As a proud left-hander I’m celebrating International Left-Handers Day today and I’m also going to share with you why being a leftie should be celebrated every day.
1. We’re in good company
Famous left-handers include Prince William, Angelina Jolie, Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, David Bowie, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lawrence, Oprah Winfrey, Emma Thompson, Bill Gates, Paul Simon, Tina Fey and Sarah Jessica Parker. Of the most recent seven U.S. Presidents, four have been left-handed, including Barack Obama. I’ll never forget watching Pretty Woman at the cinema and realising that my idol Julia Roberts was left-handed. (I was 12, I didn’t know what a hooker was, but I knew Julia and I were kindred spirits.)
Image credit: Karl Piper/WENN
2. We think outside the box
Of all the claims about left-handed people one with some substance to it is that we’re more likely to be creative sorts. Professor Chris McManus of University College London writes in Scientific American Mind: “Left-handers’ brains are structured differently from right-handers’ in ways that can allow them to process language, spatial relations and emotions in more diverse and potentially creative ways.” Studies have also found that left-handed people are more likely to be musically gifted.
Image credit: Matthew G/Flickr
3. We have entire shops dedicated to us
Us lefties have no reason to moan about tin openers, scissors, corkscrews, tape measures or anything else in the world designed with a right-handed person in mind. There are shops and websites with left-handed versions of all these things, as well as lots of leftie merchandise to show how proud we are to be left-handers. Visit anythinglefthanded.co.uk and leftshoponline.co.uk for starters. On the other hand…
Image credit: RBerteig/Flickr
4. We’re nothing if not adaptable
Most left-handed people I know don’t bother buying special scissors and knives because we’ve learnt from a young age to adapt to a right-handed world. My gran taught me how to knit the right-handed way, forgetting I was left-handed. I didn’t realise — knitting was monotonous and hard, full stop — so we just carried on. I use my computer mouse on the right because when I first used a computer there was no such thing as a wireless mouse. In fact a ton of left-handed people are fairly ambidextrous because they’ve had to learn how to do certain things with their non-dominant hand.
Image credit: Bart Everson/Flickr
More: How to knit left-handed
5. We’re a mysterious bunch
Let’s face it, being rare is a good thing. And left-handed people are not common. Depending on what study you read, between five and 10 percent of the population are left-handed. If you’re a left-handed woman you’re even rarer: left-handedness is more common in men. Myths about left-handers range from the weird (less able to roll our tongues than right-handers; more able to adjust to seeing underwater than right-handers) to the wonderful (live an average of six years longer than right-handers). Apparently we’re also more prone to migraines, better at 3D perception and thinking and three times more likely to become alcoholics (no comment). Rumours that we’re better at fist pumping have yet to be confirmed.
Image credit: Jay Malone/Flickr
6. Matt Groening, Bart Simpson and Kermit the Frog are left-handed
One of the coolest guys on the planet is a leftie.
Image credit: WENN
As is his famous creation.
Image credit: quack quack quack/YouTube
And everyone’s favourite cartoon amphibian.
Video credit: Justin Halliday/YouTube
Are you left-handed? What do you love or loathe about it? Let us know in the comments below.