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How One Photographer Is Bringing Attention To Redheads Of Color

London-based photographer, Michelle Marshall is out to explore the many faces of Afro-Caribbean communities who have been born with the MC1R

Life & Travel

Yasss, to embracing our beautiful redheaded kings and queens!


It looks like finally our ginger-haired cousins are getting some love and are no longer being considered the redheaded stepchild (pun intended) on the color wheel. In other words, it's not just our paler counterparts who rock naturally fiery tresses; people of color can have pigmented hair that doesn't require purchasing a box of Dark & Lovely.

London-based photographer, Michelle Marshall, is one of many creatives breaking down the traditional mold and myths of beauty by exploring the many faces of Afro-Caribbean communities who have been born with the MC1R gene–one of several proteins that produces the pigment melanin and regulates hair color–or who are simply known as, redheads. Through her visual documentations, Marshall hopes to bring about awareness that the gene isn't limited to those of Celtic descent.

In speaking with The Huffington Post, she says that she initially set out to capture varying manifestations of freckles, but changed the direction of the project after experiencing random encounters with beautiful Afro-Caribbean boys and girls, men and women. Marshall began to shift the course of her "visual census" as she called her latest project. Through her work, the woman behind the lens aims to alter people's perspectives of who is, or who can be, a redhead. In her amazing head shots of 10 individuals–people of color who naturally have beautiful copper-colored hair–Michelle Marshall aesthetically tackles race and individuality.

"As we struggle with issues of immigration, discrimination, and racial prejudice, Mother Nature, meanwhile, follows its own course, embracing society's plurality and, in the process, shaking up our perceptions about origins, ethnicity, and identity," she told Mic.

And Mother Nature does a damn good job as evident in the portraits. While all of the participants have striking red hair, some have their faces genetically decorated with freckles in all sizes, ranging from very faint and small, to widely spread throughout their facial palette.

"With their striking and beautiful features, each and every one of my subjects are challenging the very parameters of race and identity and the idea that skin color informs one's heritage and provenance."

Let us know your thoughts on Michelle Marshall's MC1R project!

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