that at home. I assumed that they were! I mean I would do that if I was married to Sacha, but only with some of them. With others it could get weird.

I know what she’s referring to as I used to be a redhead. Plus Busy included a line about it in her send off song at the end. Men ask if “the carpet matches the drapes.” It’s disgusting and so inappropriate that Isla didn’t even want to repeat it. Once a guy I was dating said this to me when I was just a teenager. I remember some of the things that happened to me around that age and am appalled for my young self and that’s all I’ll say about that.




photos credit: WENN

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

56 Responses to “Isla Fisher: Gentlemen will say inappropriate things to me about being a redhead”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Lolly says:

    Oh yeah. I’m a natural redhead and I get that comment all the time, since I was a kid. I’ll be asked if they can check that I’m a “real” redhead or ask if it’s true I’m wild in bed. Men can be so entitled into thinking they can ask whatever they want.

    • C-Shell says:

      Yep. Plus the one where they ask if they can see where else I have freckles *wink wink*.

      ETA: OH YEAH, I have an uncle who asked me that last one when I was 16. Gah. I’ll be thinking about that one all day.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Your uncle asked that 🤢So sorry…

      • Embee says:

        OK redheads I am asking your help as a mom to a lovely young redhead: what are some great responses to this grossness? My daughter turns 9 this week but I want to be prepared!

      • Snowflake says:

        @embee, idk. I dyed my hair red for years. I’m pale w freckles so guys thought i was a natural redhead and would ask me that. Some have a fetish for redheads. Others will not date them, thinking they have a bad temper. I’m always slow w comebacks. I don’t remember what i said back then. Now i might say go eff yourself.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I dyed my hair red for a bit, and it really worked with my coloring, but I couldn’t handle the comments from men.

      I wasn’t prepared for the creeps to come out of the woodwork like that, I had no idea what redheads have been going through. I could be doing the most mundane thing, like grocery shopping, and I’d get guys asking me creepy questions. My red hair was a perv magnet.

      • TEAM HEARD says:

        Yup. Fellow redhead here. I’ve gotten all of them, including “Frotch.” I hate men.

      • Bazoo says:

        When I was a kid, I hated being teased for my red hair and freckles but when I got to be a teen, I found out just how much worse the comments could get. What is it with men and redheads? Ugh! Pigs!

      • Soup2Nuts says:

        @Embee it’s not exactly appropriate for a 9 year old, but it’s always served me well to play stupid. Pretend you don’t know what that comment means, and ask them to explain it. And then, if they manage to without getting too embarrassed to speak or obfuscate, play dumb again. Ask them to explain why that question is funny. Why are they giggling about it? “I don’t understand, does what carpet match what drapes?” And then if they’re gross enough to explain, “I don’t get it, I though you were talking about home decor? Why is it funny to ask me invasive questions?” The key is to be super genuine in your confusion.

        Men ask this question specifically to embarrass women and put them on the wrong foot. Force them to explain their crappy behavior, and most of them physically cannot do it. At worst it’ll devolve into condescending “you’ll understand when you’re older” type stuff. At best they’ll have a moment of self awareness and apologize.

        Or just straight up say “It doesn’t matter because you’ll never have the opportunity to find out for yourself.”

    • heloncearth says:

      When a was younger my hair would go very blonde in the summer and also got this comment often.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Same,and in HS my male physical education teacher was telling blonde jokes.I will never forget he looked directly at me and said-what do blondes and turtles have in common?,once they’re on their backs they’re fu**ed.I was 15. I didn’t know what he meant,men can be so bad.

      • North of Boston says:

        Spicecake, that’s so awful. Especially considering this was someone the school board, the entire educational system etc decided was entitled to care for young people.

        Though, now that I think about it, some of most creepy, boundary challenged ‘pedophiles’ were in the PE / athletic dept of my high school. They had access, the kids had a more involved relationship with them than they did, say, with their Spanish and Civics teachers, due to the physicality, proximity to showers and nakedness, and extra time for practices, meets, away games, etc and they completely took advantage of it. It makes me shudder to think of now.

        Oh, and I put quotes around ‘pedophiles’ because there will probably be someone who comes along and says “No, you’re wrong, they are NOT pedophiles. Pedophiles are sexually attracted to pre-pubescent kids, not teenagers” Even though in common usage, adults who are sexually attracted/involved with children (non-adults) are often referred to as pedophiles.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      When I was new to the States, and coming from a fairly sheltered childhood growing up with nuns, the first time someone asked me if the carpet matched the drapes, I was so innocent that I answered… “no, I have hardwood.” Yeah…

    • sa says:

      I’m only redhead adjacent (strawberry blonde) and I get comments all the time about redheads. The worst is that while I was still a teenager adult men were saying those things to me.

      @Embee, my most successful response has been to just turn and walk away (when it’s an option). Any actual response, even a negative one, just seems invite continued communication. I once, because I was in shock that a man about my parent’s age said something to me, blurted out “I’m 17.” And his response was “that’s legal.” In retrospect that might be something I would have said to try to shame the guy, but in the moment it wasn’t even that, just pure shock that an older man would be so inappropriate. But the lesson I learned is that if they will be that inappropriate, they can’t be shamed. So I just don’t engage in any way.

    • AMAyson1977 says:

      I’ve found that the best response to all manner of this sort of disgusting bullsh!t is to cultivate a withering look of absolute revulsion and walk away. She should not dignify them with her time or her wit. I’m also a fan of “did you just say that OUT LOUD??” and then the above withering look and walk away. I hope your lovely little girl never has to hear such things (I hope it for my little girl, and all girls/women, actually.)

    • North of Boston says:

      Embee – the best response I’ve ever developed is to turn on my heel and walk away.
      Because over the years, I’ve learned that every snappy response I could ever use a) continued my interaction with a loser a-hole that I didn’t really want to spend another minute on and who really wasn’t worth a moment of my time and b) opened the door for the more entitled of the loser a-holes to get argumentative/combative, which, who needs that from strangers (or uncles – ick!….sadly, I had one of those too)

      It’s not satisfying in the moment, but 15 minutes later when I was back at the table with my friends, or a half mile down the street far away from the simpleton who thought they had the ‘best’ line I realized how much better off I was for just not dealing with them.

      Oh, and though it’s unrelated: sunscreen. Lots and lots of sunscreen. Your daughter will thank you for it in about 30 years.

  2. Jordana says:

    As a redhead, I have also experienced the weird comments…most of it just about temperament and being fiery…

  3. Latoya says:

    Yeah I can hear those comments too. Fully convinced that making fun of redheads is the last “acceptable” form of bullying. If you tell someone that making redhead jokes is hurtful and not OK they look at you like your crazy. That we should just laugh along and take it. It’s bizarre.

    • Lithe says:

      I’m very sorry. I’m not a redhead but it’s always bugged me that they tend to be othered and objectified. It’s really not cool at all.

    • C-Shell says:

      In addition to the run of the mill perv remarks, there’s also my Most Hated Remark of All Time: “red-headed step child.” Even my sister says this one occasionally. Spawn of the Devil is another good one. 🤬

  4. Kristen820 says:

    Girl, same. What is it about redheads that makes men think asking a question like that is appropriate in any way, shape, or form?

  5. KBeth says:

    That is such a disgusting thing to say to someone.

  6. Joy says:

    As a redhead I can confirm this and so much other filth men say. When men ask I always say well you’ll never know because you couldn’t f**** me with a stolen d***.

  7. Eric says:


    Those aren’t gentlemen. I think all the ladies would agree.


  8. SusieQ says:

    Ugh. Men are the worst. I was in a wedding this weekend, and one of the groomsmen grabbed me as we exited the church. I had never met him until the rehearsal, and he was so much stronger than I am. I fought to get away, but it was difficult, as we were in a crowded hallway. I’m just completely over men and their creepy comments and behaviors.

  9. manda says:

    I wish my hair was red. I have seen too many bad bottle jobs to trust that it would work on me. One of my hairstylists told me that it is hard to pic the right color to match skintone sometimes

    I LOVE that red dress she’s wearing in the pic above.

  10. AnnaKist says:

    My sister is a redhead. Years ago, at a huge wedding we were talking to a family friend. Another man, who knew the friend but not us, joined our little group. After a while, the friend left and my sister and I made to go back to our table. The man said something, amd my sister apologise, saying she hadn’t hear him, as the band was tuning up. He repeated, “
    Does the minge match th head?’’ My sister looked at him and then me,, very confused. She had no idea what he was on about. I said to her.”Never mind. Come on,” and took her arm to lead her away. He blocked me, and said, “jeez, no offence, just a yes or no – is the m——-“ I stamped on his instep and gave a sharp knee to his nuts, as my husbanvhd taught me. He started howling, everybody looked, my husband – every woman’s knight in not-so-shining armour – came running over. My tiny little big sister, in her adorable accent, said the man had been very rude about a “minge” or something. He got in between us and the guy said, ‘That crazy f——g b!tch just kneed me in the—-“ The Knight sai, “Oi, sunshine. She might be crazy, but she’s no f——g b!tch.” He lifted the guy up to full height, and very conversationally said,”So, you can apologise, then go quietly back to your wife, shut your mouth and enjoy the night, or I can get the microphone from old mate up there and announce to all the ladies here that you’re tonight’s creep and to keep well away from you. Which?” Awww, our hero.

    • C-Shell says:

      I love that story so much. My late husband was a Knight cut from that shiny cloth, too.

      • AnnaKist says:

        Aww. Thank you, C-Shell (great name!). My husband passed away, too. They don’t make them like that anymore, do they? My man was one of those that men loved and women loved. On day, we popped in to see pur good friend. Her husband had cheated on her while she was pregnant, so she dumped him. After a few years of devoting herself to the two kids, she was ready to mingle again. This day, she opened the door and we saw a massive bruise, taking up the side of her face. He made an ice pack and a big pot of tea. Finally, she told us the fella she’d been seeing had been getting possssive, controlling and rough with her, and she’d tried to break up with him, but he was having none of, that, and punched her in the face 3 days earlier. The force dislodged a back tooth so badly, it had to be removed. She was scared because they had a date that evening, and was terrified to see him again, despite his apologies. The Knight had a cup of tea, chatted a bit, and said he had to go and see someone not too far away. After an hour, he was back. She gave him a crooked smile and asked if he’d met up with his mate. He said, “He’s no mate of mine.” She looked confused and he threw his arm around her told her the date was off, permanently, and she’d never have to see that guy ever again. She knew, and I knew where he’d gone. Leaning on mongrel men isn’t always the best thing, but he was a big man and knew what he was doing, so he usually just scared daylights out of them. He was old-school, and believed that a bit of reciprocal roughing up was the only thing some men understood and responded to. As I said, he loved and respected all women, and stood up for us, and every woman in his life adored him. Men, too.
        I’ll bet you’ve got lovely stories, too, and beautiful memories. Take care, C-Shell. Sending you hugs. 🤗

  11. Danielle says:

    I’m a natural redhead and I had such a complex about it as teen, so much so that I eventually dyed it an awful brown and then bleach blonde (yeah, it looked awful!) I’m way more confident about my hair now, but I really hate it the when redheads are referred to as “ginger”. I think its because “ginger” is often used as an insult or as a negative.

  12. Insomniac says:

    Yep. Former redhead, can also confirm. In the early 90s I basically had Nicole Kidman’s old hair—long, curly, and red. Damn, some men were gross about it.

  13. Scarlet Vixen says:

    Another natural redhead here. I’ve been getting inappropriate (and often downright crude) comments & questions since I was 10 years old. Men can be so disgusting. As the only redhead in my entire school district (not just my school but like, the entire city) I was also bullied pretty badly. I absolutely HATED being a redhead until I was well into my 20s. One of my young daughters has beautiful curly strawberry blond hair, and complete strangers will often touch/stroke it in public, which creeps me out. She LOVES her hair now, but I am absolutely dreading when she gets older and the gross comments start for her.

    • Izzy says:

      Holy crap. If I had a kid and some stranger came up and started stroking their hair, that creep would be leaving in an ambulance. As it is, I think you’ve earned the right to start yelling at them in public about touching someone else’s kid without permission (I will hold your bag and back you up if you decide to do this, because like I said, holy crap).

  14. Shan says:

    Now that I’m older, I’ve gotten comfortable being a ginger, but I hated it when I was young. I started to get those comments about my “carpet” when I was a tween, and they made me feel incredibly icky and vulnerable.

  15. Redgrl says:

    Another redhead here. Hated it as a kid,
    but love it now. But yes, people can be ignorant. If it’s not the rude comments it’s the constant stereotyping in popular culture- the red headed vixen, the other woman, the “slutty friend” disproportionately have red hair. I’ll take the fiery temper comments, though – I can work with that! 😉

  16. Jaded says:

    I have curly hair that I let go “au naturale” and when I was younger I dyed it a light auburn. You can’t believe the number of times men, some total strangers, would come up and ruffle my hair or talk about my sexy curls – one man seated at our table at a formal charity dinner AND in front of his wife and my husband said “WOW I love your horny curls!!” What is with these a-holes!?

  17. Andrea says:

    My hair is dyed red with a bit pink in the front. I don’t get comments from men like I did when I was in the US and blonde (in Canada now), but I do get older generations look at me sometimes like I am a criminal both in the US and Canada. I guess my alternative hair is threatening to them. lol

  18. Charfromdarock says:

    I’m a natural redhead too.

    As for the disgusting comments, I stare them in the eyes and ask them something along the line “do you realize you said that disgusting thing out loud” or “ do you know how inappropriate that is”

    I hated going to church growing up because it was the only time my hair was down. Everyone would try to stroke my hair.

    • lucy2 says:

      I think those are good responses. I also like the idea I’ve seen people say for other gross comments, where you ask them to repeat themselves and make them say it again. Especially in a work setting, let them know you want to remember their wording correctly!

  19. North of Boston says:

    As a natural redhead/strawberry blonde, I’ll share one nice comment I got from an older man when I was young:

    At my first post-college job, where I was basically a glorified go-fer, one day I was walking down the hall and the VP of international sales popped up from his desk, came out into the hall and flagged me down. Very conspiratorially, he waved me into his office. I was a bit on edge because the day before I had been cornered and propositioned by another much-older-than-me VP. But I went into his office, file folders clutched defensively across my bosom (lol!)

    He looks at me, smiles delightfully and asks me if other people in my family have the same hair color as me “Um, no, my parents have brown hair and so do my brothers and sisters. I’m the only person in my family with hair this color” He smiled happily and pointed to the sandy blond mop of hair on top of his head, and says “I saw you go by, and I just had to stop you and tell you….If you’re ever wondering about what your hair will be like when you get older, whether you’ll go grey or something…don’t worry! I had the same hair color as you when I was your age. This is what your hair is going to look like when you’re old like me! It won’t go grey, it will just fade a bit. ”
    It was the funniest thing, and he was always very professional but also a bit sweet and fatherly to me after that, never creepy. And I never really worried about my hair color after that…I figured there were worse things than eventually going a reddish-sandy-blonde. 🙂

  20. Sammiches says:

    Men are so disgusting.

  21. Anare says:

    Isla and her hub are both gorgeous.

  22. raincoaster says:

    No actual gentleman would say something like that.

  23. Vox says:

    I’ve loved her since I was a little kid and she was on Home and Away. I’m really happy that she’s been so successful,

  24. Sparkly says:

    Yikes, all these stories make me worry for my redheaded girls. I’ve always loved redheads (married one) and have never shown anything but respect, but I’ve heard the jokes. Hubby gets more than our kids do — hubby’s fine about ginger-joking, but he is intimidating, so no one will say anything about his kids when he’s around. My oldest, 16, is hardcore asexual and probably wouldn’t even get the carpets/firecrotch jokes, and the little one’s just 7, but I guess I’ll have to prepare them. Teach them to respond something like, “Well, does your little head match the obviously tiny and floundering one you have up top?”