"So, redheads could be extinct within one hundred
years. With no survival advantage to gingerism, it has been suggested
that the gene may die out. Is that really the kind of evolutionary
progress we want to see? Photographer Jenny Wicks has documented the increasingly elusive breed in a series called Root Ginger…"

I came across this photo series via Andrew Sullivan. Sullivan also embedded this South Park episode.

Pasty skin and freckles, unite!


6 thoughts on “Freckles

  1. I thought you were a brunette! I love redheads, especially redhead men. I’ll definitely lose out when they are gone.

  2. I love the hair (in the photos, and yours). You should get someone to take a sideways photo that hides your face but highlights the hair. I think it would be a lovely addition to your blog header.
    But, there’s no reason to assume that a recessive gene is going to disappear if there’s no “positive” pressure (as long as there’s no “negative” pressure). Of course, they used to burn redheads as witches. But, now we take pictures of their gorgeous hair. So, I think it’ll stick around, like blue eyes.

  3. bj, I’m glad you know your genetics. Laura, I refer you to the Wikipedia entry “red hair” which is well done, and refutes the myth. It also raises the issue of “ginger-ism” which may grow stronger now that there’s some evidence that Neanderthal’s commonly had the recessive mutation that causes red-headed-ness. I’m glad you posted this idea, though, because it’s something I can turn into an exam question in my applied evolution class.

  4. Unless someone’s slaughtering redheads on sight, I don’t think there’s any reason to fear they’ll die out. Many people find redheads attractive, and at times, many starlets choose to dye their hair red, which seems to mean that people find it sexy–i.e., not a negative in reproduction.
    There does seem to be a bias against red hair in Germany, which I think may trace back to superstitions? At any rate, redheads are still being born, as it’s a recessive gene.

  5. My girlfriend’s hair is blondish now. She still claims to be a redhead, eagerly pulling out high school or college pictures to demonstrate that she was solidly a redhead then.

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