The Summer Of Ginger: Redheads Have More Fun

by BILLY GRAY · June 3, 2010

When some people think summer, they think blonde. Namely, blondes of the Pam Anderson variety, jiggling down a California beach in a fire engine red bathing suit. But this summer, red is taking center stage as gingers overthrow the towheads.

There are a few explanations for the ginger surge: a communist president; a revolt against generic, bottle-blonde plastics like Heidi Montag; international sympathy for the plight of Thai red-shirts.

Regardless of the reason, redheads are, as media outlets are fond of saying, having a moment. Here's why:

M.I.A.'s "Ginger Genocide" Video: In April, tireless, and arguably clueless, provocateur M.I.A. reasserted her Indie-Hipster credibility with a 9-minute music video for "Born Free" that showed what looked a lot like a ginger genocide. Was it political allegory? High-minded satire? A festering turd of pretension and vacuous transgression? No one knows, least of all M.I.A.  The video, along with some other choice M.I.A. rants (and, oh yeah, an album about to drop) resulted in a fairly scathing Times profile by Lynn Hirschberg that exposed M.I.A's not-so-radical hypocrisy and penchant for truffle french fries. M.I.A. responded as any rational adult would; she tweeted Hirschberg's phone number. The bombshell revelation that Hirschberg is a ginger fueled conspiracy theories of a journalistic vendetta.

Prince Harry: New York anglophiles and ginger fetishists are drooling over the suddenly better-looking of Diana's sons coming to town for, what else, a polo tournament. Enjoy those fiery locks while you can, before Harry meets the same follicle challenges that beset his father (or is he?) and older bro.

Lindsay Lohan Despite a dearth of film roles or usefulness of any kind, perennial Celebrity Death Pool favorite Lindsay Lohan has had a bit of a freinaissence with the mainstream media this summer. Lohan missed a court date in Los Angeles as she partied in Cannes, which resulted in an arrest warrant and $100,000 bail notice. CNN broadcast her trial--what oil spill?--that concluded by ordering the starlet to wear an alcohol-monitoring bracelet. Natural redhead Lohan, once considered her generation's Ann-Margaret, is set to play pioneering porn star Linda Lovelace, a brunette whose bountiful carpet matched the drapes, if, and when, she ever returns to work.

Fergie: Former Duchess of York, esteemed Weight Watchers spokeswoman (aka Duchess of Pork) and internationally famous ginger Sarah Ferguson rocketed back into the public eye two weeks ago. As is often the case with the British royal family, her revived fame was based not on triumph, but disgrace. This one involved Fergie selling access to ex-husband Prince Andrew to an undercover reporter. Embarrassing. But not embarrassing enough to keep Fergie away from New York, where she hawked her new kiddie book series, and Chicago, where she sat for an inevitable couch therapy session with Queen Oprah.

Christina Hendricks: A Mad Men siren of crimson mane and ample endowment, Hendricks was recently named the best-looking woman in America by Esquire. More importantly, Mad Men is back next month.

Enjoy your moment in the sun, gingers. Just be careful it doesn't burn that fair skin of yours.

Photo 1 via James White/Esquire, 2 via BauerGriffin/NYP