I did a reverse image search on a childhood picture of myself – and didn’t like the results.
So if you think I’m adorable now, you should have seen me when I was 4-years-old.
As it happens, literally millions of unsuspecting people already have. A few years ago, somebody stole a picture of 4-year-old me off this blog and it’s since been proliferated across the Internet so frequently that my face is now the third-ranked picture on a Google image search for “cute ginger kid.”
Just for a laugh, I did a reverse image search on that popular picture, to see just who was out there using my picture without permission (doing a Google reverse image search is easy. Just drag and drop a picture into the search bar, and it will bring up a list of every website that features it.)
First off was EatRunSwag – a blogger who’d captioned my adorable mug with the comment: “This kid will murder you in your sleep!” He then went on to write: “AHHH!!! OH MY DEAR GOD!! Just puked in my mouth. Can’t un-see that. My eyes are bleeding.”
Next, I discovered I was a star of image-curating site Pinterest - in a gallery called “Redheads Rock.” I can’t say it was too upsetting to be included in a smorgas board of cute redhead kids, handsome ginger men and stunningly beautiful redheaded women.
Foodie blogger Jamie Drummond linked to my picture in his article “Why Beaujolais Shouldn’t Be Getting B Grades” but at least had the decency to link to it straight off my blog (and it was a pretty good article, too.)
A 3D modeling enthusiast called Adam Rodgers stole my photo to use as his avatar on the web forum PolyCount.com – as did GameTuts.com user Raider. But another forum user called Dinkus Mayhem went a step further and created an animated gif out of my face on a forum called DawgSaloon.com!
A band called Stepkid used my face as a poster for their 2010 “All Ginger Show” – which means they owe me some big, fat royalties as using images for promotional work doesn’t come cheap (just as GettyImages.com.)
Apparently my face is being used as the avatar for a football player called Hamish Warnock, who plays for the Blackham and Ashurst Saracens. He’s described as “quite lovely and strangley attractive xx” (I hope they mean “strangely!”)
Apparently the WeHeartIt.com user LGrint think I’m “heartworthy” as she’s included me on her gallery – but just as my self-esteem was climbing, I found my picture showcased on a blog called “Ugly People” captioned “I has no soul.” And the sons of bitches even had the audacity to watermark it with their URL!
And finally for this post – although not for Google, as sadly the list of links goes on and on – I end on a particular low note.
A blogger called “A Sequel to Tom Riddle’s Diary” decided to post my picture and offer up these choice words: “heres a picture of a fat ginger kid with a bowl cut. right hes not fat,BUT THATS ON HELL OF A GINGER BOWL CUT!”
So there’s me – posted all over the Internet like an old billboard flyer. It’s pretty depressing – not only how people “copy & paste” other people’s stuff with n’er a thought to who it might belong to, but also some of the shitty stuff they write about it.
But the fact is, half the time my picture was posted in galleries celebrating gingers; and even if it wasn’t, perhaps Oscar Wilde was right when he said “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”
I’ve joined the ranks of other oft-imitated ginger Forever Amber; and she’s really not bad company to be keeping.
At at the end of the day, while my image might have been stolen and slandered; it all proves one important thing – Militant Ginger was destined to go viral.