For as long as redheads have existed (basically forever), they’ve been given a hard time. They’ve been called names, stereotyped, faced cultural discrimination for their coloring and have even dealt with rumors of eventual extinction. All because they have red hair. But new research shows that people are changing their redhead stereotyping tune. A study done by the media analysis firm Upstream Analysis, and published by The Huffington Post, found that 30 percent of US primetime TV commercials feature redheads. That’s a pretty big percentage, considering it’s estimated that only 1-2 percent of the human population has red hair. Basically, the percentage of redheads you see on TV is much larger than the percentage of redheads you see in real life.
The study analyzed 5 nights of prime time television from 8:00pm-10:59pm on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, from mid April to late June. Adult women with red hair were more common than men with red hair—14 percent of women in ads were redheads, while only 7 percent of men were redheads. And among kids, 13 percent of boys were redheads, while only 9 percent were girls.
There are different speculations as to why there are so many redheads in commercials. Some say it’s because redheads photograph well and others say it’s the novelty of redheads (since there are so few of them). The Huffington Post points out that some people suggest it’s because “the color red increases the heart rate, stimulates the appetite and is associated with intense emotions and sexual attraction.”
All of this can really only mean one thing—redheads are good-looking and people like looking at them. So, just for fun and because we can, let’s take a look at some gorgeous redheads who occupy your TV screen: