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Saturday, July 07, 2007

The bald truth 

I just watched a documentary on baldness (I Hate My Bald Head - part of the BBC Mischief series screened a few weeks ago.

Robert Murray, a 26 year-old from Manchester, had lost most of his hair due to male pattern baldness and wasn't happy with it. The documentary explored this with him and showed us how he felt about it, how other people felt about it and what he could do.

Treatments for baldness didn't work. Quelle surprise!

Wigs can look good if you spend a lot of money on them. That was a surprise. I did think he looked better with the wig than without.

Hair transplants look painful.

Anyhow, that isn't the point of this. I realised as I was watching it that I was becoming quite angry. I was angry with him and with the people he interviewed. He felt that he looked older because of the baldness. Women he interviewed felt the same. He was called Granddad at school where he started losing his hair early.

Why? Why should hair-loss equate with age? Why should that matter in any case?

I very rarely notice if a man is bald or not. In fact I am more likely to notice a man in a positive light if he is balding or completely bald than not. I have always found it a sexy look even before my own hair did its disappearing act.

I do notice when a main tries to cover it up with a poor wig or a comb-over. Mercifully, these are rarer these days.

Some time ago, and I thought I blogged this incident but I can't find it, a group of girls shouted "baldy" to me as I walked home from the bus one night. I remember feeling predominantly puzzled. What was their point? Were they trying to cause offense? They would maybe had better luck making comments on my weight or my beard or even my sexuality. But my baldness? No. It wasn't even as if I had been trying to hide it.

It's not as if it's rare. Many men these days elect to shave their heads anyway. Some shave even if they have a full head of hair, which seems odd but so what.

So, I genuinely didn't understand the shouting girls and I didn't understand the attitudes of the people in the film, particularly Robert himself. He looked good with hair (a wig) and he looked good without. He didn't look good stressing about it.

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