However, I was recently having a lazy day, involving lots of mugs of tea, a blanket and Comedy Central, when I came across an episode that really offended me. I had seen the episode before of course, but this was for the first time in about seven years and it seemed that seven year itch had really kicked in.
The One At The Beach, where the gang head to the coast to meet Phoebe’s mom’s friend who turns out be her birth mom. Remember that one? Well Ross takes his new girlfriend Bonnie, a friend of Phoebe’s who “was” bald in a previous life not seen to viewers. Of course in this episode SPOILER ALERT, she has long flowing tresses, much to Rachel’s annoyance, so in revenge she talks Bonnie into shaving it all off.
Later in the episode, we see Bonnie (played by Ben Stiller’s wife Christine Taylor) in all her bald, beautiful glory. Of course she didn’t really shave her head, though I am sure if the producers had paid her enough perhaps she may have done – she wore a bald cap. Ross was clearly disturbed by this and made some pretty horrific facial expressions whilst feeling her scalp.
It really annoyed me that the episode portrays baldness as something disgusting, yes I know it is only a TV show, a TV show which has been out of production for over a decade, yet it had such an impact and continues to be shown to a captive audience of teenagers who need to know that it is not disgusting. It doesn’t help while researching for this post I came across Christine’s quote “I looked like an alien, and in front of the most beautiful people on TV”. Thanks for crushing the hearts and hopes of alopecia sufferers everywhere!
I can only hope that men across the globe are more accepting than Ross in that episode. I’ve seen both sides, the good and the bad. I had a date with a complete “knob jockey” (Mr F’s words, not mine) who couldn’t handle the fact I wore a wig. I had to tell him pretty much on the first day as he leaned in for a kiss, put his hand on the back of my head and accidentally slipped a finger under it. I mumbled an explanation and he seemed ok. A little over a week later he cruelly used it as a way to dump me. Luckily he was such a tool that I got over him very quickly as I was too angry to be upset.
The next encounter was how it should be. I was staying over at a friends after a concert at the RAH and I wasn’t sure what the sleeping arrangements would be, not sure if he had a flat mate, if I would be on the sofa. What would I do? What could I wear on my head? Not that I am ashamed as you can probably tell, but until then only my parents and hairdresser had seen me without it. Luckily, I had put away quite a bit of wine that night and managed to forget about it until it came to bedtime. You’d think after six hours of solid drinking that we’d have fallen straight to sleep and hair would have been the last thing on my mind, it was not to be however as I laid there, the last chorus of The Crystal Ship playing, trying to get comfortable with the wefts sticking into my head. I had never slept in my wig, it isn’t good for the wig for a start and why on earth would you choose to wake up with bed-head hair if you didn’t have to? My prayers were answered that night though as my guardian angel must have been watching over. Whether he could sense my discomfort or was just being a gentleman I don’t know, I’ve not asked, I’ve only expressed my gratitude. Firstly, he told me outright I could “take that off”. I ignored him. The second time he said it I couldn’t as he had tapped me on the head. I mumbled and protested. The next thing I felt his fingers gently prising it from my scalp. I turned to watch as he gently laid it down as if it were the crown jewels but what he did next truly left me speechless. His fingers found my scalp again and started to give me a head massage. I actually cried. I could not have imagined that someone would react so well, so positively. It was such a lovely moment and one I will always cherish as it meant so very much. I hope any man reading this can learn from this experience and be sure to treat their woman with the respect and dignity she deserves.
This can be extended to more than just a bald scalp too. We all have hang ups, muffin tops, thighs, bums and tums. There is always some part of us we want to cover up. I’ve learnt that it doesn’t matter, if he really loves you he will see you for who you are inside, not what you are on the outside. If he doesn’t then frankly my dear, you shouldn’t give a damn. Get rid, move on, next!
In the meantime, you can always turn back to the other 235 episodes. I can particularly recommend “The One With Ross’s Tan”…revenge it seems is tango coloured!