Debunking the red scare

Debunking the red scare

Photo by Molly Kraybill.

Photo by Molly Kraybill.

So, as hard as this might be for you to accept, redheads are people too. We eat, sleep and live just like “normal people.” We experience joy and sorrow just like you do, and we make mistakes just like you, too. I write this perspective in the hopes that I can correct some of the common misconceptions about redheads, and hopefully drum up a greater appreciation for those of us to whom the crimson curls are a fact of life.

Myth: All male redheads are named Abe and are physics majors.

Fact: Now, I can understand where this one might be coming from, especially since the redheaded-physics-majors-named-Abe demographic at Goshen College has doubled since last year. In all actuality, the likelihood that two Abes with red hair decide to go to Goshen for a physics degree is less than 1 in 1,000,000 (I actually did the math on that one).

Myth: Redheads are lame.

Fact: All redheads are awesome. It’s true! Just ask one of us. I can guarantee that we will say “yeah, we’re awesome” 100% of the time.

Myth: It is impossible for redheads to tan.

Fact: Although difficult, it can happen! However, it usually involves just as much burning.

Myth: All redheads know each other.

Fact: No… no we don’t.

Myth: Redheads are going extinct.

Fact: No, redheads are born every day, but it’s not going to happen on its own…

Myth: Redheads have fiery tempers.

Fact: We’re pretty chill, but that doesn’t mean you can talk smack about us. “Prick us; do we not bleed?  Tickle us; do we not laugh? Call us carrot tops; shall we not seek revenge?”

Some of the western world’s most influential people have been redheaded: Galileo Galilei, Napoleon Bonaparte, Thomas Jefferson, Vincent Van Gogh, Lucky the Leprechaun of General Mills cereals, and Judas Iscariot.

What I hope you have realized from this discussion is that redheads are more or less normal. Beyond our fiery panache, we are no different from the blonds and the brunettes. The very same sort of blood that runs through the veins of Ron Howard and Robert Redford runs through your veins as well.

Annalisa Harder
Written by Annalisa Harder

1 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    September 25, 2009

    As a mother of a red-headed physics major named Abe who attends Goshen college, I concur with all the facts presented here! There a nothing more fascinating than a red-head except for a red-head with curly hair. During high school, my Abe was fondly nicknamed the Flying Tomato (like Sean White) when he let his red hair grow long. He and his red-headed friends started a “hug a ginger” day. I am always amazed at all the different shades of red around. Did you know that only 2% of Americans are naturally red (4% worldwide) but 30% of Americans are red-heads (we’ll call them, the wanna-bes). Looks like you have lots of admirers!
    I say enjoy your status of natural uniqueness! I always tell my Abe that he has developed a special personality that includes tolerance with all the attention he receives over his red hair. You are unique and special and should bask in it (but not too long lest you “burn.”) Thanks for a great article.
    Kind regards,
    Anonymous mom of one of the red-headed-Physics-major Abes at Goshen College

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