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Redheads: The Non-Recognized Minority

Updated on June 5, 2016
Me
Me | Source

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 | Source

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)

Source

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.

Me, lying on the couch
Me, lying on the couch | Source

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.

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    • profile image

      Brady 4 months ago

      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!

    • profile image

      Jeremy 8 months ago

      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.

    • profile image

      hookemncookem 15 months ago

      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......

    • profile image

      John Bird 16 months ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Claire McCracken 23 months ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Marcus Liath 3 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      sadhbh 3 years ago

      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 profile image

      Liza Schwab 3 years ago from Richfield, Minnesota

      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.

    • profile image

      Bri 4 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      st.clair 4 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      Sanxuary 5 years ago

      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 profile image

      ahorseback 5 years ago

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

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 5 years ago from Texas

      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.

    • Mom Kat profile image
      Author

      Mom Kat 5 years ago from USA

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

      Thanks for reading & commenting!

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      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 profile image

      ahorseback 5 years ago

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

    • Mom Kat profile image
      Author

      Mom Kat 5 years ago from USA

      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 profile image

      ahorseback 5 years ago

      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 !

    • Mom Kat profile image
      Author

      Mom Kat 5 years ago from USA

      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.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      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.

    • Mom Kat profile image
      Author

      Mom Kat 5 years ago from USA

      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.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      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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