Redheads are often under-appreciated in the world of fashion and beauty. Redheads also make up a small percentage of the world’s population. That’s why Tristan Rodgers has created MC1R, a magazine that’s for the “crimson-tressed” and those who admire redhead culture. And, in news that would make both Cartman and Patti Stanger keel over in outrage and disbelief, the magazine’s on its third issue.
Rodgers, a lighting design student and proud redhead who lives in Germany, spoke to Vice about why he launched the magazine—which is named after the gene that causes one’s hair to be ginger—and why it’s important for the general public. It started out as a photo project, he says, but quickly expanded. Then he decided to create a magazine and print 500 copies. After Rodgers was done crowdfunding, he was able to print 1,600 copies of the magazine, which were quickly snatched up. Now he’s collecting submissions from artists and writers and shooting with big names—he Giovanni Lipari and Jens Kaesemann—to make the magazine a success. Rodgers’ next goal? Profitability. But even if the magazine doesn’t get there, Rodgers has learned a great deal about redhead culture, which is not something that’s often discussed in mainstream popular media.
What have you learned about redhead culture?
A lot! I discovered that there’s a big network of and for redheads emerging around the world, and I’m now a part of this movement. People really connect at redhead festivals; they share what they’ve made or their experiences—it’s big, positive hype right now. Some people argue that focusing on the hair itself is a paradoxical method, but if people are identified by the way they look, making work about it allows artists to represent themselves and create a positive feeling for everyone. Someone else in a different part of the world might have problems with his appearance, so creating something positive could help him find strength.
How does redhead culture differ in different parts of the world?
The Irish Redhead Convention will be the first of many redhead festivals I’m going to visit this year. I discovered a strong art scene full of projects and events in the US, UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Southern Africa, Australia, Italy, Ireland, Israel and Germany. While there aren’t overwhelming differences, I have noticed that in England, projects are more motivated to change society’s negative vibe about redheads into something more positive.
If you’re a redhead or a redhead supporter (I have no idea why someone wouldn’t be?), you can pick up a copy of the magazine on its website. Only the second issue’s in English, though. The first, which is also available, is in German.
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