Several people have asked me for a copy of an article on wigs, baldness and self esteem.
I wrote this article when I was in college and so lived in a time and place where men wearing wigs was more "acceptable" than it is now - nearly fifty and in the "real world."
On the other hand my way of dealing with being bald accomplished two things; I dated more and made friends with women a lot easier. I guess they found it intriguing and we had a lot to talk about. Most were too afraid to color their hair and saw wigs as a good alternative. I had become well read on wigs and could discuss color, skin tone, lace-front, etc. Secondly, it was helpful in my ministry. Strangers seemed freer to open up about problems - God does inspire creative solutions to turn unplanned circumstances into something good.
Even though I no longer wear wigs, they were fun and when I find that special lady, I'd wear them again either privately or publically if she liked me to. I must confess that I quite like my bald look the best. Nothing feels nicer than the lips and finger tips of a woman running over my scalp.
A Special Wardrobe
“What’s in here?” Susan asked. We were shifting some of my belongings and among them was a storage box with the word “Herman” scrawled across the top.
“Take a peek,” Denise advised with a twinkle in her eye.
“Eek! There’s something furry in there!” Susan screamed as she dropped the box.
As Denise laughed, I picked up the box and with mock indignation over the word, “furry,” and explained to Susan that she had picked up my wig box.
“But these wigs are all different colors and styles, Larry, are they all yours?”
Susan had asked the question most people ask fairly soon after a relationship is formed.
“I’m totally bald and my lifestyle includes wearing wigs on those days I feel like being a “haired” person. I adore my bald head and spend time making it look good and feel nice. I like hair too, and with wigs I can enjoy a variety of looks in different hair styles and colors.
It is possible to be both bald and “haired,” and enjoy being both.”
“I think that’s wonderful!” Susan exclaimed with a look of sincere delight and approval.
The way we feel about the way we look is important. Physical beauty is one of the cornerstones of self esteem and it is one of the most vulnerable. This is an article about how I have dealt with this subject in one area and I hope that it will inspire the reader to find solutions to their own threats to self esteem.
I have been fortunate in that my hair loss experience was not burdensome or a source of great anxiety. The reason for this is simple -- I did not see baldness as a disfigurement in others so I did not see it as such for me when I went bald.
I am a Christian; as such, I strive to see people the way God does. I don’t see “ugly” people. The physical body is much too frail to be a vessel in which a person’s beauty and worth can be housed. Even those who are deemed to be “beautiful people” will be stripped of their attributes through age, disease or accidents. So much of what society labels as beautiful is not even intrinsic; a cursory examination of history and other cultures will show the great diversity and transitory nature of so called Perfect Beauty. The diversity of beauty in human beings is staggering if we are receptive to developing an appreciation of it.
Most bald headed men and women I knew or had ever seen never struck me as disfigured or ugly. I believed that they possessed beauty in ways that were different from someone else; indeed, those bald people who incorporated their baldness into their self image in an open and positive way seemed even more attractive and even exotic in their beauty.
It is hard to believe in one’s beauty especially if it flies in the face of conventional standards. It can be done and I have had some success at doing so. It does help if there are people in your life that will support you and believe in your beauty, too.
The first wig I got was a present from someone who knew I wanted one but couldn’t quite get the nerve to get it myself. I think that I would have eventually but this speeded things up for me. The wig was christened “Herman” by my friend Holley and became the first for many more to come. The support Holley provided cannot be praised enough. She genuinely liked what I was trying to do and did everything possible to help me create my lifestyle and get all I could out of it. She encouraged me not to wear hats or wigs in public after I began to keep my head clean shaven because she knew that I really wanted to. She and many others have made my balding experience one of the great blessings in my life.
I love being bald and feel special and attractive even more than I did before my hair fell out. Rarely do I use the term “hair loss” because I don’t like the connotation that I have “lost” something. I feel that my beauty was changed and not lost when I went bald. I will probably be self conscious of being bald for the rest of my life, or as long as bald is perceived as unusual. The option is whether or not to feel good or bad, attractive or unattractive because of it.
After we finished moving my stuff, I treated Susan and Denise to a “fashion Show” complete with bad jokes and funny stories about my experiences. When it was time for Susan to go, she kissed my nude scalp, cooed that she thought I looked cute, and said that she believed that bald is beautiful. I thanked her and told her I thought she was beautiful, too. She grimaced and said that she was hardly beautiful considering that she was this, that and the other thing. I took exception to her self deprecating remarks and tried to put into perspective what I have written in this article.
“Having hair does not make one beautiful, nor is it true that bald is beautiful in and of its self. Being bald doesn’t make a person beautiful, Susan, but a person can make baldness beautiful. The same, perhaps, can also be said for this, that and the other thing.”