I'm a Vanishing Species

According to the Oxford Hair Foundation I and my kind are quickly going extinct. You see, I am a natural redhead. When I was a kid it was fairly bright, but nowadays it’s a dark strawberry.

Growing up as a natural redhead isn’t easy. At least it wasn’t back in the Stone Age when I was a kid. Called every name in the book—and for most of us, looking pretty nerdy—I grew up being painfully shy. Growing up in southern California during the Beach Boys era didn’t help either. I didn’t hang out at the beach, didn’t tan at all, and certainly didn’t fit the stereotype of a Californian. It was a blessing in disguise, however...

I’ve always been mistaken for being ten years younger than I am. I’m always shocked when I see old friends; how did they get to be so old!? Still, I always wonder just how long I can milk this. Time will catch up to me one day. But that’s not what I wanted to write about.

The OHF predicts that the number of natural redheads has been dwindling, and will continue to do so until there are none of us left. The year of our final demise is set at 2100. A world with no redheads!? That’s not all that far into the future. How can this happen? Scientists at the foundation say that only 4 percent of the world’s population are proud owners of the recessive red-hair gene, which is being diluted by the more dominant brown-hair gene. What’s responsible for red hair in the first place is a mutated gene known as the melanocortin 1 receptor. It was discovered in the late 90s. It can be found in all ethnic backgrounds, but is most prominent in people of Celtic descent, like myself. By the way, did you know that the Celts started out in the area around Salzburg, Austria and migrated west to the British Isles? That makes me 100 percent Celt and explains why I’ve seen more people with my hair color in Austria than in England during my travels. Plus, the redheads in Austria have yellow undertones in their skin (like me) and green eyes (also like me). The blue undertones and blue eyes come from the Viking conquests of the British Isles. At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Ville, who happens to be sitting here says, “You ought to say, ‘If you didn’t know me better, you’d almost think that I know what I’m talking about’.”
I get no respect.