Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The horror, the horror!

I'm reading Peter Conrad's chapter on the medicalization of baldness.* It turns out that, quoting Valerie Randall, "In our youth-oriented culture, the association of hair loss with increasing age has negative connotations and, since hair plays such an important role in human social and sexual communication, male pattern baldness often causes marked psychological distress and reduction in the quality of life. . . "

Oh shit. It gets worse. "Wells, Willmouth and Russell found that hair loss in men is associated with depression, low self-esteem, neuroticism, introversion, and feelings of unattractiveness." No wonder that "Emanuel Marrit, a hair restoration surgeon, sees this as his medical responsibility: 'That simple office procedure has, in reality, just handed me a life sentence of follicular responsibility. The weight of this awareness is not only humbling, it can be, at times, simply overwhelming."

As the enormity of the tragedy which has befallen me finally dawned upon me, I at first berated myself for my own obtuseness. How could I have lived so long in denial? How could I have been so willfully blind? A lesser man might have contemplated suicide. As if the low self-esteem, depression, unattractiveness and neuroticism to which I am doomed were not enough, my self-loathing can only be compounded by the blame I am owed for inflicting such an intolerable burden on the noble Dr. Marrit.

But as it turns out, I do not give a FFOARD about Dr. Marrit and the cross he bears. Even worse, I am sure, from his point of view, I do not plan to pay him for hair plugs. Nor do I intend to pay Pfizer or Merck or anybody else for Propecia, Rogaine, or rancid boar fat (a remedy known to the ancients). No, so sunk am I in moral depravity and indifference to the contempt and scorn of humanity that I actually do not care whether I have hair on the top of my scalp or not. Say what you will about me, I care not a fart for your opinion. Bring it on.

Update: Ironically (and I believe I use the term correctly) I got a spam comment on this post from somebody touting a miracle hair loss remedy. (Deleted of course.) Just about says it all . . .

*Peter Conrad. The Medicalization of Society: On the transformation of human conditions into treatable disorders. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 2007


C. Corax said...

I suggest minimizing the window so you don't have to watch the idiot who used Lavin's song to make this video.

Yeah, men can't lose hair, and women spend their entire lives trying to remove it from their bodies so that they will look pre-adolescent. What a f***ed-up society we live in.

roger said...

on the other end of some spectrum..... a shaved head, feigning baldness, is a style choice for many men. maybe they all had head lice.

Anonymous said...

What kind of creature is this human being, that attempts to appear infertile in order to increase its chances of reproduction?

Perhaps the treatment ought to be psychiatric medication, rather than hair plugs and razorblades?

Hmm, psychiatric medication often causes a loss of libido...might do the trick...

Bizarre, eh?