Redheads have a tough time when it comes to stereotypes. We’ve all heard that brunettes are dependable, blondes are dumb and apparently have more fun, but when it comes to a redhead, we suffer more prejudice than any other hair colour. Now, you may have guessed from the ‘we’ that I am indeed a redhead. And proud! We are immediately judged as the fiery ones. And quite frankly, I like that. We have passion, and independence. Although let’s be honest, that is still stereotyping. Until you get to know the person, how can you judge what they are like?
In times gone by, redheads have been seen as temperamental, untrustworthy, mischievous and sexual. In fact, the ancient Egyptians saw red hair as a curse on their families, and redheads were burnt alive. Greek myths have even said redheads would turn into vampires when they died…
All myths aside, only 2% of the world’s population have naturally red hair. And yet we all seem to live in the same places. Northern Europe has the highest percentage of redheads, with Scotland taking the lead with 13% of their population being naturally red haired. Of course this is because we are very sensitive to sunlight, and we do not need a lot to get burnt – and subsequently very freckly. So it is unlikely that you will find many redheads out in the Sahara Desert. But actually the fair, pale skin tone of redheads allows the body to absorb more light and produce more vitamin D. This means that although our skin is the most sensitive, it is also the most nourished – if looked after properly!
But no matter where you live, growing up with red hair and getting called names like “ginger” and “carrot top” can take its toll on you. It certainly made me feel a bit out of place at times. Although, there were some funny ones too! Being told “Oi ginger, you hair’s on fire” has to be worth a little chuckle, for originality if nothing else. But actually, redheads have some special attributes that set them aside from other hair colours and make them pretty unique. For one, us redheads will never go grey! That’s just as well really because trying to find a red dye from a bottle to match your exact colour could be quite challenging.
What’s more, it turns out that it’s the redheads who have more fun, according to research carried out in Germany. Well, when I say fun, I mean sex. The study was carried out by Hamburg Sex Researcher Professor Dr Werner Habermehl who discovered that redheads had a more active sex life, with more sexual partners and have sex more often than the average. So, I guess redheads are living up to their fiery reputations after all.
Although some say that this is not to do with the woman, but the men that are attracted to them. The colour red has connotations of lust and fire, and men are seemingly attracted to this. Psychologist Christine Baumanns said: “Red stands for passion and when a man sees a redhead he will think he is dealing with a woman who won’t mess around and gets straight to the point when it comes to sex.”
But this only seems to apply to women. How many times have you heard someone say that a man must be fiery because he’s a redhead? Or, he must be good in bed because of his hair? Not many right?
Well, fact or fiction, it certainly seems that redheads are pretty unique! I think we should be given far more credit. But then again, if we weren’t insulted and stereotyped throughout life for our hair colour then would we be as fiery and independent? Perhaps not. And it’s nice to know that we aren’t getting burnt at the stake anymore.