I remember the moment. There, staring at me from the bottom of the steel sink, was a hair. It just laid there, saying nothing but speaking volumes. My hair was falling out.
That was a long time ago, and over the years I went through the typical emotional responses. Grief. Anger. Denial. Different haircuts.
It wasn’t until I saw a photo of the back of my head that I finally reached Acceptance. I vowed to avoid the comb-over. For one thing, it’s wouldn’t be practical in my line of work.
So I cut it off. All of it. Suddenly, I was a free man. I could roll down my car window without fear. The gusts of air that met me when doors opened no longer threatened to upset the delicate balance of follicle placement. Windy days were refreshing.
A few years ago, shaved heads were rare (unless you were a criminal) and invited involuntary glances from strangers. That was before Jean-Luc Picard. In 1992 Patrick Stewart was named “Sexiest man on television (wikipedia)”, and the world changed.
(Patrick Stewart Network)
Suddenly, skin was in vogue. Bruce Willis shaved his head (so did Demi Moore). Denzel Washington sported a bald dome in Glory. Athletes like Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice and Stone Cold Steve Austin jumped in. They were everywhere. What are the odds that in the millions of years of human history, shaved heads would become a fad at the precise moment I had to shave mine!
Take a look at American troops today – so many of them sport shaved heads that a smooth cranial is arguably becoming “the look” of our warriors overseas. It gives them a tough appearance, plus it’s easier to manage than a full mane. Did you see C-SPAN the other day, when Brig. Gen. Joseph Anderson (Chief of Staff, Multi-national Corps – Iraq) answered questions from the media?
He glared at the reporters through the video link-up with so much authority and credibility that you could actually hear the respect in the reporters’ voices as they asked their questions.
So now, when I look in my sink I smile with the satisfaction of knowing I’m in good company. I’m happy to enjoy the tough-guy image by proxy as long as it lasts. Timing, like they say, is everything. Luck helps too.