Titian. Red Blond. Ginger. Strawberry Blond.
Orange Red. Auburn. Copper Blond. Burnt Orange.
Redheads may come in a variety of shades, but we'll never mistake that for being prosaic. Only an estimated one to two percent of the earth's population can say they boast natural red tresses. Scarcity breeds a fetishistic cred.
Thatâ€™s why we love our Copper Tops.
Running your fingers through a fiery red brush cut. Clasping rippling porcelain flesh. Beholding a golden red trim line south of the navel (now forever known as the Fire Crotch). Having a pair of glacial blue eyes gaze up at you ... or down at you ... or back at you with wild carnal abandon. These are the few moments in life that can truly be called rapturous.
Though itâ€™s often bemoaned that women are the ones typed by hair color in popular movies, literature and culture at large, men are ultimately just as branded by their locks. Brunets are sultry and intense, while blonds are vivacious and doe-eyed ingenues. Just a passing glance through the last bastion of every hoary pulp convention -- the daytime soap -- will suffice to evince that maxims are deathless.
But redheads? Theyâ€™re the wild cards that break from the pack and run the gamut. Down through the epochs theyâ€™ve been cast as firecrackers with blazing tempers, fearless and brazen non-conformists, comical rogues, formidable heroes, deviant tricksters and tarty jesters.
In the dreary Middle Ages, red hair was beheld as a dead giveaway for all manner of witchery and sexual debauchery, sadly sending many a Titian-haired accused to the dreaded grip of the gallows or the cruel flames of the stake. In the Muslim world, itâ€™s prized above any other hue, deemed nearest to the Divine.
If thereâ€™s one stereotype thatâ€™s endured longer than any other, itâ€™s the image of redheads as libidinous, sexually aggressive and just plain hot as hell. Perversely, itâ€™s that very same assumption that simultaneously frustrates and empowers the Redhead Community. As much as it may tire of the line, even itâ€™ll admit not only a certain pride in the cliche but a terrible disappointment were it to ever to fall wholly by the wayside.
Thereâ€™s a grain of truth -- or, shudder to think, wish fulfillment -- in every hackneyed axiom. Sure, Opie and Richie Cunningham are model citizens, but whoâ€™d want to be without rugged, insatiable power-bottom Will Clark or the deliciously versatile Blu Kennedy -- perhaps the only gingers of note to attain superstar status in gay porn?
As is the case with any rebel set worth their salt, what at first marginalizes them ultimately becomes an oppositional badge of honor, the very thing that gives them their mystique.
Still, though Reds may have the greatest character range, even their own ranks will admit that theirs is the toughest look to pull off. Stubble and a good hair cut can push a passable-looking brunet up a few rungs on the Ladder of Babeness. A good physique can mediate for a blond with an unspectacular face.
Somewhere itâ€™s written in stone that redheaded men are either jaw-droppingly gorgeous or utterly wince-inducing with nary any mitigation in between. Their female counterparts have it easier, leaving the male of the species to tread a perilous path from the moment of conception. Luck out and you get stunning red blond Robert Redford. Roll snake eyes and you end up with the garish tangerine horrors that are Carrot Top, Danny Bonaduce or David Caruso.
Yes, the heartbreak of traumatic Redheadism can send you on a lifelong down spiral that will lead to a career in prop comedy, booze-soaked celebrity train-wreck demi-fame or hubristic career suicide marred by sunglasses-reliant acting.
Though Hollywood may have yet to headline a bankable redheaded leading man, there are candidates waiting in the wings. Life's Welsh-born Damien Lewis is stately and suave enough to essay James Bond.
Zack Ward with his mile-high cheekbones and tight little body has been lurking on the cusp for some years now.
The Soup's auburn-haired sex machine Joel McHale is an alloy of class clown and strapping stud. Michael C. Hall of Dexter portrays a psychopath so concurrently blithe and seething that we canâ€™t bear the thought heâ€™d ever be apprehended, much less normalized. Then thereâ€™s actor Dash Mihok and Queens of the Stone Age front man Josh Homme (who we feature on Nightcharm whenever possible) -- two men so square-cut and rugged that they should be receiving years of retroactive back pay for every rod they've generated.
For redheads and their admirers, now may be the time to worry. A much-publicized UK-based study predicts the red hair gene is in retrograde and likely to be driven into extinction within the next hundred years. It seems the recessive trait may have become diluted over time due to global population shifts and the dominance of the brunet gene in the mates of red carriers. Natch, the science is still out, with some giving the idea credence and others dismissing it as utter quackery.
Any way you slice it, our Copper Tops are too precious to even chance that they might join the ranks of the Quagga, Pygmy Mammoth and the Broad-Faced Potoroo. Russiaâ€™s recent â€œDay of Procreationâ€ held to fend off its progressive population loss is the model solution. Paid vacations, financial incentives and prize giveaways are exigent to ensure that the Vermilion -- like the imperiled but determined cottontails of Watership Down -- not only survive but thrive for a promising tomorrow. Let there be rampant, wanton propagating in the name of Crimson Pride.
Whatever it takes to put the Red back in the Black.