Are redheads different?

Tatum Metcalf, Staff Writer

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People who have red hair are a small percentage of the world’s population, yet there are about 140 million redheads. With this many people, you would think that the rumors would have ceased.

From vampires to bad luck, redheads get accused of many things. Throughout history, redheads have been the target of accusations and mistrusts. Many believed redheads have no souls or that redheads were sent by the devil. The list of strange beliefs goes on and on.

Claire Carr, an 8th grade student at Robinson Middle, has heard many of these accusations. She is, after all, a redhead.

“They have said I have no soul and am mean,” she said. “They have also said I’m a leprechaun.”

Some redheads brush off the myths. Others simply find them funny. Either way, redheads have started to recover from the blames of bad luck.

Chris Carr, a 7th grade history teacher at Sevier and Claire’s father, understands why these stories linger.

“Old habits die hard,” he said. “People hear stories their whole lives, and they enjoy retelling them.”
People often wonder where this trait comes from hereditarily.

According to the website “Ginger Parrot”, which is a resource for people with red hair, more than 40% of the population carry the mutated MC1R gene that’s responsible for red hair. If both parents carry this gene, children have a 25% chance of having red hair themselves. If two gingers have a child together, that child has 100% chance of having red hair, too.

Redheads also have different traits. For example, redheads have paler skin, which means that they burn more easily. They also have more freckles, supposedly bruise easier, and are more sensitive to cold and the sun.

“We have to put on lots of sunscreen” Claire Carr said.

Some people think of being a redhead as a curse, while others think of it as a blessing.

In this case, it could be a little of both. British newspaper “The Telegraph” reported in 2016 about the health benefits of having red hair. The article cites a Danish study that suggests people with ginger hair are less likely to have skin pain and can tolerate more spicy foods than others.

People often believe that redheads’ personalities are unique, too, but most redheads disagree.
Lily Turner, a 7th grade student at Sevier, said, “I don’t think their personalities are different than others because everyone has their own personality not based on a specific trait,” she said.

Ryan True, a redheaded 7th grade student, agrees.

“We’re not different”, True said.

Redheads think that they are no different and teachers agree.

“I never really noticed a difference in student personality in the classroom,” Chris Carr said.

As Turner points out, they really aren’t that different.

“Redheads are the same as other people, they just have a different hair color,” she said.

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