In honor of St. Patrick’s Day weekend, let’s just go ahead and get this out of our system. Ginge, Ginger, Stepchild, Whitewalker, Freckle-face, Soul-less freak, Mailman’s kid…just a few examples of how one would reference the 1%. Go for it, I’ve heard em all…yay, we wear 75 SPF, we have a bad temper, certainly quirky, highly sexual, allergic to the sun, uncool, suffer from the condition “gingervitis,” definitely have no souls and I have a hidden pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Do you feel better? Good…you and the rest of the population for the last seven centuries.
In Greek myth, it is said, “redheads turned into vampires after they died.” Others have claimed throughout the ages (in the pejorative sense, though largely tongue-in-cheek) that redheads may likely be vampires from birth. Hmm…There are many examples of redheads being stereotyped as untrustworthy in medieval times. The “Proverbs of Alfred” warn not to choose a red-haired person as a friend and the “Secretum Secretorum” warns against using redheads as advisers. These ideas of untrustworthiness run parallel with the idea that Judas, Christ’s betrayer, had red hair. In fact, Judas was frequently portrayed with red hair or a red beard in the artwork of the Middle Ages. The author Ruth Mellinkoff, in her book, “Outcasts,” commented upon this prejudice, believing it to be a product of red hair’s minority status in society.
“Red hair, a red beard, and ruddy skin – separately or combined – have been considered suspect, impure, and dangerous because they did not meet the standards of the normal…[w]hat is essential to keep in mind is that they are minority features in all racial and ethnic groups, even among the Irish, who are widely thought to have more redheads.”
Aristotle himself is reported as once saying “The reddish are of bad character.”
History certainly hasn’t made it easy for us red heads but as C.S. Lewis once said, “hardships often prepare ordinary people for extraordinary destiny…” A few names come to mind after reading that quote…Ron Howard, Prince Harry, Shaun White, Jessica Chastain, Andy Dalton, Emma Stone and Chuck Norris. You heard me right, Chuck f**king Norris is a redhead.
But instead of threatening you with the reign of CN, I’m here to look at it from another angle…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 color 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 breakdown of eye colors, the least common among redheads 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. So on St. Paddy’s day…if you’re lucky enough to see a member of the 1%, buy us an Irish Death and remember we’re a rare member of society that has overcome great challenges to bring you happiness and joy…do it or we’ll sick Chuck on you.