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Facts every ginger should know

Redheaded people are a rarity in the world, and their genetic makeup allows them advantages over non-gingers as well as disadvantages, which is a significant boost to anyone who has ever been on the sharp end of years of teasing and name-calling.Inevitably, there are also plenty of misconceptions and stereotypes about redheaded people that have led to taunting and even violence and mistrust throughout history.Though ginger teasing is seen as harmless, at times it has caused real and serious damage to redheads around the world, and it needs to cease, as it is nothing short of bigotry against a class of people who have had it hard over the years. It’s time to claim back the fire, and stand loud and proud as a ginger, pushing away the ridiculous claims that gingers are vampires, or devil-spawn, or just plain more angry and sexual (a worrying combination) that have followed ginger people everywhere.Next time you’re confronted by an ignorant ginger-phobe, point them in the direction of these facts, and let’s break down the walls of gingerism through knowledge, sharing and love.

Ireland Does Not Have The Most Gingers

Many people assume that gingers are as prevalent in Ireland as Red Sox fans in Fenway Park, but this simply is not the case. While Ireland has one of the highest concentrations of redheads in the world, we only make up about 10% of the population. The highest concentration is actually in Scotland, at about 13%.By comparison, the United States has anywhere from 2 to 5 % gingers. However, 5% of the US population is actually more gingers than 13% of Scots. For some reason, “redhead” and “Irish” have become synonymous. Maybe it’s because everyone assumes that all redheads are short-tempered and fiery, which makes them assume they are Irish. 

Gingers Are Mutants

Most gingers know that there are certain stereotypes associated with our hair color. Feisty, fiery, and hot-tempered are all things that we are accused of being. The redheaded protagonist of Anne Of Green Gables is described this way by the narrator when she says: “her temper matches her hair.” And now, thanks to South Park, you can add “vampire” to the list of things we are accused of being.But the truth is far cooler – at least, if you like the X-Men, anyway – as we are mutants. The gene that causes red hair, which is recessive, comes from the MC1R, which is a genetic mutation. There are many things that we are not, but mutants is on the list of things that we actually are. This may or may not come with special mutant powers.

Gingers Produce Their Own Vitamin D

While sunlight may be the ginger’s kryptonite, in the right amount it is extremely beneficial. One of the reasons redheads fair so well in the British Isles is that our pigmentation is advantageous in cloudy, gloomy climates, because our pale skin allows us to absorb more sunlight than other people, which allows our bodies to create more vitamin D than our darker haired companions.Our ability to absorb sunlight where it is seemingly nonexistent is our strength, but it is ironically our downfall in sunny climates. It turns out the ginger mutation actually does come with special powers.

Gingers Experience Pain Differently To The Rest Of The World

Apparently, a side-effect of having red hair is that it makes you more sensitive to pain than other hair colours, because, genetically, pain receptors are linked to the mutated MC1R gene that causes red hair. As a result, studies have found that gingers require more anesthesia for dental or medical procedures than other hair colors, making this mutation essentially the opposite of a super power.It also means that your ginger jokes probably hurt more than you imagine they do.

People Find Redheaded Men “Unattractive,” A Study Says

Marion Roach wrote a book called The Roots Of Desire in which she discusses current and historical opinions of red haired people. In her studies, she finds that many people generally view redheaded males to be inferior in a lot of ways to men with other hair colours.“The historic reaction to the red-haired man was a kind of loathing,” she writes, attributing this to Shylock often being portrayed as a ginger in Shakespeare’s Merchant Of Venice. She also reports a 1986 study in which subjects generally described ginger men as “unattractive, less successful, and rather effeminate.”

Ginger Women Are More Promiscuous, Studies Say

On the other side of the coin, Marion Roach writes that the historical perception of ginger women is quite different. According to Roach, redheaded women are viewed by others as more promiscuous than blondes and brunettes.A German researcher in 2006 also declared that ginger women are more sexually active than non-ginger women. While this is still stereotyping, at least it’s slightly less reproachful than the stereotyping done to ginger men.

Redheads Are More Likely To Be Left-Handed

As stated before, red hair comes from a recessive gene. Evidently, recessive genes often come in pairs, which means that people born with red hair are more likely to also be born left-handed. Again, mutants…

Gingers Have Less Hair Than Everybody Else

Seriously, redheaded people actually have fewer hairs on their head than the rest of humanity. It’s a concept known as “hair density,” and for some reason, colonies of red hair are less dense than colonies of brown, black, and blonde hair.Most people aren’t really sure why this is; perhaps it allows us to absorb more sunlight on our scalp; perhaps we’re always pulling hair out due to our anger issues. As far as gingers are concerned, though, it’s the quality of hair that matters more than the quantity.

Gingers Don’t Go Grey

Red hair does not grey as much as other hair colours. Usually, it doesn’t at all. Typically, as redheads age, as their pigment fades, it fades to blonde and eventually white – but never grey.This is one of the rare mutant powers we have that is advantageous. Slightly.

Ancient Greeks Thought Redheads Were Vampires

On an episode of South Park, Cartman stirs up fear about gingers by comparing them to vampires; after all, there are aesthetic similarities, including extremely pale skin, aversion to sunlight, and the colour red being associated with blood. However, this myth was not created by Cartman, but was an actual legitimate fear held by the Ancient Greeks.Yes, the same people that invented democracy and philosophy also held the belief that, when redheads died, they turned into vampires. The entire notion is ridiculous, yet still sounds better than anything seen in Twilight.

Ancient Egyptians And Romans Hated Gingers Too

Who knew Egypt even had gingers? Apparently they not only had them, but they did not like them either, which isn’t at all surprising considering the number of other communities, cultures and individuals who openly hate them.Red hair was associated with the evil god, Seth, who the Greeks knew as Typhon. This dislike for redheads extended into ancient Greek and Roman communities. Romans showed their mistrust of the ginger people by giving their red wigs to the people playing slaves in their dramas. They were using red wigs centuries before Shakespeare made it cool. 

Christian Communities Once Considered Red Hair A Mark Of The Devil

In James George Frazier’s The Golden Bough, he discusses characteristics of religions throughout history and states that past Christian communities also shared a distaste for redheaded people.According to Frazier, many past Christian communities believed that “among the marks of the devil were syphilis, gonorrhea, leprosy, birthmarks, freckles, and-of-course- red hair,” as if those things are on a similar par. Who knows where this prejudice came from, but many speculate that old Christian communities believed that Judas was a ginger, which actually inspired many artists to paint Judas with red hair, despite any textual evidence from the Bible.This belief became so abundant that images of ginger Judas could be seen even in the 16th century in England, France, Flanders, and Spain.

Gingers Are Apparently Witches, Too…

Among the 45,000 women killed between 1483 and 1784 for witchcraft were, you guessed it, redheads. Witch hunts were a notoriously inexact science and thousands of women were killed for having suspicious witch marks, one of which was red hair, a stereotype that was unhelpfully furthered in later years when J.K. Rowling created a whole family of Weasleys who practiced witchcraft and wizardry.Her magical redheads might have been the most virtuous of the entire Wizarding World, but that doesn’t hide the fact that they would have been burnt as witches during the Witch Hunt heyday even without expectoing any patronums.

Red Hair And Blue Eyes Is The Rarest Combination In The World

While the concentration of redheads in the British Isles is pretty high, there are many places in the world where gingers are extremely rare or even nonexistent. If the entire world’s population is taken into account, redheads make up only 1% of the entire planet, making them the rarest natural hair colour in existence, which should really be something to celebrate, particularly when everyone is seeking to be individual.If you take that 1% and examine the break-down of eye colours, the least common among red heads is blue, which makes the combination of red hair and blue eyes the rarest on Earth. If you are a redheaded, blue-eyed, lefty, then you are not only a genetic mutant but a statistical anomaly, and you should be heralded as a king or queen among men. Do you know a ginger person? Are you a ginger person who suffers persecution at the hands of friends, family an people in the street who cruelly point and laugh? Educate them all by sharing this article now, and adding your own ginger facts below. It’s time we took down the Gingerist Media agenda.