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Opinion: There Is A Double Standard Between Redhead Men and Women

Have You Experienced This?

redhead men and women

Have you ever noticed how redhead men are perceived differently than redhead women? The redhead experience is often similar for redhead children of both genders, but as we age it changes. For adult males with red hair, they often report feeling awkward or embarrassed by their red hair. They may be seen as unattractive and even feel emasculated. Adult women on the other hand often feel the opposite. Women’s red hair is sexualized, fetishized, and coveted as we get older. So, what causes this double standard?

The double standard between redhead men and women likely stems from societal stereotypes and cultural perceptions. Historically, red hair in women has been associated with traits like exoticism, allure, and attractiveness, while red hair in men has been linked to negative stereotypes such as being hot-tempered or less masculine. These perceptions have been perpetuated through media, literature, and popular culture, leading to the existence of this double standard. However, it’s important to recognize that such stereotypes are not based on any factual differences between men and women with red hair, but rather on societal biases and misconceptions.

In a 2016 Yahoo! Life article on the subject London photographer, Thomas Knights said, “Pale skin is seen as fragile, and red hair (on women) is seen as a beacon of a fiery, passionate sexuality. These things combine to make men find redhead women more feminine, perhaps. Maybe the same is true for the men — pale skin and red hair is seen as more feminine, as opposed to the dark skin and brown hair of the traditional masculine man.”

Knights isn’t the only one to have this thought. The article also mentions Jacky Colliss Harvey the author of RED: A History of Redheads who states that “The pale skin that goes along with red hair has been an attribute of female beauty for centuries — but in a man, it is seen as effeminate. Then, at the same time, red hair in men is associated with Vikings for those in northern Europe.”

Maybe this double standard goes back a lot further than we know, and has stayed ingrained in our culture. Or maybe it’s the idea that men should be “tall, dark and handsome” and therefore darker hair and eyes and tan skin have become a male beauty standard. Regardless of how or why this double standard exists, it’s something to be aware of and to stand up against. 

What are your thoughts? Rock it like a Redhead! 


READ: 7 Ways Adult Redheads Can Dramatically Increase Their Self-Confidence

READ: Reddit Thread: I’m a Redhead & I’m Fed Up With Being Called “Fiery”