Bad Ass Baldie:
Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln"

When we saw the trailer for this soaring Spielberg epic, we cheered Daniel Day Lewis’ chameleon-like similarity to our 16th president.  Our voices caught in our throat, however, at the site of Tommy Lee Jones touting a cheesy wig over an apparently bald pate.  Our assumption that the costume department was busy at the catering table that day on the set was unfounded. 

Jones plays Thaddeus Stevens, a liberal US representative, who developed alopecia (hair loss) at an early age and so wore ill-fitting toupees in real life.  Jones imbues Stevens with fire and sarcastic vigor and even makes disparaging comments about his own hapless hairpiece.  SPOILER ALERT (minor): In one of the flick’s final scenes, Jones is seen fully bald, but still potent as evidence of his love life is revealed.  Jones is the anti-Samson, his hair loss not a marker of weakness but rather a manifestation of his political and romantic mojo.

In 2013, men may elect to be bald bad asses, or take advantage of the increasing options to retain healthy hair follicles.  Rogaine, an over the counter topical, and Propecia (finasteride) pills have a strong track record of maintaining hair growth with only rare side effects.  Propecia should soon be available in a generic form in the United States, easing the financial burden of staving off recession (follicular and economic):  By purchasing propecia, men create jobs along with fuller locks.

It is also possible that in 2013, greater prescription options, currently being researched, may become available.  In the same way that Thaddeus Stevens brought about healthy social changes in the 1870’s, perhaps newer treatments can lead to healthy scalp changes today.


Runner up, Bad Ass Baldie:

Gollum in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

© 1996-2013 Vail Reese M.D.

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