Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ten Women With Shaved Heads

The bald head, be it through age or through shaving, is not that uncommon at all. You'll see bald heads all around you. But there's probably just shy of a one-hundred percent chance that the person you see sporting a hairless head is male. Male pattern baldness is encoded on the Y-chromosome. The buzz-cut is a male fashion. Women with Rapunzel-length locks are often complimented on them, and women are expected to use their hair as a fashion statement. Merrely having no hair at all is no fashion statement, is it?

No, really: is it? Almost all of the following ten women look great. In some cases, better without hair than with. It's an acquired taste, sure, but finding women with shaved heads beautiful is, based on current evidence, not that hard a taste to acquire.

1.SINÉAD O'CONNOR: Sinéad has to be first on this list, because even all these years later, when you think 'bald woman', she's still the first name you think of. In fact, she's perhaps as well-known for being bald these days as she is for covering a Prince song and tearing up a picture of the Pope. Sinéad O'Connor was a beautiful woman, and her shaved head was a dramatic, challenging statement. Everything that's great about her in the early days straddles the divide between hard and soft. As, frankly, does her appearance.Sinéad O'Connor with a shaved head

2.GRACE JONES: In fact Grace Jones was doing it years and years before. Grace Jones was a fashion model - slash - singer - slash - who knows quite what she was? She was, mind you, gorgeous and terrifying in equal parts. Lady Gaga claims her as a hero, but she's way cooler than Lady Gaga could ever be. Grace Jones couldn't find softness and femininity in her shaved head, but she was never about softness. In her case, hair just got in the way of her ability (or God-given right) to kick your ass all over the place.Grace Jones with a shaved head

3.SIGOURNEY WEAVER: This is also true of Sigourney Weaver, though in her case the bald head was responsible for the transformation. It was the lack of hair that truly made her into Ripley, "Alien"-trilogy heroine and scary-person. Just look at that picture. With hair, Sigourney Weaver is a Glenn Close-style Hollywood mainstay. Shorn, she's a sci-fi heroine.Sigourney Weaver with a shaved head

4.DEMI MOORE: Demi Moore joins this list, like Sigourney Weaver less as a fashion statement than as a job requirement: for her role in the movie "GI Jane", she had to shave her head. The result wasn't as iconic as the previous three, but it was impressive nonetheless.Demi Moore with a shaved head

5.NATALIE PORTMAN: And also Natalie Portman, who shaved her head in order to star in "V for Vendetta". However, in Portman's case, she is somehow equally gorgeous with or without hair. Looking at her bald, one wonders why women ever thought they needed hair to be seen as beautiful. I don't think there's anything Natalie Portman could do to her appearance that would make her anything less than gorgeous.Natalie Portman with a shaved head

6.MENA SUVARI: As opposed to Mena Suvari, who is less gorgeous than 'cute', or more precisely 'doll-like'. Having extremely short hair (not technically shaved but almost there) makes her no less doll-like than if she had Pippi Longstockings hair.Mena Suvari with a shaved head

7.ALEK WEK: Alek Wek is a Sudanese fashion model, whose main distinguishing trait is her shaved head. It suits her, and she is beautiful, but I don't know if the bald head enhances the beauty or if it just makes her stand out on a runway. Stand out she definitely does, though.Alek Wek with a shaved head

8.ME'SHELL NDEGÉOCELLO: Me'Shell NdegéOcello is an American singer whose name has various spellings, accents, apostrophes and mid-word capital letters, depending on who you ask. None of this nomenclatural weirdness is the fault of her parents, who named her "Michelle Lynn Johnson". What's interesting about NdegéOcello's shaved head is that it fits her so naturally that if you show someone a picture of her in performance and say, 'describe this woman', the person is perhaps not even likely to notice the hairless head.MeShell NdegeOcello with a shaved head

10.MELISSA ETHERIDGE: I wasn't sure whether or no to include this: this is not a shaved head. This is a head whose hair has fallen out as a result of cancer treatment. Not the same thing at all, and it would seem insulting for me to include it on the list, except... here she is in the picture on stage, defiantly performing completely bald, not a wig in sight. This is not only an act of bravery and defiance but it's a welcome acceptance of her own personal appearance, whatever form that might take. That's inspiring.Melissa Etheridge with a shaved head

10.BRITNEY SPEARS: Probably the most famous shaved head on this particular list. Some have done it as a fashion statement, some as a career move, some as a health necessity. In the case of Britney Spears, shaving her head was done for reasons quite opposite to these: to attack her career and her reputation as a fashionplate, and done in a moment of very poor health - mental health, that is. Britney Spears's famous head-shaving incident was a tragic example of what a life under the spotlight can do to you. I like Britney - she's been through a lot in her life and it's tough not to wish her well. Even seeing her smiling with that ludicrous bald head makes me feel a stubborn pride in her. No idea why, really.Britney Spears with a shaved head