The Bald and the Beautiful

Once upon a time, during the 1980’s, a sense of style took on a whole new meaning. Clothes looked better when they were ripped up for some reason, and hairstyles contained so much Aqua Net, they violated the local building codes.

One would think that so much abuse of one’s tresses would yield what would become an unavoidable result: Baldness. Most women managed to come out of that era unscathed (those haystack perms grew out eventually), but men would ultimately pay for that teasing, dying and hair-spraying in the years to come.

The above statement is misleading at best. No amount of chemical warfare in the past would have any impact on the amount of strands left remaining in the present. This is decided entirely by the “Lucky Sperm Club.” Your heredity determines as to where and when you’ll have fallout. Unfortunately, men are the more common victims of this seemingly cruel turn of evolution.

Hanging on to what’s left of their dwindling hairlines was not an option any longer … they had said, “That’s it, I’ve had it, I’m done with this!”

It’s not to say that women don’t have our crosses to bear as well. We have childbirth (and the subsequent weight gain, stretch marks, and the tranquilizer dependency that results), We have that monthly “turmoil,” as well as the hormonal roller coaster that accompanies it. Women also have the big “change” later on in life. This can be emotionally as well as physically devastating, depending on how the individual handles it. But, for the most part, these are relatively personal and non-public changes that women endure — with the notable exception of cellulite.

Consider if you were a male who has had a full head of hair for your childhood as well as your adult life. At one point in your life, you will come to the realization that you are losing your hair. Either the drain starts looking like someone stuffed a tarantula in it, or some well-meaning “friend” decides to comment in front of God and everybody on the glare reflecting from the top of your head. For the record, yes, it would be an appropriate gesture to send this “friend” flowers and a get well card in the hospital afterwards, since you’re the one who would be putting him there in the first place.

Also, take into consideration that this change in your appearance is happening in front of everyone you know, as well as an existing or even a perspective mate. All of a sudden, you wish that the Derby or Fedora was back in style. You wish you’d been born a hundred years ago when appearances didn’t have such an impact on how successful you are — either in business or your personal life. Your self-confidence starts to take a nosedive. Of course, to everyone else, it’s not the end of the world. Half the time, they don’t even notice. But this is YOU we’re talking about. You have to walk around with this stigma you’ve created for yourself 24/7.

I happen to know a few guys that have walked down this road. For some, it’s a short trip, for others it can be decades. Hanging on to what’s left of their dwindling hairlines was not an option any longer. Rogaine notwithstanding, at some point, these men took matters in their own hands. There’s a point where they had said, “That’s it, I’ve had it, I’m done with this!”

What I’m referring to, my dear readers, involves a razor — but not to the wrists! These men shaved their heads completely — made a “hair-choice,” if you will. They took control of their looks by creating a completely new image of themselves. By shaving their hair, they had shaved the past as well.

The sentiment behind this very definitive act is an overall sense of empowerment; the ability to take back control of something that was previously hapless. In one case it had even been referred to as a rite of passage — not unlike maturing into an adult out of adolescence. In this case, you’re consciously and deliberately letting go of having something that isn’t yours to have anymore (or ceasing to be someone that you’re not anymore). The difference would be that the choice to do something is yours this time around, that’s all.

In addition, these men to whom I am referring have experienced a new-found freedom from a dichotomy that had been haunting them for some time. They are embracing a whole new life as a result — an unmasking if you will. A new sense of confidence permeates around them. I don’t know if it’s the new “do”, or that new sense of zeal (or perhaps even a combination of the two), but I’ve found that these men that I encounter tend to possess handsomely piercing, if not hypnotic eyes. I’m quite pleased with the results I’ve seen, myself.

So, ladies, I implore you to have a heart with those gentlemen that you encounter with the toupee’s and combovers. These are men that haven’t quite reached their epiphany yet — but they will. We all have our burdens to bear. Keep in mind that men have quite a hurdle to jump over in this respect. Their pain is quite public. Nothing short of your infinite kindness and understanding for your so-besieged intended, male friend, or simply that stranger on the street will go a long way.

Andrea See all posts by Andrea
is a BADASSCHICK Magazine™ contributor
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