Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Redheads: You Can't Live With 'Em...

I came across this piece the other day and I thought "Do people really not know this stuff about redheads?"
For Marion Roach, it all started with a sideways - or rather an upward - glance. Footloose in Europe at 25, gazing up at ceiling of the Sistine Chapel for the first time, she noticed something odd. The innocent, pre-apple Eve was blond, whereas the Eve being kicked out of the Garden of Eden was wearing nothing but her long red hair.

"I remember that I got it," Roach says, a little testily, "but I didn't know why." She saw the same thing in the mosaics of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. "The moment she succumbed to temptation, Eve became an object of temptation for others."

As one who has been sorely tempted (and eaten alive) by redheads, I understand why Adam took the bait. As the article says, redheads make up only 4 % of the world's population, but they represent more than 3 quarters of the rdr household. This, plainly, is why I am insane today.
In Roach's case, the spark of inspiration for her book came in 2002 in the form of a scientific study she read in a medical journal.

In the article, which Roach details in her book, doctors at the University of Louisville reported that redheaded women need 20 percent more anesthesia than other people.
Well, that's not surprising. Redheaded women are at least 20% more stubborn than other types of women.
Stubbornness, Roach found, is considered a classic redhead trademark. Think of the famous redheads we know: Pippi Longstocking, Lucille Ball, Brenda Starr, Rita Hayworth.
Like I said. So why then would I fall in love with a redhead and then marry a redhead even though I had grown up with redheaded women and knew their propensities? Well....
The blessings, if we can call them that, bestowed on redheaded women are very different. Redheaded women are reputed to be fickle, but inconsistency is likely to be considered a woman's prerogative.

Apparently, for a woman to be considered a cunning vixen isn't a bad thing at all. Men seem to love it, she says: "It's 'If I could get her to be mine, wouldn't I be something?' "

According to stereotypes discussed by Roach, red hair as a marker of sexual ability is a privilege only to the female sex. In fact, redheaded women are represented as the most ravishing women in art, as Roach details in her book. All those flowing tresses in Maxfield Parrish's paintings, in the work of Dante Rossetti and the pre-Raphaelites, indicate a delicate, uncontrollable beauty that has a unique appeal.

"It isn't just that she's bad," Roach laughs, "she's bad for you."
Point. Set. Match. I could warn you, but you'd never listen.


portia said...

It's a good thing that redheads represent ¾ of the rdr household spd, otherwise I’d think you were picking on me...again.

A few years ago a friend of mine sent me this “chemical” analysis of a red-head that still makes me still smile...and it ain’t too far from the truth:)

FWIW spd, we redheads are not 20% more stubborn than others, we’re just more um...focused at certain times than others.

Redhead - A Chemical Analysis
Element: Redhead
Symbol: RH
Atomic Weight: Accepted as 118, but known to vary 105-175.
Discoverer: It's debatable, some say Adam, but we now know, that only God could discover something so unique
Occurrence: Copious quantities in all Urban areas, with slightly lower concentrations in Suburban and Rural areas. Subject to seasonal fluctuations.

Physical Properties

1. Surface usually covered with minimal painted film. As a rule, not necessary.
2. Boils at everything, freezes without reason.
3. Melts if given special treatment.
4. Bitter if used incorrectly. Can cause headaches. Handle with care!
5. Found in various states; ranging from virgin metal to common ore.
6. Yields to pressure applied to correct points.

Chemical Properties

1. Has great affinity for Gold, Silver, Platinum and many precious stones.
2. Absorbs great quantities of expensive substances.
3. May explode spontaneously if left alone on dates.
4. Reactive in liquids, even more, increased activity when saturated in alcohol.
5. Repels cheap material. Neutral to common sense.
6. Most powerful money reducing agent known to Man.


1. Highly ornamental, especially in sports cars.
2. Can greatly improve hormonal levels.
3. Can warm and comfort under certain circumstances.
4. Incapable of cooling things down, when it's too hot.


1. Pure specimen turns rosy pink when discovered in natural state.
2. Turns green when placed beside a better specimen.


1. Highly dangerous except in experienced hands. Use extreme care when handling.
2. Illegal to possess more than one.

Count your blessings spd, and consider yourself lucky that none of the rdr redheads were born under the sign of Leo:)

spd rdr said...

Jesus...I am sitting on a time bomb. I can't yet figure whether to burn your post or to distribute it to the flaming throngs.

portia said...

Burning it won't change us spd, you might us well distribute it, and let them 'em love you for the attention you're showing. We like it when our men do that...we like it alot. But you already know that, don't you spd? In fact, I bet you can't live long enough to forget it:)

portia said...

One of my favorite redhead jokes:

Two sailors on shore leave are walking down the street when they spot a beautiful blond. First sailor asks his friend “Have you ever slept with a blonde?” Second sailor says “Sure.” They walk a bit further and see a stunning brunette walking towards them. First sailor asks the other sailor, “Well, have you ever slept with a brunette?” Sailor’s friend nods, “Of course, I’ve slept with brunettes on several occasions.” They continue walking and eye a gorgeous redhead crossing the street. First sailor asks, “Well then, have you ever slept with a redhead?” His friend looks at him, smiles and replies, “Not a wink!”

spd rdr said...

No wonder I'm so tired all the time.

Jehane said...

Oh dear... and here I was fixing to say something nice about redheads :) Guess now I'll have to say it. mr rdr is lucky to be surrounded by lovely redheads.

Most of the paternal side of my family are redheads - all my cousins (who strangely enough look like me, except for hair color) are. I can't figure out why it skipped over our little part of the family except that my Dad has that black Irish complexion and I take after him. I can remember being a little girl, looking into the mirror on my vanity and longing desperately for gleaming russet tresses instead of my boring old brown. The only red I have is when the sun hits it...sigh...

Luckily my two handsome boys got the red, even if it seems to have darkened as they grew up.

At any rate, I'm sure his sleepless nights are more than worth it :)

KJ said...

"So why then would I fall in love with a redhead and then marry a redhead even though I had grown up with redheaded women and knew their propensities? Well.... "

As the resident Greek scholar and disliker of psychology (though not Cruise crazy), I think the answer to your question spd is "Oedipus."

portia said...

Actually, there is a name for individuals who are drawn inexplicably to redheads; they are called redophiles, and I, for one, take great pleasure-- every day-- in their affliction. May we never find a cure for their fetish:)

spd rdr said...

Well what do you know...I've got an affliction!

portia said...

You're not alone, spd. There are clusters of them up here in NY as well. I find them--or I should say they find me--wherever I go:) Soldier on, sailor.

KJ said...

"redophile"? Oh, they worked hard at the Institute of Naming Affliction" on that one, didn't they?

What, too busy to look up "red head" in the latin dictionary? Puh leeze.

portia said...

Actually, I prefer the Italian word for redhead: testarossa. It sounds so beautiful, so red. Testarossa mio sounds even better:) Vroooooom

spd rdr said...

The car Ferrari takes its name fronm the red cylinder heads on the V-12. Vroooom is right!

MsBeckyBoop said...

I really enjoyed your blog.
Would you give me permission to copy parts of into my Blog? I could link back to your page in my Blog...if you wouldn't mind, that is.
Being a redhead is a GREAT thing!

Anonymous said...

i am a man 47 years old i was married to a red head for 23 years my wife and i splet up and now i am with a 31 year old red head who has a child with red hair i know for a fact that thay are alot of fun and that thay are very open mined to almost anything but the down side to that is that thay are sick all the time.free bleeders and Headaches or Migraines all the time its no fun to deal with a red head with a low tolerance level for pain with a migraine it takes a lot more pain meds for her get the pain to leve, and the same for her redhead daughter as well as for my x wife who i still look after as well.so i can tell you after liveing with redheaded woman for 27 years its fun and redheads have a very different look about them / I once told a friend of mine he did not even know what love realy is .So he ask me what is it then ? and i replyed it is a redhead with freckles all over her body( i love it) a little humor never hurt anyone especley when its true. but on the serious side of this thay seem to be a lot of work or "high-maintenance" if you will for the lack of a better term
good luck to all who dare
loved them redheads

folktress said...

To say that great sexuality is the privilege of only female redheads isn't quite accurate. Among our most famous redheaded male womanizers was Arthur Godfrey. He loved the ladies and really made no bones about it. He was about as carrot-topped as they come.

Thanks to Miss Clairol, I was a redhead for several years, and it seemed I got more respect.

Now, I'm a platinum blonde, and have the perfect excuse for my "dingbat" days. Frankly, I like this look much better.

Don't let the lack of red fool you, though -- he who messes with me soon wishes he hadn't!

Anonymous said...

Ah, folktress - don't spoil the fun of the redophiles here. All women are beautiful; more so in the eye of the beholder. You desparage the lack of blonde afficiondo's here. But, even as a platinum blonde, you find yourself drawn here as well... Even Adam couldn't help himself. We forgive you.
~ Scarlet Primadonna