Don’t They Know Bald Is Beautiful?

In England last week, there was a big fuss about a new ad requirement that “links must not be made between alcohol and seduction, sexual activity or sexual success.” Wine maker Lambrini turned out to be the first subject—one ad in particular, showing three women “hooking” a slim, young man in a parody of a fairground game, was deemed objectionable. “We would advise that the man in the picture should be unattractive—i.e., overweight, middle-aged, balding, etc.,” the Advertising Standards Authority told Lambrini. “In its current form, we consider that the ad is in danger of implying that the drink may bring sexual/social success, because the man in question looks quite attractive and desirable to the girls. If the man was clearly unattractive, we think that this implication would be removed from the ad.” In reply, Lambrini owner John Halewood groused, “We’re not sure they’re qualified to decide for the nation who’s sexy and who’s not. … Perhaps the ASA people should take a look in the mirror before they decide they’ve got the rulebook on sexual prowess.”

We know one group in the U.S. that would share Halewood’s outrage: Bald R Us, the home of “bald and proud men.” These are people who really don’t want to hear that balding = unattractive. And it’s not just the Bald R Us guys. Listen to letter writer Jean Elizabeth: “The question was raised as to whether baldness was sexy. I marvel that the question even needs to be asked! Are male pectoral muscles sexy? Is the unique scent of a man sexy? Is a man’s vocal quality sexy? Yes, yes, yes, because they mark him as masculine! … Bald is masculine. And it’s terrific.”