A Tumblr blog that imagines what celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Kendall Jenner and Zayn Malik would look like if they were ginger is making the rounds on social media and has amassed more then 7,000 Instagram followers since April 28.
Australian ad creative Nadia Ahmad is the brains behind the blog, which is called “Put a Rang On It.” “Rang” or “ranga” is a derogatory term for a person with red hair in Australia. It comes from the word orangutan, according to Urban Dictionary.
Other outlets that have covered this Tumblr suggested that the celebrities looked worse with red hair and that the blog was created in order to point that out. NewNowNext went as far as calling the blog “sickening” in a headline.
Follower reactions on the project’s Instagram account are mixed. The comments below, for example, all appear under Zayn Malik‘s photo.
But Ahmad insists that the blog wasn’t created to hurt feelings or pile on to the anti-ginger hate that many redheads experience. Read on for our Q&A with the Put A Rang On It (PAROI) creator.
BUSINESS INSIDER: How did you get the idea for this?
NADIA AHMAD: The name ‘Put A Rang On It’ was created a couple of years ago by my friend Josephine Burns (who is a fellow redhead) and myself. We were in a bar talking about an idea that had to do with ginger hair and it was coined ‘Put A Rang On It’. Years past and that idea didn’t go anywhere, but the name stuck with me so I recently decided to focus on famous faces and launched it on Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook just over a week ago.
BI: Are you ginger yourself?
NA: No, I’m not, but thinking I might dye my hair now.
BI: Are you trying to make a statement at all with this, or do you just think people look interesting with red hair?
NA: The statement PAROI is making is that these celebrities look really good with red hair. I didn’t start PAROI to be malicious and I want people to understand that.
BI: How do you feel about people who say hurtful things about gingers? For example, the headline that called PAROI “sickening” — what’s your reaction to that?
NA: Yes, I saw that and it actually pissed me off because that is absolutely not what PAROI is about. It’s about embracing redheads and giving more power to them.
BI: How do you decide which celebrities to put on PAROI?
NA: Sometimes it’s just who’s top of mind. Other times it’s event based, like the Met Gala. I also posted several ‘Throw Back Thursday’ images. Most suggestions come from friends, but I also like to throw in a few randoms like Jean Claude Van Damme, Betty White and Chewbacca.
BI: You’re Australian, right? What is the perception of redheads and gingers there?
NA: Yes, I am. My belief is people should judge others on who they are as people rather than what they look like or where they come from. Most Australians, and a vast amount of people around my age, are the same way. I’m proud to say that I have such a diverse group of friends who can all laugh at themselves and at each other, so it really doesn’t matter, as long as you’re not coming from a place of hate.
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