Andrew James, local TV host, who has auburn hair talks of his two friends "who are really ginger" and how "they're getting more female attention and sex now then the other guys! There are theories as to the sea change. Prince Harry and Ed Sheeran get a lot of credit for it, but if you're a prince or a rock star, power rules over hair colour anyway. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that prejudice of any kind is becoming increasingly unfashionable — even when it's all just supposed to be a hilarious joke.
Globally, men and women with red hair are speaking up about the "gingerism" they've faced. The special, exceptional aspects of being red has galvanised into movements of solidarity with redhead festivals in Holland Roodharigendag , Chicago, Germany, Milan, Brazil and Ireland, attracting thousands. If the redhead gene is cast in powerful sexy roles, that changes our perceptions. That was never my intention; it was just to present the hero. Certain pages of my signed calendar still make me blush.
Back in , Knights had called all the modelling agencies in London asking for their redhead boys and he was laughed at.
Hot Ginger Guy is no longer an oxymoron. Jesse Griffin, the much-loved comedian behind Wilson Dixon, who's currently starring in Words, says the rise of the "ginger guy" is also because of hipsterism. And gingers fit right into that. With their handsome moustaches. To be a hipster you had to eschew societies rules or fashion trends.
The true goal of today's hipster, according to French blogger Alerte Rousse who has red hair , is to look like you don't care but to be noticed. There's nothing that stands out more than a finely tattooed torso, a beard that's had more work than a topiary garden, and a flame-haired crop of hair.
Whereas my hair is orange! Bianca Duimel Bianca Duimel has photographed more than redheads and produced a book, Red Matters, which raised money for Kidsline.
Many of her subjects have never talked about the parochialism they face until they come into her studio. Hipsters, with their fantastic beards and lack of socks, get a hard time. But if they've helped turn the tide on gingerism then give them credit, I say.
Because it hasn't been easy over the past few decades. A constant barrage of lame, repetitive jokes and wisecracks come with having red locks. And it got worse after Southpark's episode "Gingers have no souls" — which was actually a metaphor for the atrocities of the Holocaust, though a lot of people missed that nuance. Three years ago, a poll ran in England speculating on who would be the next James Bond. Damian Lewis redhead went from being an outsider to the near favourite.
Thomas Knights In , Knights had called all the modelling agencies in London asking for their redhead boys and he was laughed at. Now, every agency has one if not more on their books.
You may as well wear an orange traffic cone on your head that says, 'Shoot here! Nothing harmful in that, right? Andrew James says that name-calling was just part of growing up with red hair. Knights was bullied at school so much he dyed his hair blond "which turned it piss yellow, but anything was better than red". You can't draw a direct comparison between ginger prejudice and racism, however for those on the receiving end, it's not hard to do so.
There was an incident in the playground where a racist remark from one student to another resulted in the principal getting involved. Parents were brought in. One child was banned from the playground for two weeks and a school assembly was held to address the issue. A week later O'Reilly reportedly caught a boy abusing another boy with red hair — "ginger nuts, ginger freak" — and beating him up.
This time it was dismissed as "kids being kids". Griffin grew up in Dunedin, where there were always two or three redheads in his class, and admits: There's always been a niggle — hard to say direct prejudice — but a niggle about feeling a bit different. There was some name-calling, but I could make jokes so I didn't cop a lot of it.
Holyoake was occasionally teased as a child but says: Mine was humour, like it is for many redheads. Laugh about yourself and it takes away the power for someone to use it against you. Occasionally somebody will yell, 'Ed Sheeran! I can walk down the street in a rich neighbourhood and I don't have to worry about my safety, it is highly unlikely that I'll ever get passed over for a job because of my hair colour.
Mostly we just have to deal with morons making stupid comments. Redheaded children can't step into hipsterism at the age of 8 — before they've established a well-honed sense of irony — and are expected to take the inevitable ribbing.
Bianca Duimel has photographed more than redheads and produced a book, Red Matters, which raised money for Kidsline. Then they come to the photo shoot and realise their child is absolutely beautiful.
She says girls with red hair get teased when they're younger, then experience "going through the fire", where they're meant to miraculously turn "from an ugly duckling into a fiery goddess in bed".
That brings its own set of problems. When Duimel, who's blonde, tells people about her project they usually say to her: Ginger is OK, if you must. The red revolution says the only way to rise above gingerism is to rock the red locks. Duimel told me about an American guy who turned up at her studio. Wherever he goes people yell 'ginger' or 50 different names and his way of responding is, 'Wow, thank you, you make me feel like a rock star!
I expect Oscar Wilde would be pleased to know that he could now openly find red headed men, and women, arousing.