Monday, November 21, 2005

The Bald and the Fat

The past year or so has left it an undeniable fact that the traditional male pattern baldness of my mother's family has started to descend upon me, and that the top of my head, while not yet having any bald spots that can't be covered with minimal effort, is quickly seen to be only thinly covered whenever, say, a mild breeze blows.

For men, baldness can have some of the same effects on self-image and social confidence that the perception of fatness has on women. (Men can get away with much more in the weight department.) Even here, however, I think men wind up with the easier ride. The most my lack of hair will ever do is limit my choice of hairstyle; getting control of weight issues can require permanent changes in lifestyle and diet. While some will always look at those overweight with the assumption that they have some slovenly habits, I might even get bonus points by comparision with those who try to hide behind toupees and odd-looking combovers.

This isn't an immediate issue, as I probably still have at least a couple of years to go before deciding whether try out a buzz cut, the full head shave as with Lex Luthor on Smallville, or something else entirely. It does, however, provoke introspection. To make an saying more literal, over the years I've grown quite comfortable in my own skin, and being forced into changes is unsettling, especially when they are changes of the sort society tells you should be unwelcome.


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