A Look Into the “Unique” World of Redheads

Lauren Stewart

Jamie Riley, Lauren Stewart and Samantha Zulch

Here at Miramonte, it is a rare occurrence to see other redheads: only an estimated 23 redheads roam the halls. Although historically redheads have been labeled hot-tempered, unlucky, deviant, or most commonly, “gingers”, nowadays we prefer to be seen as unique rather than weird or inferior.  With this exposé the redheads of Mirador give Miramonte students an inside look on what its really like to be a redhead.

Some Facts You May Not Know About Redheads:
–    Red hair is a genetic mutation. The color appears only in people with two copies of a recessive gene on chromosome 16, which causes a change in the MC1R protein. This protein also takes the place of Melanin, which gives a darker pigment, causing redheads to often have fair skin and sensitivity to Ultraviolet light.
–    Redheads make up a mere 4% of people in the world and are found mainly in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and the United States.
–    A 2002 study concluded that redheads are harder to sedate, requiring 20% more anesthesia than most others. This isn’t a problem unless too small of a dose leads to waking up mid-surgery!
–    The country name of Russia means “land of reds” after a redheaded Viking named Rurik.  Homeland!
–    Supposedly the town of Auburn, Massachusetts has a population of all redheads, except for a lone old man named Reg.
–    Bees tend to sting redheads more often than people with other hair colors.
–    Redheads are more susceptible to pain.
–    Greek Mythology says that when redheads die, they turn into a vampire.
–    Typically redheads’ hair doesn’t turn grey with age, but rather turns sandy and eventually white – but we get to keep our hair color for longer than most!

Some Famous and Notable Redheads Who Rock:
–    Molly Ringwald (actress), Amy Adams (actress), Vincent Van Gogh (artist), Ariel the Little Mermaid (cartoon), Galileo (astronomer), Jessica Rabbit (cartoon), Nicole Kidman (actress), Winston Churchill (former Prime Minister of the UK), Thomas Jefferson (third President of the United States), Emily Dickinson (poet), Lindsay Lohan (actress), Mark Twain (author), Lucille Ball (actress, I Love Lucy), Napoleon Bonaparte (self-proclaimed emperor of France), Cleopatra (Egyptian ruler), James Joyce (author), and so on and so forth.

Some Do’s and Don’t’s for Redheads:
Do’s:
–    Wear the colors green, blue, purple, black!
–    Apply copious amounts of sunscreen
–    Brown eyeliner not black-its too harsh.
–    Eye shadows like, purples, dark silvers and browns.
–    “Work it.”

Don’t’s:
–    Don’t wear bright colors, reds, peach tones, beiges, or oranges.
–    Don’t wear pink eye shadow,it gives you the appearance of pinkeye.
–    Don’t fake tan, you’ll be a carrot.
–    Never dye your hair – it’s a gift!

Some Stories of Being a Redhead:
Alas, when I was a freshman I had this really great “friend” who was constantly trying to convince me to dye my red hair a different color. One day she sat me down said, “Listen, let me dye your hair blonde, for your sake. You’d look great as a blonde [doubtful, very doubtful], and besides [here’s the kicker], boys don’t like redheaded girls, they just don’t find them attractive.”
After momentarily flashing back angrily to years of my grandparents’ friends, and every other lady in the salon when I’d get my hair cut, fawning over my hair [so many years of deception, I thought], I realized that my friend didn’t seem to know that much about hair color, or boys for that matter. If anything, my red hair made me unique. I knew this was usually a good thing when it came to appearances. I also knew one more thing: this friend was seriously and shamelessly jealous.
As if to confirm these very suspicions of mine, that same girl who told me to dye my hair to escape the so-called curse of red hair, began soon after to dye her own brunette locks a lovely shade of, well, red. How’s that for a change of heart?

Some Pro’s and Con’s of being a Redhead: Both a Blessing and a Curse
Pro’s:
–    “Rare”, “Special”, “Different” – not sure these are even pro’s.
–    Rarest-looking person around – Unique!
–    Maybe biased, but I think red hair is beautiful.
–    All the ladies in the salon ask if they can get your hair-color, only to hear from the hairstylist that “that color doesn’t come in a bottle.”– flattering!
–    Get to keep hair color when you age (for a while at least).
–    Getting attention from being redheaded – it’s one way to meet people!
–    Being involuntarily part of the oh-so-exclusive redhead population

Con’s:
–    “Weird”, “Mutation”, “Ginger”, “Fire-crotch”, “Annie”, etc.
–    No tans, just sunburns.
–    Reputation of having a fiery temper – makes you angry, huh?
–    Red hair is a recessive gene so I guess you can’t start a huge family of nice redheaded children – bummer.
–    Have to suffer through countless jokes and references to South Park’s “Ginger Kids” episode.
–    Pretending to laugh when your friends scream “Hey, look it’s you!” every single time any other redheaded person ever,  but particularly the terrifying Carrot-Top, appears on TV or walks past you on the street or is mentioned in conversation.