Redheads tend to have a rough time. What with all the rampant clichés surrounding their fiery tops and the fact they can’t leave the house during the summer for fear of bursting into flame.
See? Look how easy it is to slip into! It’s unacceptable, and so it seems it’s necessary to redress the balance; there are plenty of reasons why being a redhead is awesome; it’s about time we celebrated some of them.
7. Redheads have an above average chance of being supernatural beings
Down the ages, various civilizations have firmly believed that having red hair confirmed a person’s otherworldly nature. Ancient Greeks thought it meant you were a vampire, the fathers of philosophy applying their impeccable logic and coming up with red hair = blood = vampire.
In the middle ages, your options were extended to include witches and werewolves, as well as the prolific nocturnal bloodsuckers. At the time, these were considered curses, but these days things are quite different.
Thanks in no small part to the popularity young-adult novels, witches, vampires and werewolves have never been cooler.
Sadly, there’s no proof to back up this theory, but the fact that it has reared its head time and again through the centuries simply cannot be ignored. There’s no smoke without fire: if any of us get to have funky supernatural powers to play with, it’s going to be the redheads.
6. Pain resistance
Unlike the previous, slightly spurious entry, this one can be backed up with cold, hard scientific fact.
A recent Danish study has shown that those of the ginger persuasion have a greater resistance to pain, particularly when it comes to the piercing of the skin.
While it’s unlikely knives will be snapping against freckled epidermises Superman-style, at the very least this means redheads are less likely to embarrass themselves whenever they need a travel vaccination or fancy a tattoo.
Not only that, but the ‘redhead gene’, catchily named MC1R, also endows a much greater degree of tolerance to spicy food, also helpful when it comes to looking tough.
5. No chance of growing an embarrassingly mismatched beard
Growing a beard is a true test of manhood that only a select few can endure. The pitfalls are numerous: the initial unbearable itchiness, the potential for patchy growth and, worst of all, the realisation that your beard isn’t the same colour as your hair.
This happens to those brown-haired people who haven’t quite managed to reach the awesome heights of redhead-dom and are stuck with just one of the two necessary chromosomes.
Grow a ginger beard with ginger hair and you look like an intimidating Celtic warrior; grow one with brown hair, and you look like… well, it just looks wrong and you should shave it off immediately.
4. Redheads are ideally suited to survival in an apocalyptic wasteland
Our two main sources of apocalyptic predictions, scientific theory and Hollywood movies, usually share a common theme: they’re both pretty dark.
Whether it’s because global warming has resulted in hideous weather conditions, or because a meteor strike has produced a gigantic dust cloud, apocalyptic wastelands are not sunny places.
Without our favourite yellow-dwarf star, our bodies struggle to produce vitamin D, and the result is a proliferation of bone diseases such as rickets and an increased chance of succumbing to nasty infections like TB.
But not for our redheaded friends.
Their pale skin is the result of a genetic trait designed to soak up as much vitamin D as possible, granting redheads a much greater chance of survival in most post-apocalyptic scenarios, which would likely be very similar to pre-historic ice covered northern Europe that spawned the trait in the first place.
3. Extreme popularity in the Netherlands
If you’re going to be popular, it might as well be somewhere that’s pretty great. Disneyland? Too artificial.
The real magical kingdom is wondrous Holland, land of picturesque canals, considerate cyclists and an accent that can’t fail to bring a smile to even the most hardened of faces.
Their relaxed attitudes towards certain substances certainly don’t hurt either.
In this near utopia, there’s nothing they like more than the red haired. This is typified by the annual Read Head Festival held in the Dutch city of Breda.
The tradition started in 2005 when artist Bart Rouwenhorst advertised for 15 red-haired models for his latest work. As we have established, because the Netherlands rocks, 150 showed up, and an event was born.
2. Being a redhead is, like, soooo hot right now
This entry has all gone a bit Hello! magazine, but it’s true.
While blondes traditionally have more fun, red hair is fighting for the title with hairdressers reporting massive surges of people requesting a coppery rinse and red hair dye sales constituting over 30% of the overall market.This is thanks in no small part to the rising numbers of fake red-haired celebrities. Madmen star Christina Hendricks shook the very foundations of civilization when she revealed that her signature ‘do was a dye job, and there are plenty of others jumping on the bandwagon, including the Florence part of Florence and the Machine.
Perhaps they’ve heard about our number-one reason why redheads are awesome…
1. Redheads are more likely to go down in history
The proportion of redheads in the world is approximately 2% of the population, way behind the next rarest, blonde hair, at around 10%.
This rarity alone is a positive thing, since everyone likes to be unique, but it gets better. The sheer number of famous redheaded figures is nothing short of staggering. Of course, there are the slightly rubbish ones too, such as Chris Evans and Mick Hucknall, but the majority are historical gold.
There’s Christopher Columbus, Isabella of Spain, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander the Great, Boudicea, Leonardo da Vinci, Winston Churchill, Oliver Cromwell, Marquis de Sade, Queen Elizabeth I, Galileo, Vladimir Lenin… we could go on, but you probably get the idea.
Basically, the number of famous redheads is way out of proportion with the total number of redheads. Science has yet to weigh in on this one, but the numbers speak for themselves: the redheaded have an intrinsic ability to cement their place in history. Awesome.
So, there you go. Redheads are rare, tough, popular and have a much greater propensity towards historic immortality. In other words, despite the centuries of persecution and bullying, they probably have the most awesome hair colour around.