I always tell people, "I'm not a ginger, I'm strawberry blonde!" Let's face it, it's not easy being a redhead. Flaming red hair and constellations of freckles often make people targets for bullying. Like Eric Cartman, trolls will taunt them, claiming they "have no souls!" And it's not just kids. In the UK, one teacher told a redheaded student to dye her hair because 'orange isn't a natural color.'
However, life is getting better for gingers. In pop culture, they're popping up everywhere, like freckles on their skin when they're out in the sun for five minutes. There's iconic characters like Ron Weasely, singers like Ed Sheerhan, movie stars like Bryce Dallas Howard, Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain. And some people have taken action to promote acceptance. After getting bullied for his orange hair, Derek Forge created Kiss A Ginger Day, encouraging everyone to steal a kiss from those "kissed by fire." (It's on January 12, so mark your calendar!)
For the past six years, the Red Hot project has worked to transform the image of redheads in society. After all, gingers can be sexy - why do you think Meghan Markle married Prince Harry? For their new calendar, Red Hot American Boys, they found the twelve hottest "ginger jocks" in the United States. If you browse their Instagram page, you can see the redheaded adonnises in all their glory. Eat your heart out, Ron Weasley.
But that's not all - they're also throwing the world's biggest 'ginger party.' you happen to live in London. The exclusive house party takes place in London, at the L’Escagot members club in SoHo, on October 25. Red Hot describes the event as "an American style house party full of the sexiest ginger men on the planet in a hazy maze of secret rooms, superstar DJ’s, peep shows and famous faces."
There are a limited amount of regular tickets for £20 ($26). However, if you have ginger fever, and a lot of disposable income, you can upgrade to a VIP package, which includes dinner: "VIP tickets include: 1 x Dinner (6:30-8:30PM) with red hot models, notable guests & celebrities. Spend more time getting to know photographer Thomas Knights and the models. Full access to the party including exclusive use of the VIP lounge. One guest allowed from 9pm."
While internet trolls still malign gingers, scientific research shows that redheads are actually genetic superheroes. In The Big Redhead Book: Inside the Secret Society of Red, Erin La Rosa argues that people should be proud of their fiery hair. They're rare, they're beautiful, and studies show they have a higher threshold for pain, due to the MC1R gene mutation. (Note to self: Create a "Super Ginger" superhero character and try to sell it to Marvel. Every freckle can shoot a laser!")
Well, my hair is blonde, with a slight tinge of red. But maybe next time somebody calls me a ginger, I won't be so quick to deny it.