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Why did the ginger emoji take so long?

Happy World Emoji Day!

Let’s celebrate all of the ginger emojis out there! Because trust me, if you’ve been with us for a while, you will know how hard it was to get there!

But why did we have to fight so hard for ginger emojis I hear you ask…

As you may already know, ginger hair is interracial. Most people associate ginger hair with only the white race, but the MC1R mutation can be passed down throughout generations, no matter what skin colour you have.

Scientists believe that the MC1R gene regulates melanin in skin pigmentation, the eyes, and hair. However, the distinctive hair colour only appears if both parents carry the gene, as it is recessive.

Scientists believe that although the MC1R mutation is interracial, the receptive ginger gene is more common in climates where there is little to no sun exposure. 

Dr Star explained: “The last evidence I saw, was that there was a strong selection pressure against changes in the MC1R gene that caused it not to work in regions with a lot of sunlight—think Africa. This probably has to do with the pale skin that comes with red hair.”

This makes sense, considering 35% of people in Ireland are thought to carry the MC1R gene, but globally it is estimated that less than 2% of the population actually have red hair. 

Many people think that the ginger emojis took so long to be put on our screens because ginger hair is interracial. Due to the fact that ginger hair can be found amongst any race, the emoji needed to be separate to the classic “human head” emojis. 

This continues to be a constant issue though, because out of an estimated 241 human emojis, only three of them have ginger hair!

We think, to completely succeed at representing minority groups, the emoji keyboard should look a little something like this: 

Above: Options for each emoji to have any of the new hair types. Image: Emojipedia mockup.

Come on, Unicode, surely if you can add a green glove and a ball of thread to our screens – which must get used never – you can pull some strings to make the ginger emojis so much more versatile. 

Hopefully, we won’t need to wait much longer for more gingerness on our keyboards!

But, there is still time to make use of the ginger emojis today!

Happy Emoji Day all! 

Enhance and care for red hair using Gingerful

Created for redheads, by redheads.


Ginger Parrot is ready and raring to report on all things nice and gingerful, and provides an online store too, offering Ginger Parrot merchandise, clothing, hair products, gifts and more for the redhead and redhead lover community.


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