Admit it: When you think of gingers, you think of them as being pale and freckle-faced goofballs. Your mind automatically goes to famously freckled faces like Carrot Top, Pippi Longstocking or Alfred E. Newman of MAD Magazine. It's become something of a running joke in the dating scene that redheads are unattractive. Don't believe me? There's an actual documentary on being ginger and how much it sucks (And the fact that there's this weird fascination with gingers as medical anomalies probably doesn't help.) And, recent studies show that more than 90 percent of ginger men are bullied because of their red locks!
But let me tell it to you straight: I think redheads (and the guys, in particular) get a bad rap. And I'm here to represent the devoted girlfriends (and boyfriends) of gingers everywhere. In fact, I think there's no better time than now to date a redhead.
British artist Thomas Knights is on a mission to prove that point in his RED HOT series, as he hopes to rebrand ginger men as sexy, confident and strong. For his book, RED HOT 100, he photographed 100 very attractive (and shirtless!) redheaded guys from all over the world to change the stereotype. An exhibition of the photos just opened at BOSI Gallery in New York City earlier this week.
Things finally seem to be turning around for them. Gingers: This is your moment!
Take Mad Men's Christina Hendricks, described as a "red hot" beauty and Buffy alum Michelle Trachtenburg is a "ravishing redhead". It's why ginger guys are finally taking the spotlight for a change: Damian Lewis is kicking terrorist butt and claiming hearts (as well as awards for his role in Homeland) along the way. Rupert Grint has gone from being long confined to the friend zone onscreen as Harry Potter's dorky sidekick to being the leading man in a steamy thriller. (Have you seen Cherrybomb, yet? I highly recommend it.) Even songwriter (and cute ginger in his own right) Ed Sheeran has gone from zero to hero. He admits to being flat-out denied record deals when producers told him that being "ginger wasn't a good 'marketing tool' for them." WOW harsh. But hey, now we're singing along to his lyrics on the radio, so who's the winner here?
I'm not exactly looking forward to the "carrot top" cracks, or the digs about my fiance and I having our own Weasley family. But I still say, give me a Harry over a William any day. Here's why red heads are so hot right now.
1. They're Less Likely To Get Prostate Cancer
Those ginger genes are keeping his health in check. A new study from the British Journal of Cancer revealed that natural red-headed men are 54 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer. Researchers think it might have to do with the way genes that dictate hair pigmentation also influence tumor development.
2. They Have More Sex
Thought blondes have more fun? Think again. Thanks to University of Hamburg for discovering that people with red hair are getting it on more than everyone else. That's right, according to their study, which looked at the sex lives and hair color of hundreds of women, our red hot friends are more sexually active than blondes and brunettes. The radiant color is thought to act like an aphrodisiac and signal youth and fertility.
3. Gray? No Way!
Rejoice — those vibrant strands will last your significant other a lifetime. Natural red tinted strands won't not gray like other colors. Instead, strands become golden blonde with age, and for some, they will turn to white. Red hair really is powerful.
4. They Have Strong Bones
You can bring your red-headed date to the beach or even to a gloomy climate, because either way, they'll be able to absorb more vitamin D than you — and everyone else around. According to experts from the ScotlandsDNA project, redheads have an advantage because they can create more of the essential, bone-strengthening vitamin in low-light conditions and they even receive the sun's benefits in just 10-15 minutes.
5. They're Proud
Want someone who's proud of their true colors? Of course you do. While they're still getting picked on, redheads are a strong group who always support one another. Not only do redheads start campaigns like Red Hot 100 to end discrimination and give their community positive role models but Ginger Pride Walks have also gained popularity as a fun way to stick together.
6. They're Here To Stay
Despite the rumor that redheads, who make up only 4 percent of the world's population, will soon be an endangered species (especially in Scotland!), they aren't going anywhere. While the recessive gene may become more rare, genetics experts say our fiery friends are far from being extinct. Phew.
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