By: Meredith Sparks
The world is a panic about a lot of things going extinct: polar bears, rainforests, natural gas, a middle class, but what about the elusive ginger? I’m talking about redheads, baby. There have been reports within the last decade that redheads will die out by 2060 and it has sparked a new fascination with gingers. The gene for flaming glory is recessive and with estimates that only 1-2% of the human population are legitimate carrot tops, this rare breed is something that’s viewed as either captivatingly beautiful or, well, Carrot Top. Redheads have a lot going against them, including Lindsay Lohan (sorry Firecrotch!) and the fact that they have a higher sensitivity to pain than their blonde and brunette counterparts. The gene that gives them their fiery locks also gives them freckles, fair skin and a high sensitivity to UV rays. And yes, “gingerphobia” and “gingerism” do exist. The cultures of ancient Egypt and the Middle Ages fostered a great fear of redheads and even today there have been hate crimes and bullying perpetrated against gingers throughout Europe (where redheads make up 5-6% of the population).
Redheads are known to have fickle personalities and hot tempers, like the ones found in gingers Napoleon Bonaparte and Queen Elizabeth I. Most religions have a ginger figure, including King David, Mary Magdalene and supposedly Muhammad himself who dyed his hair red with henna. Redheads have made us laugh, like Lucille Ball and Conan O’Brien. Marilyn Monroe dyed her natural gingerness away with hydrogen peroxide, which Lindsay Lohan also did a few decades later. The ginger gene also apparently comes with a hot libido since several studies claim that redheads have more sex than other people. Sometimes becoming a ginger is a brilliant career move, like in Kate Winslet’s case for “Titantic” and with Ashlee Simpson, who edgied herself up and distanced herself from her platinum blonde sister. Some famous fictional redheads include Anne of Green Gables, Pippi Longstocking, little orphan Annie and Ariel from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”. Redheads can even be sex icons, like Prince Henry of Wales and Isla Fisher.
If you aren’t a natural redhead, don’t fret. You can still become the strange embodiment of sex/anger/hotness/awkwardness/nerdiness with a box from the drug store or the help of your hair colorist. As long as you have a moderately fair skin tone and light eyes, you should be good to go. Even test being a redhead for Halloween this year in order to see if being a ginger is really for you. If you aren’t a natural redhead and you decide to go ginger, try to maintain the stereotype by being uber sexed up, highly temperamental or super nerdy. Let’s all do our best to make sure that redheads stay around and if you carry the ginger gene, do your best to find a ginger mate so you can do us all a favor and produce some wild, ginger babies. After all, redheads are blondes with a heart and a personality.