Are naturally light-haired people really on the way out?
THE SUNDAY TIMES, 2009
Imagine a world with no Reese Witherspoon, no Ulrika Jonsson, and no Agnetha from Abba. According to a “scientific fact” that is repeated with hair-raising frequency, natural blondes will no longer exist in a couple of hundred years.
The international media have repeatedly seized on this fascinating nugget since the start of the 21st century, citing sources that range from unnamed German “experts” to the World Health Organization (WHO). The story goes that the “blond gene” is recessive; therefore, fair-haired folk are facing extinction. The final non-bottle-blond birth, it has been claimed, is likely to occur in Finland in the year 2202.
It is true that brunette or redhead components are favoured in human reproduction
But real experts have confirmed that this whole idea is a hoax. While it is true that the blond gene is recessive – meaning that brunette or redhead components are favoured in human reproduction – the science of genetics is much more complicated than that, and there are still plenty of genes to allow custard-heads to survive for millennia to come.
This urban myth may have been concocted and spread around by jealous brunettes and carrot-tops. The truth is that, even if Sir Rod Stewart lives to 257 – which he will be in 2202 – he is highly unlikely to run out of suitable girlfriend material. ♦
© 2014 Tony Barrell