Israel's Most Beautiful — and Unforgettable — Redheads

Nurit Benchetrit's Photos Showcase the 'Ginger 6%'

Nurit Benchetrit

By Tal Niv

Published November 09, 2013.
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(Haaretz) — Back and forth, I run my eyes over each of these redheads − blue eyes, brown eyes, green-yellow eyes; and hair that is golden, orange, copper, flame-like, auburn fire, persimmon, reddish-brown − and I know that this is just one good idea. I know, too, that it is not unique, that it has already been carried out, but it’s good.

And I can’t stop looking. Only 1 to 2 percent of the world’s population are redheads ‏(those with two copies of a recessive gene on chromosome 16‏).

Nurit Benchetrit, now a graduate of the NB Haifa School of Design, asked redheads who live in Israel to let her take their picture for her final project. She photographed 150 of the hundreds who responded to the Facebook request. The project also appeared in book form and was on display during this year’s just-concluded [Tokyo Designers Week]‏(www.tdwa.com/en‏).

Nurit Benchetrit

It’s an optimistic project, brimming with cheerfulness, good-hearted, unassuming. Sometimes that is what’s needed. Before turning to investigate anything at all.

Benchetrit photographed all the redheads in white shirts against a white background.

Even though the general impression is that there are more redheads in Israel − here under the blazing sun − than in other places; and though everyone knows, thanks to the children’s song that’s taught in preschool, that King David was a redhead, no research has been done to confirm this.

No count has been made to determine whether redheads account for 6 percent of the population here, as is usually thought to be the case in northern European communities. No count has been made because redheadedness is neither a limitation nor an handicap. It’s a beauty-related phenomenon.

It is readily apparent that Benchetrit does not covet that lush hair. There is no greed in her attitude toward her subjects; and this is especially apparent in the photos of the Botticelli- Titian- Klimt- and Modigliani-like girls who border − but just border − on the grammar of soap advertising ‏(such images are about purity and clear, shiny colors.‏)


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