2 min

Red Hot indeed!

A sizzling new UK exhibition to rebrand the ginger male

Click through to view some of the Red Hot hotties! Credit: Thomas Knights

Did it just get hotter in here?

Photographer Thomas Knights, known for his work with Marina and the Diamonds and Vogue Italia, is at it again. This time, Knights is presenting a debut solo exhibition — Red Hot.

Red Hot displays sexy red-haired men from across the pond, and after viewing some of this gallery Xtra can say the grass is certainly greener (redder?) on the other side — phew.

Knights, who is a redhead, says he grew up feeling ashamed and isolated because of his orange locks (redheads make up only one to two percent of the world population) and the negative stigma that came along with it.

“In the UK and throughout the world, being ginger and male comes with many stigmas attached. Many are bullied at school and for some, even later in life,” Knights writes on the exhibition’s Facebook page.

Redheads have been stigmatized dating back to the 15th century, when those with red hair were described as “unmistakably vampires” in witch-hunting manuals.

Discrimination continued in 2008 after South Park, a popular adult cartoon, ran an episode in which one of the show’s main characters delivered a Nazi-like hate campaign against “ginger” kids.  

The episode was allegedly meant to parody the intolerance people have for human social differences, but in dealing with the natural order of the world it was drastically misinterpreted by the public. Since it first aired, there have been those who take the premise of the episode seriously and partake in “Kick a Ginger Day” every Nov 20. Schools across Canada and the US are forced to take action annually, with many red-haired students opting to skip school for safety.

Now an established photographer, Knights seeks to redefine the way redheads are seen by the public and send out a global message: gingers are hot!

“Essentially, what I’m doing is creating an exciting and revealing exhibition showcasing a positive outlook on the red-haired male and aiming to re-brand the ginger male stereotype along the way,” he says.

He hopes his exhibit will give the younger redheaded generation more role models to look up to.

“No other hair colour has this level of . . . inequality in any society and Red Hot holds a mirror up to the pre-conceived limitations we put on the red headed males,” he writes.

The exhibition, which features more than a dozen gorgeous pale, freckled and fiery-haired models, will be hosted at the aptly named Redchurch Gallery in London, starting Dec 16. 

Click the above photo gallery to view some photos from the exhibit and watch a teaser video of some of the models — this exhibition could be the hottest thing to happen all winter.