Being a redheaded, left-handed woman means I’ve endured a few brushes with discrimination in my time … but at least I’m not a redheaded man.
As I’ve touched on previously in a blog called Hug A Ginger Day, redheaded men have it tough. Even I’m not entirely keen on them (redheaded women tend to be averse to redheaded men). OK, I made an exception for two very delicious tawny men from my youth – Gavin and Angus. Gavin and Angus totally rocked red hair.
And so do these blokes photographed by Thomas Knights (a fashion photographer who’s worked for Vogue Italia and Marie Claire).
Thomas believes red-headed men have been bullied and stigmatised for too long, so he’s showing just how sexy they can be, by stripping them off for an exhibition in London called Red Hot.
Knights is a redhead himself and was bullied for it when he was growing up. He says it’s become an “acceptable form of racism”. And he hated his hair as a result.
It seems to have become way more prevalent in Australia too. Sure I got called “House on Fire” when I was growing up, but all the ranga stuff these days is pretty distasteful. Not to mention Kick A Ginger Day.
(Fortunately there’s also Roodharigendag, a yearly festival in the Netherlands for people with naturally red hair. It rocks.)
“It’s just like any other form of prejudice – being anti-ginger is like one of the last acceptable forms of racism left in our society,” Thomas has explained to the Daily Mail. “Red haired men are never heroes or the leading man, never the alpha male, or portrayed as sexual. They seem to emasculate and desexualise guys with ginger hair.”
Well, Damian Lewis from Homeland is regarded as a bit a sexy beast in many circles. Can’t see it myself. He’ll always be icky Soames in my eyes. Which I suppose is Thomas’ point …
“It’s far worse in the UK – it’s a hangover from the war with the Scots about 500 years ago where negative attention was turned to their red hair and now it’s stuck. Children pick up on what’s different and it’s been allowed to develop in our country, then as adults we’re are derogatory to people with red hair without realising. It’s taboo or quirky or exotic to have a ginger model in a [fashion] show.”
In fact, he had to do street casting for his photo shoots because few modelling agencies had ginger men on their books. Make that close to none.
“The agencies were shocked realising none of their models had red hair and nobody had ever wanted them before .”
Still, he’s turned up some rather stirringly handsome examples if the promo poster for the exhibition (above) is anything to go by.
The exhibition will be on display at The Gallery in Redchurch Street, London from December 16.
Do you fancy redheaded men? Does this exhibition change your mind about them?