Thursday, March 17, 2005

Mailbag: Expectations

In a recent email, one gentleman was wondering what he could expect from other people if he shaved his head.
I still don't know how society, people in general, even friends would react to me, to my face, to my personality, to my look,... or to any shaved man in our society.

Somehow it seems to me that society is still biased, doubtfull and somehow "ambivalent" toward and about a bald/shaved man.

It seems that it is more natural to accept a man whose hair has receded naturally than a shaved man.

My real question is : What are the people's, men's, women's reaction to a shaved man ( Not a natural bald or semi bald man, but a shaved man).
People's reactions to a bald-by-choice person depend on the individual people in question. There is no single reaction that is consistent across a population in this regard.

Some people will think it's fantastic, and they'll absolutely love the look. These people may even take the time to compliment you on your appearance.

Some people will think it's terrible, and they'll assume negative things about you based solely on your appearance. These people will not usually tell you this; they'll make their judgements privately.

Most people won't care too much either way. They're largely indifferent to your appearance whether you have hair or not, and it won't sway their opinion of you in either direction. They may think it looks good or looks bad, but they don't really care.

And the truth is, these reactions hold no matter what your appearance. People may judge you negatively or positively for almost any aspect of your external appearance, and for the most part, you'll never know.

Based on email correspondence over many years with hundreds of head-shavers, I can say with confidence that most people who shave their heads get much more positive attention than negative attention. As I said before, people who really like it will sometimes tell you so, while people who don't like it usually keep it to themselves, so you end up with many compliments and few or no criticisms.

Does that mean that you (specifically) will get good responses? I don't know. There are never any guarantees. But by and large, I would expect you to get good responses.

Whatever choice you make, though, make it one that you are comfortable with. The opinions of others will vary and may change like the wind. You can't control what other people think of you, and it's stressful to even try to do so. Make yourself happy and it matters less what others think.

1 comment:

Paulo Ribeiro said...

One thing's for sure: if one decides to go for the bald-by-choice look, it will be noticed!

I was (and I probably still am) very shy and always tried to pass unnoticed. But since I started shaving my head people started noticing me and it isn't such a bad thing after all. :) It can really boost one's self confidence...