Our famed family includes Boudica, Cleopatra, Genghis Khan, Chuck Norris, David Bowie, Judy Garland, Mark Twain, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tori Amos and Vincent Van Gough. The Ancient Greeks believed we would become vampires after death. In Ancient Egypt we were buried alive as sacrifices to the God Osiris. Studies have shown that we have more sex, require more anesthetic and are more likely to be stung by bees. We are redheads. I hear that sharp inhalation, I feel the air turn cold, breath turning foggy you pull your Gingers….have no souls. We are mutants, our mutated MC1R gene which gives us our red hair, pale skin and freckles also gives us the super-ability to withstand much greater levels of pain than non-gingers. The Spanish describe us as ‘human unicorns’ because we are so rare. In the 90s, when I was a child, even the glory of Ginger Spice could not abate the teasing, everything from ‘carrot top’ to ‘ginger pubes’ was hurled my way, like verbal rocks thrown at a stray cat. Playground taunts are one thing, but there have been horrendous news stories about youths being stabbed for “being ginger”, women sexually harassed for their hair colour and kids as young as 14 committing suicide because of the taunting he had to face every day.
But, there are two sides to every story. Some of us spend years dying our hair, covering ourselves in foundation and bronzer in an attempt to hide our true nature, but it will always out in the end. My fiery temper has been harnessed now, but back in the day, my god I was like Phoenix from X-Men, just totally out of control. I would get into fights at school over the smallest thing. At home I once smashed a double glazed window during a tantrum. We have a fire within us that, if it goes untamed, could consume everything within a ten mile radius. Mark Twain famously said “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats”. We are a secretly smug race; eventually we develop an amazing sense of humor because we spent so long being victimized by the common blondes and brunettes. To be honest, I would much rather be seen as a soul stealing sex fiend than a supposedly dumb blonde or dull brunette. Holy shit we are vampires! It is hugely inconvenient that we are essentially cursed to wander the shadows for all of time; this weekend I was in my garden for an hour and a half in the sun. Burnt isn’t even the world, I am scorched, I’m talking full on lobster. And the best bit? People telling you how burnt you are…like you don’t know. Like holy shit I’m burnt? Are you sure? Because it could be something else that is literally searing my skin down to the bone. Oh this redness? No you’re right, I don’t look as pale as usual.
However, there is one thing about ginger skin which I actually really enjoy. Freckles. Freckles are fucking adorable, so much so that you don’t have to be ginger to have them, but if you are they look even cuter! Some say they are sun kisses, others that you get a freckle for every sin you commit…but for redheads its true what you’ve heard, for every soul we steal, we earn a freckle. Our comeuppance comes, however, when we get a spot, because you cover that bad-boy in concealer and BAM! One bit of your face is freckle-less and you can see it from fucking space. I do think that ginger boys have it harder than ginger girls, however.
More and more these days, gingers are becoming the revered and idolized creatures they were always meant to be, from Jessica Rabbit to Peter Pan, Eddie Redmayne to Christina Hendricks, we are increasingly prevalent in pop culture. But we are a proud race, built to protect each other. I swear to god, we gingers are naturally attracted to each other. If I see a redheaded man in the street, there is always this exchange of looks, both of us wordlessly agreeing that we would have cosmic fiery children. Let’s just take a moment to enjoy the ridiculous, mythical beauty of ginger men, shall we?
Sweet lord above, I thank you for these inconceivably gorgeous additions to the human race. May I live long enough to find myself a specimen with bountiful fervid locks and an enormous package with whom to spend the rest of my days in a dark room. I mean, if I had to pick, Michael Fassbender would win every single time without fail. He’s like a handsome shark, he’s just the right side of fierce and if you’ve seen Shame then you know that there is no way in hell he’d ever be a disappointment, if you catch my drift.