Jackson’s dice roll: ginger brain, ginger pain

Jackson Lapp, Staff Writer

Being a ginger often comes with many different cultural stereotypes; they are seen as soulless, pasty leprechauns going after the gold of anyone who dares bother them or redheaded stepchildren who can never seem to fit in or belong. As a ginger myself, I can confidently say that the second one may be true, but I most definitely have no affinity for gold or shiny objects (unless they are food related). However, along with the obviously ignorant stereotypes surrounding us, gingers vary greatly from other humans in our biological makeup.

Believe it or not, many health benefits come with having red hair. An article by Telegraph UK cites many studies that found and recorded the existence of these benefits. Redheads age better. Redheadedness is linked to the possession of a gene that allows for fairer skin and clearer complexion as the years go by.

Gingers have thicker skin than those with other hair, in both the physical and emotional sense of the word. Our skin is less receptive to heat, allowing us to consume spicy food at a rate much quicker than people with other hair colors. These differences come from the same gene (MC1R and its mutations) that are responsible for red hair and clearer skin.

While we have much more resistant skin, we also struggle with greater tooth pain and higher resistance to anesthetics used by dentists, which in turn creates much greater anxiety involved with going to the dentist. According to an article by LiveScience, gingers are twice as likely to avoid the dentist because of this.

Even worse is the gene mutation’s inability to control the production of the skin pigment responsible for protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays, melanin. This causes gingers to become much more prone to melanoma, the condition that causes the body to produce red or yellow melanin rather than the typically seen brown effect. In other words, we can’t get tan.

But, that doesn’t seem to be much of a problem to society. Celebrities such as the ruddy Ed Sheeran or the lovely Emma Stone are well known for being incredibly talented redheads and are loved for their unique and interesting personalities.

While being a ginger has its advantages, we struggle a lot with what others might not expect. People don’t understand the pain it causes us when our entire identity as a group is minimized down to the butt of a leprechaun joke or a quip about being soulless. The deck is stacked against us, but others will find that gingers are some of the most emotionally strong and wonderful people. But be nice: we have no souls and in turn, no regrets.