“[Fill in the blank] treated me like a red-headed stepchild.” I’ve never understood that expression — for one thing, I love red hair, for another, I have a stepchild, and she’s wonderful. But it’s the first thing that came to mind when I read this article. It seems Beijing’s transport management bureau has issued some self-improvement guidelines for cabbies as part of the preparation for the 2008 summer Olympics. You can imagine: don’t smoke, don’t spit, be polite, and — huh? — no red hair for the women.
The article doesn’t specify whether the guidelines refer to really red or a nice auburn, and it doesn’t say why red hair is supposed to be so offensive. Can anyone explain to me why this would be an issue?