Sunday, November 29, 2009

Balding - The Common Plight of (most) Middle-aged Men

French comedian Louis de Funès

Balding must be one of the most uncomfortable and uneasy transitions for most men out there. Hair is often tied to youth and force, the same way Samson used to be invincible until his beloved forced him to pay a visit to the barber.

Hair loss has become a distressing experience for most of us because we are forced to leave behind the wonderful world of youth and vitality and enter the shaky foundations of middle and eventually later adulthood.

It is strange that as time is passing me by - sneaking stealthily but steadily away - I don't "feel" much older. The only reminder of my slowly advancing age is the appearance of yet another birthday, and with it I keep adding to the mysterious number that symbolizes how much time I have had the fortune to be alive.

My main fear and concern with balding is presumably that others would view me as "old." Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being old, which many equate with growing wisdom and experience. The problem probably lies in the implausible, yet appealing Peter Pan syndrome. Part of us does not want to lose –or rather wants to hold onto - the height of physical prowess, and so we are constantly afraid of hair loss as well as wrinkles appearing on our face, traitors that give away our "real" age.

I cannot help but be jealous of those younger guys who are blessed with plenty of hair. And I feel envy towards those who have advanced in age and have a full white scalp. The change of coloring is not that distressing to me, but lack of it and bald spots are.

Then again, I am glad that TV and cinema has tackled baldness in its own way. Some actors are known to be bald, and they do a great job at it! The French comedian Louis de Funès I simply cannot imagine with hair. In my mind, he's always bald faced, grimacing and gesturing. Yul Brynner I did not like with hair; one of the cases where the reverse actually occurred: his manliness lies in his baldness! And finally, thank you, Kojak for bringing baldness to Prime TV. We need more people like you guys!

I guess, all in all, baldness is a part of life that we will eventually get used to. It is one of those irreversible changes we have to go through sooner or later. A toupée or hair implant would be like plastic surgery; a way of cheating ourselves and making ourselves believe that we will be eternally young, the “good old” Peter Pan syndrome.

1 comment:

Supernatural Woman said...

As a gracefully aging bombshell, now at a fab and fit 50, I have found myself increasingly aware of how men as they progressively age, most often lose their hair and along with their beloved locks/looks, their self-esteem.

Thanks for boldly broaching the taboo subject.

Simply setting to tone for me to felinely follow up in my own wondrous way, sooner than enough.