In which G.M. Norton reflects on being bereft of hair and the reaction it’s received.
It’s been quite a change for your favourite protagonist so I thought it was only right to document what the reaction has been from people and how I’m feeling now I’m hairless. Well, on the top of my head, at least.
Before I begin, I must add that I’ve always had comments on my hair. Usually not very nice, to be truthful.
I remember being 17 years old and I was walking to the office one cold morning in a near empty Rochdale town centre when an older man walking past shouted, “Get your hair cut!”. I was sporting a longer style then. Not incredibly long by any means, but I had the audacity that my hair was long enough to cover my ears. Regrettably, the hair over my ears failed to block out his words.
That was quite typical back then. People didn’t hold back to tell me that I should have short hair, as if my longer locks offended their very souls. While I did my best to ignore their rudeness, it did have an effect on me. Still, my thick skin had to develop somehow.
Fast forward almost 18 years and I must admit, I prepared myself for a negative backlash once again. Perhaps fortunately for me, shaved heads are still very popular in society. If you look around, as I often do as I indulge in a spot of people watching, it is staggering the amount of men that like me, are bereft of hair.
The only slight negativity I’ve received has been from one or two family members, which is always disappointing. Their need to push their very rigid outlook on life continues to fascinate me. My uncle took great pleasure in gloating that despite being in his sixties, he still has a full head of hair. I took great pleasure in not laughing at his awful jokes and being steadfast in my opinion that I am enjoying being bald.
All that aside, since leaving my Christmas cocoon, the people that I’ve encountered have been nothing short of lovely. Whether they mean it or not, one doesn’t truly know but if my experience through life has taught me anything, it’s that people don’t hold back on their views, whether hurtful or nice.
This week I’ve been called manly and handsome, which are words I never usually hear, except from my beloved. A heterosexual man even referred to me 'sexy'. It was the highlight of my day. How times have changed that a man can now openly say such a thing to another man, in front of other men – it’s rather wonderful really.
My favourite comment was being referred to as a stylish Bond villain that you actually want to win.
I’m on record as stating that I didn’t want to be bald. That my hair meant a lot to me. But I’m really enjoying having no hair. I’m also really enjoying running a razor over my head of a night. As one chum observed, it’s liberating.
More bunkum next week, but it won’t be about hair. I think two consecutive posts about it are enough.