Diversity Within the Redhead Community: What Does It Look Like?

 

What does a typical redhead look like to you?

 

Red hair? Pale skin and freckles? 

 

The truth is, the redhead community is incredibly diverse but sadly isn't spoken about as much as a ginger's "fiery temper" or their "lack of soul". MC1R (also called Melanocortin 1 receptor) is the gene responsible for red hair, passed down to us by both of our parents. When the MC1R gene mutates and fails to turn red pigment to brown, the individual will inherit red hair, freckles, and pale skin, giving a redhead its characteristic look. But what happens when a non-white person carries the MC1R gene? Unsurprisingly, they inherit red hair and freckles too.  

 

To get an insight into what it means to be black and ginger, a minority within a minority, we've interviewed three content creators from our community. Keep on reading to meet the talented members of Red Hot and hear first-hand experience on what it's like to be different among people already known for their differences.

 

Sam Okojie

 

Hi everyone, my name is Sam Okojie. I'm a London-based property negotiator and personal trainer. You may remember me from Red Hot's 2022 calendar, the Red Hot Motel.

 

  • How was your experience growing up?

Growing up was a strange one. I stood out like a sore thumb! I had a ginger afro and wasn't black enough for the people around me, but I clearly wasn't white either. All of this resulted in some teasing at school; people would call me "ginger nut", "Duracell", and other not-so-creative comments. I was also always questioned about whether my hair colour was natural or not. To this day, people still ask me if I dye my hair! Isn't that crazy?

 

  • How do you embrace your uniqueness?

I embrace my uniqueness by making a conscious effort to put myself out there more than I normally would. The amount of times I've heard, "I never knew black ginger people existed!" So here I am, showing everyone that I do exist. 

 

  • Something you wish people knew about you?

My hair is naturally ginger! Jokes aside, I'm a real softy despite my looks!

 

  • How can we keep up with your new projects?

For work collaborations, or if you simply want to say hi, you can find me on IG @sam_thept

 

 

Nathanael Rush

 

Hello Red Hot! My name is Nathanael Rush; I'm a 27-year-old personal trainer, entrepreneur and actor from Atlanta, GA.

 

  • How was your experience growing up?

Growing up, I was definitely the odd one out in my family and school. I'm a half-black redhead, so it is always hard knowing exactly where you fit in. I remember growing up wanting to look like "everyone else" because I stood out too much, which led to me getting picked on a lot. 

When I was younger, I hated being a redhead and half black, mainly because it was difficult for me to find people I could relate to. It wasn't until I got older when I went to college and began acting that I learned to love myself for who I am. Being a redhead opened up so many doors for me and allowed me to star in my first national commercial for Powerade! I wish I could go back in time and encourage my younger self to venture out of my comfort zone more often. 

 

 

 

  • What makes you stand out from the crowd?

I think my most unique trait would be my red hair and freckles. And the thing I've learned to love most about myself! 

 

  • How do you embrace your uniqueness?

It wasn't always like this, but now I really do my best to embrace what makes me different. From my acting career to even tracing my family genealogy, I do everything I can these days to learn more about the things that make me who I am, and I make a conscious effort to use that to my advantage on a daily. 

 

  • One thing you wish people knew about you?

One thing I wish people knew about me is that I'm not always the most confident person; I'm far better than I used to be, but I'm still learning every day, and I'm beyond excited to see what the future holds for me! 

 

  • How can we keep up with your new projects?

Say hi on Instagram @nathanaelrush, and if you'd like me to kick your ass and get you in the best shape you've ever been, check out my personal training company RUSH FIT GEAR.

 

 

Luke Shearer

 

Hi Red Hot lovers, you might remember me! My name's Luke Shearer; I'm a British model from Birmingham and I recently modelled for Red Hot's 2022 calendar, Super Gingers

 

  • How was your experience growing up?

I'm happy to say it was a very normal, working-class upbringing, with loads of sports, fun and love. 

 

  • What makes you stand out from the crowd?

I would like to think that I have an interesting personality that helps to further expunge me from the crowd. I'm also hilarious. 

 

  • How do you embrace your uniqueness?

I have embraced my so-called 'uniqueness' so much so that I forget about it until someone reminds me that I am a ginger black man with dreadlocks! 

 

  • What do you wish people knew about you?

I wish people knew that 8 times out of 10; I was probably just joking 😔

 

  • How can we keep up with your latest projects?

Say hi on IG @lukeshearer 

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