Have you ever heard someone say that gingers have no soul? It’s a joke now, but it wasn’t always. Did you know that Ancient Greeks thought that redheads would turn into vampires after we died? Yeah! They allegedly staked us in the heart right after we died to prevent us from coming back.
In Ancient Egypt, redheads were buried alive as sacrifice to the god Osiris.
Ironically, since I was a child, I’ve been in love with Ancient Egyptian culture and I wouldn’t have lasted a day! We’ve been called everything from witches, vampires, werewolves, and even have been accused of being “of the devil.” Of all these absurdities, one thing rings too true; history has not been nice to the gingers.
In fact, things got a little bit weird for us in the Middle Ages. Redheaded babies were said to be conceived during menstruation and therefore were seen as “unclean.” Not nice, and also pretty ignorant. I feel terrible when I think about all the beautiful redheaded babies that should have gotten all the “ooohs and awwws” my daughter received.
In the 15th and 16th century witch hunts, women were burned at the stake simply for having red hair.
Christian Europe even has written history stereotyping redheads. Dating back to Ancient Times, society has warned each other about redheads. Some historians believe that Christian Europe was so hard on redheads because Judas, the betrayer of Christ, happened to be a ginger. Redheads were seen to have hair of the fires of hell. Satan was often depicted as a redhead as red was seen as the color of sexual desire and all things unholy. In Michelangelo’s Temptation paintings, Eve is seen as blonde before eating the apple and a redhead after eating it.
Things only got worse has for redheads as time went on. Hitler even banned redhead marriage in order to avoid “deviated offspring.” If you ask me, he was the most deviated offspring I’ve ever heard of. How awful that we were once so repressed.
I don’t know about you, but I sure am happy that the worldview of redheads has changed! Even if we do have to deal with the ‘gingerphobia’ (yes, it is a real thing) and dumb jokes at least none of us will be persecuted simply for our genes.
Today, we can celebrate our red hair for what it really is…a beautiful miracle.
Rock it like a Redhead!