Saturday, January 24, 2009

Root Ginger : a study of red hair

Since this blog is all about raising Ginger – our flame-haired son – I can’t resist highlighting what looks like a stunning photography exhibition, due to open in London on 17 Feb 2009 at the Idea Generation Gallery. Root Ginger: a study of red hair is a collection of photographs of redheads accompanied by a book and film that delve into the life experiences of red clan members. Photographer and writer Jenny Wicks also explores the genetic lottery that decides our most visible, yet superficial traits - like hair colour - and our hidden depths, like whether we inherit life-shortening health conditions like Cystic Fibrosis.

As an ex-scientist I wasn't astonished that I (mousy haired with some bottle blonde for good measure) and my equally mousey husband produced a red haired baby, but Not-naturally-thrifty Husband has certainly found it a) surprising, b) counterintuitive and c) the cause of endless 'so, who's the father?' wisecracks. There's a great, accessible explanation in Glenn Murphy's book 'Why do fart's smell?', if you can bear to buy or even borrow a book of this title!

The exhibition has triggered some interesting comment in the Guardian - 'is Gingerism the last acceptable prejudice?' and an interview with Jenny Wicks on Spoonfed. In my wanderings around this subject I have also discovered a blog dedicated entirely to Gingerism. I haven't delved too deep - perhaps I don't want to hear the horrors of prejudice life could hold in store for my Ginger boy. I'd rather hold on to the reassuring words of his splendidly ginger uncle, who reports having suffered no more than the next slightly shy school boy.

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