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                                                ON BEING BALD.

 

            I am bald. I am a slaphead and proud of it. Actually, as my picture, www.arthurchappell.clara.net/arthur2.gif shows, I have some hair at the back of my head, though the front is fully exposed.

            I was actually going bald from about the age of twelve.  I guess you’d call it Alopecia. For some reason, being bald meant that everyone wanted to point this out to me.

            Inevitably you get a lot of name calling when you lose your hair, and most of it is totally unimaginative, i.e.; Baldy, slaphead, Yul Brynner, skin-head, Kojak,’ etc…. This usually gets shouted at me from scallies in passing cars as if they are the only ones in the World who have thought of such a line.

            As I often sport a bushy beard (mostly from indifference to shaving rather than as a fashion statement) I sometimes get called ‘Mr. Upside Down Head’.  I also hear the lines; ‘Your head is shining in my eyes’ and ‘Does your head slide off the pillow when you’re in bed?’.

            On the whole I am totally unfazed by being bald. I see a few friends fretting as their hair starts to thin   but to me it is no big deal at all.

            A lot of men think going bald is a sign of ageing or increasing ugliness but in fact the word ‘Bald’ means (in its original English form as ‘Balde’). - "Good looking or handsome". (I rest my case – ha!).

            Some women actually see baldness as a sign of virility and  manliness. Bald men like Yul Brynner, Telly Savales and Patrick Stewart have been recognized as sex symbols.

            Other bald men, like William Shatner, Sean Connery, etc, often take to concealing their baldness with toupees. Elton John went so far as to have hair transplants to conceal his hair loss. There are all sorts of products that promise on the label that they will regenerate lost hair or stop men going bald/ All such products are a waste of money, and a blatant rip off.

            Comb-overs, where remaining hair is manipulated and stretched over a bald spot, invariably look stupid, and as the partings widen, the practice becomes impossible to maintain.

            Wigs, sometimes called Toupees, to make them sound posh, also look ridiculous. Once at Chester Zoo, I saw a chap wearing a wig have it removed by the trunk of an Elephant he was trying to feed. His embarrassment as everyone watching collapsed in hysterics was priceless. He had to wait for a zookeeper to go into the Elephant enclosure to retrieve it for him.

           

            Some men consciously shave off their hair rather than letting it erode away naturally.  Sadly, the hard, shaven haired look of neo nazi fascists, or skin-heads tends to get baldies a bad name, but the skinhead usually tends to wear military looking clothes and sports swastika tattoos as well as sporting a sun roof. This tells people to give them a wide berth.

            Bald women can look incredibly sexy. Persis Khambata, in the first Star Trek film, Star Trek – The Motion Picture, played a bald female android, and sparked a short lived fashion trend  for women to shave their hair.  Sinead O’Conner looked gorgeous bald, and so briefly did Natalie Portman, though all of these fine actresses later allowed their hair to grow back.

            If you find yourself jeered at for being bald – laugh it off. I often make the jokes or draw attention to my baldness myself It saves time and takes the wind out of someone else’s sails.

            Of course, not everyone finds being laughed at for being bald amusing. This is an event described in The Bible. -

(2 Kings 2, 23-5).

 

"And he (Elisha) went from there to Beth-el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city and said unto him, go up, thou bald head, go up, thou bald head." And he turned back and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out have the wood and tare forty and two children of them."

In a way, I can sympathize. Has anyone got a spare grizzly bear I could borrow?  Seriously, being bald is a sign of virility and intelligence. As I often say, to use an old clichéd joke myself, ‘Grass doesn’t grow on a busy street.’

Think of how much it saves me in hair conditioners and shampoos. The only  real problem for baldies is the danger of sunburn to the scalp,  but baldies are usually quite good at finding the best hats. 

 

LINKS FOR BALDIES

http://www.baldrus.com/ Fun site for bald people who don’t care what others think of them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldness Defines and discusses Baldness

http://www.bald.com.au/ The League Of Bald Headed men.

Arthur Chappell

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