On Red Heads: Keep Calm and Kiss a Ginger!

“In England we burnt redheads at the stake, because we thought they were witches. There are still young redheads in Britain getting ripped for having red hair. ‘Oy, Ginger!’ ” – Damian Lewis

source: people.com
source: people.com

Happy Kiss a Ginger Day! 🙂

I am a red head! BUT… Not a real one. I am a fake red head who decided to be one in my mid-30s. So I have only enjoyed the perks of being a red head woman (Ok, I am not Christina Hendricks, but still…) and have never been bullied because of that.

I have always liked red heads. My childhood idol was a red head girl that was strong enough to carry a horse. Oh, I ADORED Pippi Longstocking! 


I wanted to have red hair and freckles exactly like her! I can imagine most of you are familiar with her, but if you’re not, and if you have daughters, make them read Pippi, ladies! She’s an amazing role model for girls! She’s smart, and strong, and gets the job done! I learnt a lot from her! And, who knows, it may be my Pippi love that subconsciously made me decide to go red, too!

Damian Lewis, on the other hand, is a real red head.

What does he think about being a red head?

Does he think it affects the job he does?

Has he ever been bullied?

We’re lucky that Damian gives a lot of interviews, and interestingly enough, there is ALWAYS a question about his hair color which corroborates our guy’s view that “people find it very difficult to be indifferent to red hair.”

In an interview with the Mirror from 2002, Damian says he’s rather flattered to be seen as a red-headed sex symbol.

“There is this weird thing in England that if you fancy people who are red-haired you must be a bit kinky. I’m striking a blow for redheads. It’s funny and I’m flattered.”

source: standard.co.uk
source: standard.co.uk

In an interview with Vulture in 2011, the reporter says “I gather you’re quite beloved by the ladies in England. I asked a British friend of mine about you, and she placed you as slightly less worshipped than Hugh Laurie, but at the level of James McAvoy and Dominic Cooper. Not too shabby.” Damian’s answer:

“Well, that’s fantastic. I’ll take any of that. You know, you grow up as a redhead in England, if you get any of that kind of recognition it’s a bonus.”

In “5 minutes with Damian Lewis interview” on YouTube… yes, even in a 5 minute interview, they ask him about his hair color!

Q: “Do you enjoy being a red head? Are there any impacts on your career?”

DL: “I think It has impacts on my career daily, some I’m aware of, and some I’m not aware of. People find it hard to be indifferent to the color of me… And, so, sometimes it helps me to get jobs, and sometimes, no question, hinders me.”

Q: “Did you get teased growing up?”

DL: “I amazingly seem to have avoided it. I think probably because I was in the school teams, I was just good enough to be in the school sports teams. There was a lot of “Oy someone pick up ginger!” when I was wandering into the penalty area, but, no, nothing terrible.”

Ok, I buy Damian’s argument that people are not indifferent to red heads, but it seems to me that Damian is not indifferent to his hair color, either 🙂

First of all, in his Twitter account, Damian Lewis describes himself as an “actor, dad, red head, and ping pong champion.” So, being a red head is an essential part of his identity. It comes just after “dad.”

Secondly, he feels special about it! Once he said:

“On the set the other day, there were a lot of redheads in the room. I thought, I don’t like this, I don’t feel quite special.”



And Damian talking about his exclusive red headed club to Susanne Reid on Good Morning Britain is beyond hilarious!

“They’re now saying people are red headed when they’re not actually redheaded. I keep reading press articles that say ‘Oh and the slightly red headed Eddie and Benedict or Tom [Hiddleston]’.

How dare they! They’re not red headed and how dare they join my club? My elite, exclusive red headed club.”

Gotta LOVE this guy!

Damian Lewis talks to Susanne Reid on Good Morning Britain :)
Damian Lewis talks to Susanne Reid on Good Morning Britain 🙂

It seems there is no way Damian is admitting me to his club! I am not even slightly ginger, I am your typical fake ginger! I just trust my lovely partners Tbkwrm and Holliedazzle, both red heads, to make an exception for me to get into the club! 😀

Jokes aside, Damian’s pretty sensitive about the on-going bullying towards red heads, in particular children.

He once tweeted:

source: @lewis_damian Twitter
source: @lewis_damian Twitter

Damian is spot on here because it seems, at least The Atlantic argues, that the on-going bullying  leads to a lack of demand for red head babies!

The Telegraph reports that the largest sperm bank in the world is saying “no, thanks” to potential red-headed sperm donors because of a lack of demand.

So, Damian Lewises, Michael Fassbenders, James McAvoys and slightly red-headed Benedict Cumberbatches of the world, people do not want your babies!


Simply crazy.

The Atlantic responds to the Telegraph article:

“We wonder why anyone wouldn’t want a baby with beautiful strawberry locks. Perhaps it has something to do with the teasing red-headed children sometimes face? Or maybe it has to do with this NewYork Times piece that claims red heads are more sensitive to physical pain?”

In an interview with the Observer in 2009, Damian says “People find it very difficult to be indifferent to red hair. You get more nicknames than anyone else, which is nice. Rusty, Duracell, Carrot Top, Copper Top, Ginger. Out here it’s “Big Red”. Packing’s harder, because you have to take a lot of sun-cream.”

My VOTE goes to Ginger as the best nickname for a red head!

I certainly would not be happy if someone called me “Hey, Duracell!” but “Hey, Ginger!” sounds quite sexy. And I think Damian kinds of likes it, too. Look how he would introduce himself if he were cast as 007 😀

Then… why don’t you

today? And where is Damian when we need him? 🙂

And if you can’t kiss a ginger, you can always color one!

source: amazon.com
source: amazon.com

Some of us have already colored our favorite ginger… and so can you!

Grab your copy of Colour Me Good Ginger on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

21 thoughts on “On Red Heads: Keep Calm and Kiss a Ginger!”

  1. Brilliant post as always Damianista:-) There is a long ginger history in this country and calling someone even ginger may cause offence sometimes:-) I used to share a house with a Ginger comedian at some point and have learnt so many brutal jokes from him. Also their highly reputable ‘short temper’… According to a theory their origins trace back to a cave in Irish lands:-)) Well rumour has it! If you have ever heard/watched another great British ‘Ginger’ Comedian Catherine Tate; she’s got a part in her shows called: ‘Ginger Safe House’- check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_DVHUEjnuU

    1. Thank you! The tweets from yesterday and today on James Bond rumors also show me how INDIFFERENT people are to gingers — amazing! I have always thought of “ginger” as a lovely nickname, but I can see it can have negative connotations in England just because of that history you’re talking about. You can call me ginger, I remember a Beef Eater at London Tower mischievously calling me “ginger” and asking me if I knew what happened to gingers in the Tower 🙂

  2. Ha ha:-) It is ok for you because you don’t have this famous ‘ginger’ gene in you:-) (In fact Brits have a very dirty joke about fake ‘ging’ people) Because this gene is exactly what gets activated in them once you call them ‘ginger’ and brings up their infamous fiery short temper!! You need to be gentle with them, call them ‘Strawberry Blonde’ African Sun Set’ ‘ Touch of sunrise’ color individual instead;-) Don’t call them ‘ my sweet ginger biscuit’ like I used to do otherwise you may end up being called racist or they may counter attack you saying you are slightly brown:-)))

  3. JAJAJAJA Muy bueno!!! Yo también soy “red head” , pero falsa!!! De todas maneras su color es mas natural y hermoso… Aunque confieso que lo soy desde mucho antes de conocer a Damian..mas de 14 años… .Su color de pelo lo caracteriza, pero son sus ojos lo mas bello…en mi humilde opinión.Besos para todos desde Argentina.

    1. Then we have more in common, Analia, other than being Damian Lewis fans! Two FAKE red heads! LOVE it! <3 Oh yeah I had my "red" hair before I knew Damian, too! 🙂

  4. I LOVE THIS ARTICLE. RED HEADS, RULE. I’m a brunette, and love my hair color, but if I would have been with a different hair color, then it would be red! Gingers are awesome.

    Damian Lewis cracks me the heck up. Don’t you mess with his clique! Hehe.

    1. Thank you for reading! Gingers are awesome – that’s why I am masquerading as one! Damian is naturally funny – yet another reason to love him! 🙂

  5. I, myself, have always had a borderline scary obsession with redheads, from choosing one as my first BFF as a kid, to crushing on one in front of me in second grade(his name was Richard, and I’d count his freckles!) to adoring all sorts of redheaded pop icons growing up(from Danny Kaye all the way to Shirley Manson), and even all sorts of fictional redheads(Rogue from the xmen springs to mind…). It is no wonder that I chose red as my hair color, and its only gotten brighter with time. That’s right, I’m a faker, too!! My hair is ash brown, 100% opposite of red!

    And of course, love of my life is my redheaded husband. 🙂

    There’s a lot of sunscreen in my house, too.

    1. Ha! I never thought you were a faker! Probably because you are pale and so you look very natural. Then welcome to my club and we will beg Tbkwrm together to admit us to the “elite club” 😀

      I LOVED Pippi as a fictional character, I wanted to be her! Independent and strong! But I did not have any other crush on a red-headed icon/actor/singer. But when I think about it, I did not have many crushes in total. Probably because I am so monogamous about them. Simon Le Bon. Kevin Costner. Damian Lewis. That is it. Hehe.

      1. I certainly have the look, otherwise-transparent skin, freckles, light blue eyes. And a lot of people only think I “enhance” my natural red. Nope, no natural red. If I had natural red? I wouldn’t have to do this! I’m like a drag queen-a parody, an over the top salute to my favorite thing.

        Pippi was super fun, I did enjoy her as a kid, as well. Same with the feisty and strong willed Ariel from the little mermaid. Pretty much all my idols over the years have been redheads.

        1. Before I did not like the red until the day I saw a beautiful red on TV !! Now I love them and yes I like to kiss a red, especially if his name is Damian Lewis ….

          1. Hahaha! I never had a thing for red heads, either, Monique, until a red head brit came along and turned everything upside down!
            But I always loved freckles!!! <3

  6. I am with Gingersnap…I do love redheads!!
    I am still laughing about the “Hey Duracell” hahahahaha
    Belive it or not as a child I had that copper hair touch and the freckles too. As redheads or the like were/are scarce in Mexico it was actually a good luck to see one and pinch him/her…so well I got pinched but I would strike back… as an adult lost that lovely color…and my hair is flat brown 🙁

    1. Oh God so you were not bullied but got pinched a lot. Awww. How did you strike back? I have been coloring my hair for so long (thanks to my genes, I had my first grays in my senior year in college) that I forgot about my natural hair color long ago 🙂

  7. I’ve gone reddish too in my later years, mostly because it’s easier to hide the grey than it was with my natural black hair. Can’t say I ever had any interest in ginger, other than as a quite necessary spice in my diet.:) Also interesting to the science geek in me is that red hair is a recessive trait and thus you need to have two copies of the gene in order to express it. Which, now, post-Damian, I’ve been paying more attention to. So, if a redhead and a brunette have a baby, the brunette must have a recessive gene for red hair too, or else the kids aren’t going to be redheads.

    I do believe one (or maybe both?) of the McCrory-Lewis lot is red so Helen must have a gene in their somewhere for the ging. Likewise, fictionally speaking, Carrie must have a recessive gene for red too since Frannie is totally her father’s daughter, freckles and ging and all. And nonfictionally speaking, we have some parent group friends who have the exact same coloring as Carrie and Brody, sunny blond and red , and all four of their kids are as gorgeously ginger and freckled as a Los Angeles sunset.

    My tween daughter has a kid in her grade, ginger as they come, and the girls do make fun of his coloring a bit, but not in any mean way. He’s an utter goofball about it and quite confident regardless, so it all works out. I’d venture to say that the attention gingers get as kids makes them stronger adults!

    1. Mendel and his peas! It was my favorite subject in secondary school. I loved the test questions where you were supposed to find out about a baby’s hair color or his/her blood type.

      My hair has had some intense red in the last couple of years. I never had a thing for gingers, either, but certainly a thing for freckles! As a kid I wanted two things on my face: Freckles and eyeglasses. At least I got one of my wishes 😀 😀 😀 I mean, which kid wants eyeglasses? 😀

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