A more serious post was planned for today but a story about a generation of young women shaving their heads grabbed Crabby Old Lady's attention and it's been too long since she appeared in these pages.
The New York Times which, keep in mind, is frequently behind the curve in regard to youth culture, reports that there may be a fad of young women shaving their heads – as a fashion statement:
“'I’ve definitely noticed this trend on the streets recently,' said Andrea Donoghue, who owns Laurel, a private studio in the East Village. 'I think it’s a trickle down from what’s been happening in fashion lately.'
“'A client of mine recently came in with a picture of [model] Ruth [Bell] from a Zara campaign,' Ms. Donoghue recalled.”
Reading that, Crabby flashed on her hair cut last week when she told the stylist, an old friend by now, that she not infrequently thinks about shaving off all her hair. It would be so much easier.
As many of you know from past stories here, Crabby was deeply vexed when her hair had become so thin at the crown and front that pink scalp shows through the few wisps that remain. So two or three years ago after weighing several possible solutions, she began always wearing a hat when she leaves the house.
She has a large collection of winter, summer, big, small, smart, beautiful and silly hats now hanging on a wall, including this new addition she bought for an upcoming Halloween party:
Isn't it a terrific witch hat? What you can't see are the spiders crawling about on the netting. (Yeah, Crabby knows it's good for only one day a year but what the hell. It didn't cost much and YOLO, as those shaved-headed young women probably say.)
It was nearly eight years ago that Crabby Old Lady first wrote here about going bald and after listing the options (none of which Crabby liked), noted:
”Embracing baldness by shaving her head is a choice Crabby half-seriously considered but it works best on an attractively-shaped head and Crabby has no idea if hers is a pleasingly contoured.
“Besides,” Crabby continued eight years ago, “with every public encounter, it calls attention for a wrong reason, especially on an old woman. The thought of explaining herself to any fool who asks – and many would - makes Crabby tired already.”
But now, Crabby has moved from “half-seriously” considering shaving her head to seriously thinking about it.
The first time Crabby saw a deliberately bald woman was back in the 1970s, model Grace Jones, and she was stunning. Of course, unlike Crabby, she was born with an especially lovely face and beautifully shaped head.
Here she is in her bald look along with some other well-known women who have shaved their heads - left to right, Grace, Demi Moore, Tyra Banks and Cynthia Nixon. After the first bit of shock, they all look great.
One of the young women in The Times story about the head shaving fad, 22-year-old Alana Derksen, said she had wanted to shave her head for a long time:
”...but refrained out of fear of how her 'conservative' family would react. Then, late one night last summer during a tense trip home, she finally gave in to the impulse, cutting off her hair in her parents’ bathroom and using a Bic razor to finish the job.
“Now, she said, she’s so used to her bald head, which she maintains with electric clippers, she has nightmares about her hair growing back. Even her parents have come around on the shorn ’do.:
Self image comes into it for Crabby only when thinking about how others would react. She doesn't want having a bald head to be the first thing people think about her. Someone asks, “Who is Crabby Old Lady?” “Oh, you know, the one who flaunts her shaved head.”
There is a whole lot of discussion in that Times story about whether the phenomenon of young women shaving their heads is a cultural response to expanding gender identifications. Crabby will leave that debate to them; her concerns are more prosaic.
First, as Crabby mentioned eight years ago, she is not sure she wants to be known for shaving her head. And for sure, she does not want to be thought of as trying to emulate women young enough to be her great granddaughters.
On the other hand, it would lift a small burden from her life to not think about thinning hair and hats anymore - as much fun as the hats are – or to blow dry what's left of her hair every other day. And, anyway, Crabby could still wear hats on her shaved head.
Which leaves this remaining question: Is the shape of Crabby's head reasonably nice looking? And that can be answered only one way - trust Crabby, plastering wet hair down on your head doesn't do it.
Crabby Old Lady is pretty certain this is just silliness for a Friday post after a week of serious issues. But then again, maybe not.