Gingers Do Have Souls
H.C.is a first-year student at USC studying in Annenberg. Haley grew up in Denver Colorado and is familiar with certain Colorado legends. She also has an important and unique point of view, since she is a Millennial, which seems to be the most “out-there” and transformative generation we have seen thus far. Because of this, she is a perfect informant, as she holds a modern and up-to-date perspective. All interviews were held in a study-room on campus.
“Okay… I’m not sure what constitutes ‘Folklore’ exactly, but this is pretty significant in my life, that I guess you could call a legend, or a rumor. It definitely seems to fit the category, in my opinion, at least. So… obviously I have red hair… Or as everyone says I’m a ‘Ginger.’ Because of the fact that I obviously have red hair… I faced a lot of making-fun-of… or ridicule basically my whole life. It was never that bad, like, guys and other people usually had it way worse. But the worst part is this… like, legend, that ‘Gingers have no souls’…? I have no idea where that came from… It doesn’t really affect me ‘cause I have thick skin but it is honestly pretty annoying. My whole life I get these, like, stupid ‘Where’s your soul?’ jabs. I’ve even been to sports games where people chant that at ginger players. No clue why the fact that I have red hair constitutes a lack of soul… but whatever. Some jokes can be kinda funny in the right light.”
I have experienced these jokes so many times in my life. It seems to be a pretty recent phenomenon. I had always thought that these jokes stemmed from more ancient times like the Salem Witch Trials where people believed those born with red hair had a tie to dark arts. Turns out, it’s actually a lot simpler than that. While I’m sure those ancient superstitions certainly played a role in this phenomenon, the “Where’s your soul?” trend is from the culturally-effective show South Park. “The phrase ‘gingers have no soul’ comes from the South Park episode ‘Ginger Kids’ that first aired on November 9th, 2005. At the beginning of this episode, Eric Cartman gives a class presentation on the subject of red-headed children and “Gingervitis,” a made-up disease.” This actually seemed to cause a rippling effect of ridicule towards red-heads, as the show introduced “Kick a Ginger Day,” where some particularly cool school children actually organized in real life outside the show in order to torture these “Gingers.” The movement also gained notoriety from a red-headed boy posting an angry rant to Youtube exclaiming that “Gingers do have souls!” Because of this, a popular meme was formed.
A full explanation of this phenomenon can be seen here: