February 18, 2007

The best reason for a woman to shave her head.

The best reason for a woman to shave her head is to prove that she is beautiful. Everything about your head -- including your face -- is so exposed -- exposed to our judgment. Natalie Portman proved her excellence. So did Demi Moore. Britney too.

Don't think that's why they do it? Think again.

IN THE COMMENTS: Some folks say Demi and Natalie shaved their heads because a movie role demanded. They have it backwards. Both actresses -- I'm willing to bet -- chose the role because it would require them to shave their head and they wanted the opportunity to demonstrate to everyone how amazingly beautiful they are.

36 comments:

LetMeSpellItOutForYou said...

The idea that shaving your head would prove your excellence only proves how far from excellent we really are.

AllenS said...

celebritneys

Good one, Ann.

sonicfrog said...

"The best reason for a woman to shave her head...."

... is a role for a movie. That is why two of the three women you mention did so. Another example is Sigourney Weaver for Aliens III? A so-so movie when compared to the first two, but tremendous actress none the less. But she, like Mrs. Portman and Moore / Willis (at the time) grew their hair back.

Reason # 2: Shock Value. See Sinead O'Connor. Her career lived then died by the "statment". If a Mohawk counts, there is Wendy O Williams.

Though she had a crew cut and was not bald, Annie Lennox may be the best example of a woman sporting an unconventional hair cut for aesthetic reasons, though her artistry certainly played a part.

Can't think of any more right now. Need to get breakfast.

David said...

Assuming the ritual shaving was not for a part, the act begs the question of 'Who are you trying to convince, you or the public?'

The new religion in Hollywood is ritual rehab and penance served through head shaving photos and Malibu mug shots (Nolte is the poster boy closely followed by
Gibson.)

Reminds me of the Preacher's impassioned plea "I have sinned" as he blames his choices on the Devil, who made him do it. How do you get tear stains out of a prayer rug?!

Bissage said...

Don’t forget Persis Khambatta.

John(classic) said...
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John(classic) said...

"The best reason for a woman to shave her head is "...lice


Am I old enough that I am the only one who associates a shaved head with a bad lice outbreak? Or Nazi collaboration?

Daryl Herbert said...

Apparently she was frantic when it took place. That's not really a sign of confidence. There was also something in the stories about rehab and some tattoos.

I thought women shaved their heads to prove that men weren't in control of the way they look.

Beth said...

Daryl, I don't give much credence to the rumormill. Maybe she was frantic, maybe she was coolly purposeful. It's not the point of the celebrity press to get the real story, but to get one that fits their ongoing Britney's Going Nuts narrative.

I think she looks great. I was surprised by how beautiful she really is, without any trappings. I'm hoping this is a pivotal, symbolic moment for her. But I'd feel a lot better if I read she'd enrolled in school or something like that. The years when most of us grow up, learn some things about the world and our place in it, she spent being pimped by her parents. I can't help wanting better for her.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
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Truly said...

Did this story make anyone else think of that video Prof. A posted with the increasingly deranged bride? I can definitely picture Britney having a similar meltdown.

J said...

"No one walks into a beauty parlor and says "Give me the Larry Fine.""

-George Costanza

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Those who think Demi and Natalie shaved their heads because the role demanded it have it backwards. They both -- I'm willing to bet -- chose the role because it would require them to shave their head and they wanted the opportunity to demonstrate to everyone how amazingly beautiful they are.

I couldn't remember Persis Khambatta's name, but I did think of her too. She got a lot of credit for beauty that specifically got noticed because of the head-shaving stunt.

-Peder said...

Two other reasons:
1) The big swim meet.
2) Chance encounter with V-ger.

OhioAnne said...

I ABSOLUTELY agree with Ann on this one.

I don't think it necessarily means that they think they are more beautiful than anyone else. I think they have a view of how they are beautiful that they believe is different than how others see them.

TMink said...

John and Peder, ya beat me to it. Outstanding.

Trey

Kirk said...

Am I the only one who sums things up and thinks, "Hmmm, it's only the women who think the hairless babes look good"?

As for me, let me declare my Neanderthal credentials up front: no matter how extraordinary beautiful a women may be, a shaved head greatly detracts from that.

SteveR said...

I don't think bald is a good look for a man, and it damn sure isn't for a women.

Britney, not good looking before, not good looking after. Demi and Natalie, that's different at least they started off great.

Eli Blake said...

You've all missed the point.

Britney is planning to observe the upcoming 21st anniversary of Chernobyl.

Steve said...

No, no, no... she wants to rip up a picture of the new Pope.

sonicfrog said...
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sonicfrog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sonicfrog said...

Some folks say Demi and Natalie shaved their heads because a movie role demanded. They have it backwards. Both actresses -- I'm willing to bet -- chose the role because it would require them to shave their head and they wanted the opportunity to demonstrate to everyone how amazingly beautiful they are.

I will counter your bet, double down, that the motivation is based not on the concept of beauty, but more on the perceived need to show how daring the actress is. In Theory, more daring = better roles. "Look at what I'm willing to do". Look at all the fuss over Charlize Theron and her role in Monster. There was more buzz about the fact that she wore little make-up that there was over her performance, which was good enough for the oscar. It's considered brave for an actress to show that she can take a role that deviates from the typical beauty queen female stereotype. But what happens when the role is over? They go right back to growing their hair back. That was one reason why I liked Annie Lenox so much. She stuck with it.

I'm not a girl (I just had to say it like that), but I understand the motivation behind "Bald". I've done it a few times for gigs. There is an allure for any artist, even a musician as crappy as I, to sometimes do the unexpected. I've done bald a few times myself. I will admit it is more acceptable for guys to go chrome that women, but even so, I always let my hair grow back after the gig. I don't keep it shaved because I have too many dents in my head from when my older brother played basketball with my head when I was a baby! (jk).

PS. There is still a line few thin actresses will cross - FAT. I don't recall an actress pulling the same trick DeNiro did with body weight when filming Raging Bull, but I can't say no one has.

Ann Althouse said...

"PS. There is still a line few thin actresses will cross - FAT. I don't recall an actress pulling the same trick DeNiro did with body weight when filming Raging Bull, but I can't say no one has."

Renee Zellwegger did if for Bridget Jones.

And Charlize Theorn for Monster.

Admittedly it wasn't that much weight.

hdhouse said...

please. this is about brit not the others even though the question was generalized to include (all) women. it is because brit did it that we are on this innane topic.

obviously all of them got there for different reasons..and if you peck around brit's reason you may well find depression and self descrution at the root.

obviously the least best reason.

Dan from Madison said...

Don't you remember? I was way ahead of the pack on this one.

Jennifer said...

Demi and Natalie may have chosen the movies because of the opportunity to shave their heads, but at least they had the roles to justify (for lack of a better word) their choices. Britney just looks crazy.

I'm just hoping I'll be able to root for her again some time soon.

TMink said...

hdh wrote: "obviously all of them got there for different reasons..and if you peck around brit's reason you may well find depression and self descrution at the root."

I am with the houseman on this one. Second time in a week! Convergence.

Trey

Jennifer said...

Well, now that she's sporting a hideous blond wig so shortly after the shavedown, maybe she doesn't believe she's beautiful after all.

Bryon Mondok said...

I been shavin' my head for ten years. What's the big deal? Bald is beautiful.

Prediction: Balded chicks will soon be mainstream.

Wade_Garrett said...

More realistically, Britney shaved her head to prevent her ex-husband and the court from testing it to determine what drugs she had used in recent months.

By all accounts, shaving one's head is a technique used by pro athletes to beat drug tests.

Let's see: either This woman is trying to show the world her flawless beauty, or else
this woman is trying to keep other people from finding out that she uses drugs.

Which do you think is more likely?

alull said...

I think supper short hair on women is very beautiful, soft to the touch and easy to care for, I had mine at an eighth of an inch of an inch for several years. I didn’t have to spend a great deal of time fixing it, it is very freeing and I felt more feminine very earthy to me. I find it esthetically pleasing and I am not punk, just pretty normal mid thirties main stream feminine women. Sometimes I think people over think things. We don’t have this debate about men and their hair. The only reason I still have mine is I got tired of explaining to people why I didn’t have it. It is funny in a very modern society it is still some sort of big deal what women do with their hair, I think some things will never change.

Rachel said...

How can anyone say that NOT having something (i.e. hair) detracts from a woman's Natural Beauty? The Lack of something cannot detract from anything. It doesn't make sense. If anything, it's the other way around - HAVING hair detracts from the beauty of the face itself.

Amber said...

I think its all about confidence. It takes a lot of confidence to go against what society sees as beautiful.

As far as we all have come, to even have to explain to people WHY women shave their heads.. says we really are a far away from equality.

Syn said...

I have lost my hair twice from chemo and shaved it voluntarily once. I am shaving it again in about two months for ART. I’d like to share my short video (4 minutes) with you since it speaks volumes and gives a good reason to shave your head:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8036351009443073439&hl=en

My web page:http://www.crowningglory.org/

Feel free to send this link on to anyone you think our message might resonate with (friends, family, cancer patients or survivors, artists, people born in 1957, etc.) since I would like to get a "head start" on gathering integral hair for my art piece as well as continue to spread the word that “We Are Not Our Hair.” I need all hair donations (real, synthetic or otherwise) by August 15th, 2007.