Red will never be dead, loud and proud red-haired Southerners
A theory suggesting the red hair gene could vanish as a
response to climate change has been scotched.
Braxton Mackenzie-White's impressive red beard bristles when
asked about a Scottish geneticist's hypothesis that high
temperatures and more sun could result in fewer carriers of
the red hair gene.
But he has his own response: have red-haired children.
''I would love to have a whole gang of them,'' the
25-year-old said yesterday.
It is a sentiment shared by his sister Ashley (28), who also
wanted to see a boost in the number of red-haired people,
estimated to be about 1%-2% of the world's population.
The ''proud redhead'' was raising funds - including a
fundraising quiz at the Kensington Tavern in Dunedin on July
15 - to attend the Irish Redhead Convention in County Cork
The convention is billed as a celebration of red hair, and
includes carrot tossing championships, the best red eyebrows
and the most freckles per square inch.
And she is not going to be a tourist.
''I am going to Ireland to take out the title of Queen of the
Ms Mackenzie-White said she was bullied at school for having
red hair and dyed her hair ''because I thought it was ugly''.
''It doesn't hurt now because I am really fierce, but when I
was in high school it definitely wasn't cool ... but now I
just own it.''
''When I see red-haired children I always make a point of
saying: 'You have beautiful red hair. Do you know how special
Red-haired Dunedin man Jeremy Burdett married a redhead and
they have two red-haired children.
Their household includes ''five ginger chickens, two ginger
dogs and a goldfish''.
Growing up in Dunedin, he recalled few red-haired children
but ''there seems to be more around'' [now].
He and the Mackenzie-White siblings said attitudes towards
people with red hair appeared to have changed from when they
were children, and were cool.
''I got a load of **** at high school,'' Mr Mackenzie-White
said, as he points at his hair.
''But it may not have been because I was a ginger ... they
may just not have liked me,'' he said, laughing.