With the whole world finally realising that ginger hair is red hot, natural redheads are in demand. You’ve probably noticed more gingers in TV ads, fashion campaigns, and more dyed redhead celebrities appearing on the scene, too – the world is (ginger) nuts for redheads.
And a large part of this cultural shift is down to photographer Thomas Knights and his RED HOT project, attracting acclaim and fame all over the world. But while the campaign has become a viral sensation, Thomas still feels that there is work to be done.
Welcome to the stage: Red Hot II.
Thomas Knights, we applaud you.
Ever-pushing boundaries and creating dialogue, this new version of RED HOT takes the conversation further. Thomas said: “What I noticed is there is a real bias in Western media towards constant suntanning – fake tan, sunbeds, a ‘healthy glow’ and all those beauty ideals that we’re told are attractive – through brands trying to sell us products via advertising campaigns, magazines, TV, films, which I just do not fit into, and will never fit into.”
To oppose this mainstream beauty ideal, Red Hot II focuses on the uniqueness of male and female redheads, both those who are pale and freckly, and those who are black and mixed race.
Thomas continues: “It’s about celebrating difference and championing an alternative view of beauty, which is currently saturated with sun-kissed images of models. It’s empowering – owning socially perceived flaws and being comfortable in your own skin.
“It’s for anyone who feels in any way like they don’t fit into a cultural norm. I just chose pale skin and red hair because that’s the truth I have lived.”
The project is a collaboration with British designer Elliott James Frieze, who joined Thomas on a global hunt for the world’s hottest redheads. Each portrait is inspired by Ancient Greek sculptures, and asks, “What is beauty, what can be beautiful?”.
Along with a brand new art book and exhibition, a number of limited edition products and even Red Hot underwear for men are on the cards.
All this can only happen with your help. Support your fellow gingers on Kickstarter to get Red Hot II off the ground – the project will once again raise money for a worthwhile cause (£45,000 has been raised to date!), with this year’s proceeds going to The Diana Awards anti-bullying initiative.
Visit Red Hot II’s Kickstarter page for more details.