Hopefully, if you're one of the 2 per cent of the global population with a recessive gene on chromosome 16, you survived Hug A Ginga Day on Friday.
This was the publicity stunt organised by the Edge radio station that riled the father of two gorgeous red-headed boys to the extent that he appeared not just once, but twice, on Close Up.
Stephen Simpson was seriously angry, decrying the victimisation of redheads and deploring the Edge for singling out kids on the basis of their red hair.
So enraged was he by the perceived persecution that it seemed to have passed him by that the publicity gave oxygen to the radio station and shone the spotlight on the very kids he was trying to protect.
While his vehemence seems a little misplaced, there's no doubt that being a kid and being different is hell.
School is the reality version of the fictional island in Lord of the Flies. There may be adults around but the rules to live by and the codes of conduct are established by the kids.
And nobody can be as cruel as a gang of 11-year-olds. Any sign of deviation from the established norm, and bam, the pack brings you down like a wounded antelope.
So it's not just redheads who get a hard time, although, throughout history, they've had a bad rap.
The ancient Egyptians thought red hair was unlucky. They burned a flame-tressed female annually to appease the gods. The Spanish don't trust gingas because it's believed Judas Iscariot had red hair, and an ancient adage had it that you should salute a red-haired man from at least a 9m distance and, when doing so, hold three stones in your hand - just in case.
I have my own theory about why gingas are targeted in the modern era. If you visit London's National Portrait Gallery and head along to the Tudor and Elizabethan section, you'll see that anybody who was anybody back then was a redhead.
Thanks to arranged marriages, the power and the wealth - as well as that rare recessive gene - were perpetuated among the who's who of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
Corridors of power brokers and despotic lords gazed down their aristocratic noses, icy-blue eyes unforgiving, and their bright-red hair shone around them like halos.
Clearly, gingas ruled with such cruel and brutal tyranny, that when we serfs finally came out from under the boot, we were looking for payback.
I do concede that redheads are the only subgroup at which it's considered fair game to poke fun. Hug a darky day? Hug a crip day? Can't see it.
I'm very partial to redheads. There are some gorgeous ones around. TV3 built its core fan base with Belinda Todd and Sam Hayes and there are some stunning red-haired Maori boys from the Uruweras. I don't have a photo to show you but I'm sure the SIS could dig one out.
I admit bias: I have a beautiful red-headed daughter, who loves her titian hair, but that wasn't always the case. At 14 she came to me and told me she needed to dye her hair.
When I remonstrated with her on the basis of cost, maintenance and the fact that I thought her natural hair colour was gorgeous, she looked me in the eye and said seriously: "Mum. Thanks to you and dad, I'm short. I have red hair and freckles. And I could run to fat. It remains to be seen. It's going to take a bit of money from you and a lot of effort from me to make me look good."
I bowed to her superior reasoning skills and thus, she became a brunette for her three years of college.
Mercifully, she has her father's genes so she turned out to be whippet-thin and that was a great relief. Overcoming the challenge of being a fat ginga may have been too high a mountain to climb.
Once she hit uni, she reverted to her natural marmalade cat colour and she's never looked better.
When she sees others of her kind who are in their ginga denial stage, she feels for them. She says she hopes one day, they'll be able to accept their true beauty but as she says, each ginga must come to that acceptance in their own time and in their own way.
For those who love redheads, treasure them while you can. A National Geographic report from a couple of years ago warned that redheads were in decline, with some predicting they'd be extinct by 2060.
However, other scientists said the redhead gene was too entrenched to disappear entirely.
Look at Prince Harry, although he might have had help from a commoner. I have absolutely no doubt that the reds will rise again, so better be nice to them - just in case.By Kerre McIvor Email Kerre