Why baldness is common and yet so uncommon?
With male baldness comes a lot of stereotypes. Going bald in males is something that’s either not accepted or completely cherished, there’s no in between. While actors such as Dwayne Johnson, Patrick Stewart, Ben Kingsley, Rahul Bose or even Rajinikanth flaunt their bald head like no one else, there lies another space where bald male find themselves in a pit of low self- esteem, lack of confidence and a vulnerable self-acceptance. Men have been quietly dealing down over their hair or lack of them. And just to break this stigma Bollywood is coming up with two movies based on male baldness.
But why there’s a need to address male baldness?
The major need to address male baldness is not making it an ‘ISSUE’ but actually to break down the misery. Male baldness for many of us (females) is not a topic of concern because every next man we meet is somehow bald- it’s a common pattern in males. But contrary to this if we ask how many of females would prefer a bald man? The ratio might be less than the hairy males.
Why baldness happens? According to scientists a full headed among us have about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on our scalp. And scientists have discovered two things for the same. First, is that our sprouting hairs are made up of keratin. Secondly, baldness in men is related to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone. This causes old hairs on the scalp to be replaced by progressively shorter and thinner hairs in a predictable pattern, beginning at the temples and crown of the head. This is mostly inherited by the family, like for instance your father is bald, there’s a great chance for you to go bald in your later days as well. So there’s nothing unusual in it to be stigmatized.
While in western countries bald men are regarded more charismatic, successful and hot, here in India, baldness is often stigmatized. Bald young male find it extremely difficult to get over their hair loss, while many doesn’t care but in the end its all pretense. Many males even find it tough to find a mate which is well portrayed in the upcoming Bollywood movie- ‘Ujda Chaman’. The second movie ‘Bala’ covers another area where the protagonist seeks remedies to grow back hairs. So here we see two stories where one struggles finding acceptance with baldness another is desperate to cover it up.
For the ones who find bald men more successful or even handsome, the reason could be that many professions such as military which is regarded as highly masculine requires clean head. Another segment who find baldness as something humiliating could be because of our unending obsession with hairs. Since childhood we have seen numerous people proud on having a rich hair and that’s the learning which we have carried till adulthood. Even if a boy shows tendency of losing a hairline, parents starts doing stuff just to not let it happen. Bald males are called with humiliating words such as ‘baldy’, ‘Takla’, ‘Ujda chaman’ and what not? So arguing why baldness is stigmatized is in itself a challenging question. It isn’t very often that we get a chance to sneak into a window of not just one man, but an entire generation of men vulnerabilities and being baldness one of them. They are judged on their appearance, sexuality and even their character. They are just not accepted and this is exactly where we need to work upon. Do you know that 95% of males experience the hair loss pattern- some severely while others mildly, and arguing baldness as something neglecting- what would you like to say to the 95% percent of male population? See how dramatic things turn when we include numbers! This is because in India our appearance is what makes as worthy or unworthy. Even though having a wide population of 133.92 crores, 29 states and four major religions- people can just not accept the differences.
It’s really time for us to question ourselves that why male vulnerabilities are stigmatized when we feminist keeps on celebrating women vulnerabilities. And we are saying it to the women not because they are related but because they are the only ones who can actually break down the stigma. If men could do so, it never would have started at the first place. Unless and until women start accepting men vulnerabilities only then males will celebrate theirs. Females needs to understand what in the end really matters- looks or character?