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Redheads: The Non-Recognized Minority

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Redhead Population:

Natural red hair makes up less than 4% of the world population. It is the most rare of all naturally occurring hair colors. The majority of which are concentrated in Scotland and Ireland.

13% in Scotland.

10% in Ireland.

While only 2% of the population of the USA is endowed with Natural red hair. (Up to 4% if you count those who dye their hair red)

Me on my broomstick

Me on my broomstick

The Stigma:

Throughout the ages, redheads have been singled out, picked on, tortured, punished, and put to death for their flaming locks. Accused of being witches, temptresses, or bewitched by fairy magic. It was also thought that redheads turned into vampires after they died.

Even today, the teasing and torment continues. While there is less fear of being burned alive, redheads still endure some pretty cruel treatment from others.

  • Carrot top
  • Copper top
  • Ginger
  • Annie
  • Pippi
  • Fire crotch

The insults just keep coming.

What goes with it:

Typically there are other traits that go along with being born a natural redhead.

  • Lower pain tolerance
  • Lighter skin
  • Higher risk of skin cancer or melanoma
  • Freckles
  • Less hair ( around 90,000 as apposed to 110,000 for brunettes & 140,000 for blondes)
  • No grey! (red hair doesn't turn grey. It turns to a softer blonde, then white)

Redheads are Mutants!

It's true. Red hair is a genetic mutation occurring in the MC1R gene.

Because this is a recessive gene, one can only get red hair when both parents carry the gene. It is easily overpowered by the more dominant genes. This is one of the reasons why certain areas have a higher concentration of redheads. Many of the people in those regions carry the recessive gene, thereby allowing a higher probability of it carrying over in their offspring.

Not Minor Enough to Matter?

While there are other minority groups which get recognition and relief, redheads don't qualify. Try telling a college that you are entitled to minority group grants. They will laugh you off campus!

You can't be denied a job due to minority discrimination if you have red hair. You'll be laughed right out of court!

How is it that a people who hold less than 4% of the world population aren't recognized as a minority? Redheads endure teasing, ridicule, and discrimination all the time. They are singled out and picked on relentlessly all throughout their school careers. They are made fun of, laughed at, and excluded from activities and positions of honor, authority, or prestige for the sole reason of having red hair.

"Being a redhead doesn't count. You're Caucasian." So that makes the discrimination fare I guess.

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Me, lying on the couch

Me, lying on the couch

The Scarlet Locks

Rather than a scarlet letter, redheads wear their scarlet locks. It isn't always easy to be a redhead, especially during childhood. There is a certain amount of pride that comes with surviving the cruelty and mistreatment from others, a strength that grows as we age.

Despite what others say to put us down, there comes a day when we see the truth. Those meanies from days past were just jealous. Threatened by someone who was different, envious of the rare hues of our hair. We never had to "try" to be different and unique, we were born that way.

My personal rarity:

Fun little tidbit ~ I did some statistical digging to see just how uncommon I really am ~

Out of the 7.042 Billion people in the world, there is only an estimated 22,534 people who have Red hair, blue eyes, and are left handed like me.


Maria Boyd on March 31, 2019:

Most redheads are left handed. They are both recessive traits and are usually paired together, so it normal to be left handed and a ginger

tinasee on February 10, 2019:

Wow, finding this website is like finding a pot of gold ,so to speak. I am also redhead, blue eyed and left handed. When I was a kid I hated being different from everybody else. now I appreciate it and would not want it any other way...

Brady on February 17, 2018:

Awesome! I'm a redhead with green eyes and ambidextrous (I write with my left, but everything else I can do both). With a name like Brady, I was teased often. I definitely have an odd ancestry. Of course being Irish/Scottish, but toss in Mexican and Inuit. Thanks for the read! Definitely feeling the pride!

Jeremy on October 22, 2017:

I'll add a smaller demographic group to the conversation. Red hair with blue eyes who are left handed and gay. I'd say that it slips to 200 if the statistical rule that gays make up 7% of the world population is true.

hookemncookem on March 14, 2017:

I was made fun of relentlessly in school and up until I was about 22 most people felt it was fine to "try" and make a joke out of it........I love redheaded women.....Most beautiful women on earth......Besides my wife......

John Bird on February 21, 2017:

Oh the teaseing I got it double , redhead blue eyes left handed but trained to be a righty, last name like Bird is just another teasing point. It wasn't until I was in my mid twenties the teasing ever slowed down. Great post I never really thought of myself as a minority before. maybe we should march on Washington and demand our proper status.

Claire McCracken on July 26, 2016:

I, too, am red-haired, blue-eyed, and left-handed! I have found my people!! ;)

I lived through a ton of bullying and torment for my coloring after moving from the UK to the US as a small child. My hair is curly and I was called Bozo and Clairabelle and every other clown name. But it made me tougher and now I get complimented on my long curly red mane all the time.(And though we have less actual hairs, our hairs are thicker!) I will say, though, that my hair is definitely turning gray. I always heard it wouldn't. Kinda bummed about that.

And the whole melanoma thing.

Marcus Liath on February 27, 2015:

I have red hair,blue eyes and I also am Ambidextrous.Some things I do right somethings I do left.Sometimes I don't notice the difference. I am of Scots Blood. I have two sisters and one brother with red hair, but they

have brown eyes. Of ten children four are red and six brown.It's a trip!

sadhbh on July 27, 2014:

Red hair, blue eyes, Irish, left handed AND double jointed, and to top it all off, just look at my name haha I am amazed that the only person who ever bullied me about it is my sister, who incidentally is also red headed and blue eyed! :)

Liza Schwab from Richfield, Minnesota on July 06, 2014:

I too am a redhead with blue eyes and is left handed. Add to that, my name. Lisa with a z and WOW...let the stories of teasing from childhood begin! :-)

great article. I struggle with those people who dye their hair red as teens or adults because it is now fashionable to have redhair. I believe you can't possible 'own' the red haired look unless you were born with it and lived through all that came with it.

Bri on June 17, 2014:

Now I realize why I've always felt like the odd man out! Red hair, blue eyes, left handed and named Sabrina! Wow. Thanks for the article!

st.clair on March 29, 2014:

My son who is now 20 years old is left handed, blue eyes, and red hair. He aced all school work, (which was advanced placement and college prep courses in high school) was a record setting baseball player and the girls loved him. He had a heart of a lion, would befriend the kids that were picked on by others. just a success story I thought I would share. TO GOD THE GLORY!

Sanxuary on December 26, 2012:

I am looking for a red head and yes they are hard to find. I tried all the other girls and only the red heads had any real perspective in dealing with reality. My first girl friend was a red head, if I knew that then I could have saved myself a lot of trouble. Stay away from me blondes.

ahorseback on November 25, 2012:

I believe that anyone jealous of this beauty right here . Is nuts !......I mean , Look at her !

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on November 25, 2012:

You are beautiful, love your red hair. Like one of my other friends on HubPages, her hub says it all.

Redheads: Redhead Chemistry Is Unique and Different From All Other People.

Lots of readheads in my family from Auburn (mine) to fire engine/carrot color.

I could have had any color from platinum to raven black, in fact one of my own sons has Golden Blond w/blue eyes and the other has raven black hair w/dark brown eyes.

Kat (author) from USA on October 06, 2012:

That's awesome Sharkye11 ~ I'm so glad to hear that those you know were treated well :)

Thanks for reading & commenting!

Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on October 06, 2012:

This is a great hub. I have over thirty close relatives with red hair. My sisters are both red-heads. But oddly, they were rarely teased. In fact, they were singled out because red hair was rare where we lived, and given many compliments, and even treats when they were younger. I was surprised to read in your hub that the old prejudices still exist. That is sad. I was always so jealous of their beautiful hair.

Voting this hub up as a tribute to all the redheads I know!

ahorseback on September 27, 2012:

One great thing about it ,in your family , you're an origional !Yeeaaaa!Be well .

Kat (author) from USA on September 26, 2012:

Thank you ahorseback, that's very nice of you to say :)

I have just a touch of Irish in me, but no one on my mother's or father's side can remember anyone having red hair before me and the inquiry went back over 5 generations. My great-grandparents couldn't remember a single member of our family having red hair!

Isn't that wild?

ahorseback on September 26, 2012:

What ever you do , never look down at yourself , We guy's love red hair , and having [or had ] a tint of red myself . My Father Scottish and Mom Irish it showed . Anyway be proud ,You're beautiful , very attractive ! Awesome hub !

Kat (author) from USA on September 26, 2012:

Oh my goodness that is so sweet of you to say!

I am proud of who I am & what I look like. It wasn't always the case though. Up until I was about 20 years old I was ruthlessly tormented and hated being born a redhead. Now I love it & wouldn't want it any other way.

Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on September 26, 2012:

I think red heads are beautiful. You can't listen to ignorant and mean people. Be proud of who you are and what you look like.... drop dead gorgeous.

Kat (author) from USA on September 26, 2012:

You're right, stereotypes and prejudices are puerile and juvenile. With how far we've come it is still so sad how much hate and discrimination is left in the world. Thank you for your comment.

Grace Marguerite Williams from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on September 25, 2012:

Extremely interesting hub. I find the subject of redheads quite fascinating. They are indeed unique people. I find the stereotypes and prejudices against redheads totally puerile and juvenile. People are people and should be appreciated for their specialness.

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