The Bald Truth

Saturday, September 20, 2008
There seems to be a plethora of ads on television lately promoting various hair restoration products and services for men. Everytime you turn on the television or change a channel, it seems someone's trying to sell Rogaine or get people to try the latest, greatest, scientifically proven method for hair restoration. All of this got me thinking about how our society views baldness.

In men, baldness is generally accepted although some still look on those who are follicly challenged as being somewhat less impressive (for lack of a better word or a thesaurus at the moment) than their furrier counterparts. There are loads of men out there who shave their heads regularly and it is socially acceptable. You wouldn't think twice if you met a man who was bald, balding, or sporting a freshly shaved dome. There are some out there who even find bald men sexy. Think Patrick Stewart, Ving Rhames, Yul Brynner. Even my father, who has never had a full head of hair (and stands a mere 5'4"), has never had a problem attracting the ladies. Whether it's bald by choice or bald by nature, men have it pretty easy when it comes to being accepted.

Women, on the other hand, are a whole other story. In many cultures, that old line rings true: A woman's hair is her crowning glory. It actually refers to a passage in the bible from 1st Corinthians: Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is dishonor to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is glory to her? Corinthians has a lot to say about a woman's hair apparently, including topics such as length and the dishonour they would get if they shaved their hair off. Uh oh. Apparently I'm going to hell then.

Women are often expected to have long, thick luxurious hair - perfect for running hands through and all that other nonsense you see on television and in movies. Unfortunately, that excludes probably most of the female population. Many women prefer to keep their hair short as it's easier to care for or they feel it suits them better, especially as they age. Or you have women like my mother who (I think) purposefully kept my hair short as a child just to spite my father (who was a long hair lover) but told him it was because my hair was curly and unruly. I digress. What about the women who have had to suffer through chemotherapy, traumatic head injuries, or like myself have experienced the gradual thinning of their own hair either due to illness, various medical conditions, or just nature? Unlike men, who can we look to as an example when people ask the question: Are bald women sexy?

There aren't a lot of positive bald female rolemodels out there. Let's see, we've got Sinead O'Connor, Sigourney Weaver, Demi Moore... Yep, that's about it. To be honest, while I love Lt. Ripley in all her bald glory, I don't imagine a situation where I'll be battling aliens on a prison planet infested with lice anytime soon. I'm guessing not many women would.

I debated long and hard about putting a picture of my nakedness up on the blog but in the end, I figured why not? I've got nothing to be ashamed of and frankly, the picture above is how I look most of the time (when I'm not at work or out and about town). For those of you who've never had to wear one (or chosen to for whatever reason), wigs are hot. Yes, they can be sexy, alluring and give the allusion of real, gorgeous hair. And that's not just for others' benefit either. I freely admit that the reason I shave my own, thinning hair and wear a wig is to make myself feel better. Not to impress others. It boosts my confidence and while some people might realize it`s not real and stare, there are far fewer of them (at least in my experience) than there were those who would stare at me when I kept my natural hair. Wigs can be hot in other, not so great ways either. Imagine wearing a winter toque in the middle of the hottest day of the summer and you'll understand.




Regardless of whether you choose to go bare or you've lost your hair, male or female, society still tells us those of us who aren't blessed with fabulous locks aren't as good as those who do. Sure men have it a bit easier than us ladies but in the end, the media still feeds on our insecurities and tells us we should do everything in our power to change how we look. Isn't it that way with everything: plastic surgery, dieting, etc... How else can we explain the abundance of Rogaine ads to not only regrow hair (FYI, it doesn't work) but now prevent hair loss! As for me, I'm plenty happy to whip out the clippers every week or so and prance around the apartment wearing absolutely nothing (on my head...). Besides, my mom tells me I'd pretty darned cute bald.

As for the question "Are Bald Women Sexy?". My answer is a resounding yes. You'll have to judge for yourself.

5 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...

Great post, Karen! I applaud your courage for honestly sharing your experience and for sharing a picture of yourself!

I don't know how I'd feel in your position. I once toyed with shaving my head so that I could finger the fashion establishment and be free of shampooing etc, but chickened out. I think that if you don't have a choice, then you have to do what makes you feel best. For men, it may be trying with all their might to regain their hair - whatever. Personally, I'm totally supportive of whatever works. I love that you're bucking trends and shaving, and yes, I bet wigs can be totally fun!

Milla said...

I would never have imagined that in the pictures (and video) I saw of you, you were wearing a wig. I think you should do as you feel most comfy and at ease (and wear a nice hat when it is cold).

I shaved my head for about 10 years, with clippers and razors, because I like short hair; also, for me, it was a way of rebelling against the images brought to me by what I used to call 'the Panten Shampoo Bitches'.
These days Zorro refuses to shave my head! 'Cos he says it's too much work for him to listen to me moaning about my fur flying all over the house.
Maybe I will post a picture of my shaved head in my blog in the future...

Heather said...

Good for you!!

Red said...

I don't think the secret of sexy resides in lustrous hair, or in full lips, or in huge breasts.

Women are sexy when they feel confident in their looks, irrespective of whether they conform to "society's" view of what sexy is/should be. One of the sexiest girls I ever met was massively overweight (like, borderline obese) and with a dark moustache, but she didn't care one bit: she still wore mini-skirts and laughed, laughed, laughed all the time. She always had a gaggle of boys around her. Cos, let's face it, a pretty face is nice for a while, but a sparkling personality will keep you entertained forever.

Here's to us sexy Capricorns!

* (asterisk) said...

You go, girl! Being follicly challenged myself, I hear you, and many are the times I've toyed with just shaving it all proper proper short. Indeed, I have a couple of times, but then I end up getting abuse from black people for looking too much like a skinhead... (I digress, too, you see.)

It is different for men, though, of course, for whatever faux societal reasons.

But there is no reason bald can't be hot on a chick. The gals you mentioned are/were in those roles. But you forgot that one from V For Vendetta, whose name always escapes me.

Keep it real.

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