Miss Ireland Aoife Walsh has revealed she was bullied as a teenager for being a redhead.
The Tipperary beauty, 24, admitted it used to affect her when she was growing up – and now is fighting the ‘ginger prejudice’ people can face.
She said: “My hair is my trademark, it’s so part of who I am, I am all about promoting redheads and ginger.
“I know growing up, you get the odd comment like, ‘carrot top’ and ‘ginger’, and as a teenager it does affect you – even though now you’d brush it off.
“So I try and promote it as much as possible. A lot of girls have got in touch over social networks to say they haven’t dyed their hair because they see me and I haven’t dyed it, so it’s like, “Wow, you can make a difference”.
“It’s great to see things like that, even just to promote that confidence in girls to love the way you are.”
And Aoife told the Mail that she is glad to many women are taking no makeup selfies to raise money for cancer research.
She added: “As a woman I am so proud of other women putting those pictures out there, and for some people it might be a bigger deal than for others.
“Thankfully I look at myself every day without make-up so it’s no shock to be in picture form. But the money that has been raised with cancer research is phenomenal.”