Author Topic: Facing your younger self  (Read 11842 times)

Offline peteman9

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Facing your younger self
« on: August 08, 2012, 05:24:15 PM »
So since I decided to shave my head, I have come to realize that the hardest thing, for me, about adapting to the characteristic of being a bald man is the feeling of not being the same person anymore. I have come to look at my formal self (the one with a head of hair) as a different person who I would compete with! Ever since I lost my hair, I have wanted nothing to do with my old self (my younger self). I didn't wanna talk to people who knew me back then, and I didn't wanna see older pictures of me. Let me explain a little more...

Story 1 --- Recently after I made the huge change and took all my hair off, I went to a party where I saw some old friends from high school I haven't seen in a few years. I was wearing a hat because that was a stage where I wouldn't leave the house without one. I then ran into one of my old friends (girl) from one of my classes and we said an enthusiastic "heyyy!" We weren't best friends but we were definitely more than acquaintances and got along back in the day, so I decided to take this opportunity to show off my new doo. I said "check this out I shaved my head!" As I pulled off my hat to reveal my head, she immediately jumped back and let out a huge over-dramatic gasp. "Ewww! I don't like it! Put the hat back on!"
     This was the end of our conversation and it was certainly a night-spoiler for me. This was the first negative reaction I got and it came out of me presenting myself with complete confidence. Obviously this girl sucks and is outrageously rude and insensitive blah blah blah.
     I started to think about maybe everyone who knew me with hair wants to see me as they remember me. I found myself being much more comfortable wearing my bare head in front of strangers who would have no expectations whatsoever from me.

Story 2 --- I was hanging out with one of my newer friends who has always known me as a bald guy and I decided to show her some old videos that me and my friends did back in college. When she saw me on camera, she said "Whoa you have hair there! You looked good back then."
     
     Again this is my competing image of my younger self that upsets me. The girl in story 1 would not have reacted the way she did if she had met me at a time when I was already bald. The girl in the 2nd story wouldn't have pointed out that the guy with the hair is attractive if it had not been such a contrast from what I look like now.

     My point is that recently becoming a bald man has psychologically created, for me, a separation of my current self and my former self. Yes, obviously we are the same person and deep down nothing has changed.  But when it comes to interacting with other people in this world (besides with my best friends), the 2 are completely different people. I find myself jealous of my former self if I ever hear the smallest thing about my being attractive a long time ago.
     It's kind of like how I felt about the good-looking popular kids back in high school that would get all the attention from the attractive girls. I wanted nothing to do with those girls and I didn't wanna hear anyone talk about how hot those guys were. So I guess I am at this stage right now where I am basing my own attraction on a comparison from younger to older or hair to no hair. But I know that I will have a reconciliation with my younger self and be at peace with the changes, just as when people getting older have to accept their lost youth, energy, and health.

     The purpose of this post is not to evoke reactions like "oh those girls are just biatches, they don't know what they're missing" or "hang in there and you'll see great reactions" or "attractiveness is all about the confidence." I'm not asking for any advice in dealing with situations like this.
    What I really want from you is to share with me these moments of vulnerability that you had in your lives regarding your baldness.

-How did you feel in the early bald days when you looked back at your older pictures?
-How did you feel if people saw your shaved head (not knowing you had MPB) and suggested that you grow your hair out?
-Did you ever have any successful retorts if a girl said something negative about your head?
-When did you become at peace with your changes and love your younger self just as much as your current self? (because yeah, they're the same person!)
-Did you find it easier to be your sly self in front of newer people or people you already know?

     Sorry about the length of this post, I'm really not good at being concise. I have just read so much (particularly from the older members of SBG) about your current positive outlooks on being bald. Really, it is very admirable and I hope to be as proud about being bald as you are some day. But I really am interested in hearing more of your struggles with your self identity in the early balding/bald days.
     There's no doubt that for every one of you, it has been a rocky road in the whole process because....let's be real: going bald is a huge milestone in your life. Whether its effect on you is positive or negative, it is a major change that effects every aspect of your life! There's no way you can just be fully haired one day, the next day bald, and then immediately you've accepted it. It's all a huge process and I'm very interested in hearing more about your early stages. If you don't feel like posting on this post and wanna send a more private message, feel free to do so!



Offline Frontier Guy

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Re: Facing your younger self
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2012, 06:44:43 PM »
Hi Pete, I'm glad you posted because it will provide a good conversation for a lot of guys who have had similar experiences.

I'm not one of them, but I'll barge in anyway. I think age has a lot to do with how easy it is to accept the change to bald. Decades of life experiences provide a huge cauldron for us (more seasoned) to draw upon as various situations present themselves. My MPB really didn't begin to appear until my early 50s, and even last year I received regular compliments about my silvery hair. In fact, one group of younger friends nicknamed me The Silver Fox.

But I saw the recession coming and I was ready for a change. Other things were happening in my life which indicated a total transformation was necessary. So within a month I went from "contemporary older man" style to sly. Indeed there were some comments, but more were just questions about why.

I've lived long enough and through a few emotional turmoils that I've developed enough self-esteem to know that I'm OK just as I am. Opinions from others are just that. Their opinions. They're welcome to them, but don't expect me to take it personally.

As for comparing the "bald me" to the "hairier me" - they are just different album covers to the same music. Some may think I'm different ... but I know I'm not.

I am still surprised occasionally when I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror, or touch my head when deep in thought. So it goes.

I think the flaw in Story 1 may have been the unexpected reveal. My success has been just being "bald" - anyone can see it coming and it's no surprise. Your enthusiasm - which I appreciate - may have been too intense a disclosure for her. No big deal.

Story #2 - that's her opinion. I wasn't there so I can't gauge the inflection as to whether it was more "comment" or "disapproval."

But doesn't this really come back to where you are today, and where you're going tomorrow?

* Bald is better than Balding.

* People you meet now will not know the "previous" you (unless you bring out the video)

* And, finally, although I'm biased because I support guys who are Sly, you are a good looking guy.

You may not want to hear it, but I think you may be giving this particular issue too much emotional weight in your life. Leave off the hat. Stand bald and tall. Smile and laugh. Who is not gonna like and admire that guy?
"Sly can adapt to all surroundings!" - Wisdom from KG 8/19/2012

Offline Hingatao

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Re: Facing your younger self
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2012, 08:55:32 PM »
Frankly, I think I look better now than I did before and I have wholeheartedly embraced the "new" me  since Day 1 and I have received nothing but compliments about how I look sly. (Except from my sister, who thinks I should let my hair grow back.) the only way I would go back to a previous look would be if I could go all the way back to age 18.
Hair is over rated.

Offline Razor X

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Re: Facing your younger self
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2012, 09:05:58 PM »
Everyone's appearance changes over time, and in most cases the changes are not what we would pick if given a choice. You have to let go of yesterday; all any of us can do is try and look the best we can with what God gave us to work with.

It can take a long time to get used to being without hair. Hang in there; you look fine and things will get better.

Offline Acme

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Re: Facing your younger self
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2012, 09:16:13 PM »
Frontierguy had a great response!

I just did it last year at 44 and it wasn't at a critical stage.  It was receding and thining but I still had some mileage left.  I wanted to give it a try before it got worse because like Frontier said, bald is better than balding.  So I went from full hair to no hair all at once and it turned out I loved it.  It has been a year this month and I haven't had any negative reactions except from my mother initially.

I had high anxiety for about 2 weeks and after that, I was ok with seeing people who knew me the old way.  Sometimes, they don't even realize they have never seen me bald.

It's just a different look and some people will like it and some people won't.  Women change their look all the time and it's not always for the better.  But a guy doesn't dare give the reaction those 2 women gave you.

Offline peteman9

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Re: Facing your younger self
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2012, 10:39:23 PM »
I know, how often does a guy tell a girl she is fat and should lose wait? I think it's just think it's common courtesy to try and make someone feel better about themselves with positive reinforcement. I guess we gotta just get that from ourselves

Offline wonderer

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Re: Facing your younger self
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2012, 11:07:13 PM »
Younger me had long hair and was often mistaken for a "you are such a pretty little girl" kind of stupid  comments(even from my neighbours  @c3   ),in fact my parents often refused to get me to the friggin haircut so i developed phobia from cutting my hair -now they are paying for their acts    ;) no more mister fluffy long-haired guy !   O0

Offline wonderer

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Re: Facing your younger self
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2012, 11:13:25 PM »
So to make a long story short nobody really accepted me with a long hair and they don't accept me with no hair and they wont accept me anyway so why bother  :/O

Offline wonderer

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Re: Facing your younger self
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2012, 11:26:45 PM »
I know that I know noting and everybody around me would say you the same thing about me ;that is -that i know noting so i will refer to scientific studies www.uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Hair
I need to find somebody to teach me English language but until then i will continue to live in illusion that i can use written English -o i am blessed with my ignorance ! O:)

Offline waine

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Re: Facing your younger self
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2012, 12:06:42 AM »
Hey there Pete, and welcome...

I will admit, shaving bald at your age and finding yourself in the social situations that a youngster finds themselves in is different to a man in his thirties or forties who shaves bald.  The difference is you are still looking for a mate, but a settled man is not, so there is no fear for the settled man that he won’t find a girl because he is bald.

Having said that, consider the following:

There are many stories here of younger men who have found a beautiful companion while bald.  Why should your case be different?

In your scenarios you speak of one girl you knew in the past.  Naturally she will compare you to the impression she had of you when you had hair.  A girl who never saw you with hair will perceive you as having always been bald and will accept your look as you are in the present.  Try to meet new girls in new social environments so they see you as you are now.

You are already balding and your solution is to go Sly.  That was very important to you.  Friends and girls must accept you for the person that you are in the “here and now”.

Look at all the photos of bald men on this site.  As you see them is your first impression of them.  So many look “normal” in fact many look quite handsome.  They are all from different backgrounds; many are in very good standing in terms of careers and social lives.  What does that tell you?  Is tells you that in this day and age, we have evolved to the point that a bald man is just the same as any other man, only with a different “hairstyle”.

It is all one big mental shift.  If I look at your profile pic, I see a good looking young man, not a “bald” man.  “Hair doeth not maketh the man”.  Personality, a sense of humour, confidence, values and manners make a man!

Live in the now, accept your new life style and you will see, it will all pan out for the good in the end...

"Three things you cannot escape; tax, death and dirt..."

Offline wonderer

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Re: Facing your younger self
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2012, 12:13:43 AM »
Listen to Waine bro he is completely right and on the point (unlike me ) !No need to despair about hair ....when we are on hair topic I (for one)am allergic to hair therefore hair is EVIL she make me sick !

Offline Beardman

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Re: Facing your younger self
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2012, 03:27:58 AM »
I must say I don't think I have honestly ever heard anyone say anything negative about my slyness (although I have a terrible memory problem). I have had several people ask me why, and 1 person whose interaction I would like to share with you all, because I think it is the closest thing I can think of to negativity I have had to deal with, and it honestly left me dumbfounded (I always like to have lots of prepared retorts, but this one genuinely got me).

So, Friday night I did my normal run into the supermarket to grab a snack to share with my local roleplaying group and bumped into an old friend from high school that I haven't seen in about a year or so. We still talk on Facebook every now and again and he had clearly seen the pics of the new sly me. After we had finished our greetings and pleasantries he lifted up the corner of my beanie (It is winter here, and was a pretty cold night) to check out my dome, and made a kind of shocked exclamation. Then ask when why I hadn't grown my hair back yet (or something along those lines). I was shocked. No one had ever said anything like that before to me... Then when I finally stumbled out with something along the lines of 'this is the way I like it now' he then made a retort about how it was time I shaved of my beard now... too which I told him, that wasn't ever going to happen at which point our respective friends had come back to obviously see what was up, and we said our good byes.

Other then that I have not had anything negative said about my sly new self, and even have my foreman buzz cutting his hair back to almost nothing again (he stopped because his partner doesn't like it short).

I personally have loved the new sly me ever since I took the plunge and have never looked back, not even once. I hated the old me! I've never admitted that before... but it's true. 20 months ago I looked like a fat, balding, old man, and at the age of 24 that is not a flattering look at all! but since going sly I feel like I have got my youthfulness back, and I actually like the look of myself, and am very happy with myself.

I hope you bring the new and old you together to form a whole again, and embrace the sly together. Don't let other peoples opinions get you down, I agree wholeheartedly with what the other brothers have said before me.

Offline Razor X

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Re: Facing your younger self
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2012, 09:36:28 AM »
I'd also like to add that I totally understand what it is like to have insecurities about one's appearance. If I were ever to sit down and compile a list of things that I don't like about the way I look, the list would be an extensive one. But baldness is NOT one of the things that would be on the list. We have been conditioned to think that our hair is the most important aspect of our appearances. I am here to tell you that it is not. One day when you are a bit older, you will realize it. Until then, you'll jusr haveto take my word for it.   ;)

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Re: Facing your younger self
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2012, 02:05:01 PM »
Welcome Peter!

I must state that I'm BBC and regarding my age I'm 26 too.
I can understand that it's a great difference between choosing and having to work with something, but it's not the end of the world.
When I started buzzing my hair (no guard) and later shaving, almost all of the people that knew me asked why I did that and, of course, my previous "style" was better.
I was kind of expecting the "Why" questions and a few comments, but I knew that I chose to shave and I'll keep doing it as long as I wish to: it's my choice.

Of course you could chose balding and not to shave, but will that make anything better? I think not. You just have to acknowledge that even if you're suffering from the MPB or just thinning, by shaving you took control and things no longer just happen to you.

Offline kalbo

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Re: Facing your younger self
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2012, 07:58:59 PM »
Welcome to the bald brotherhood Peteman. We all go through some insecure phase in our life. What matters is that you know what you want. Stand by with what will bring you happiness.
Mabuhay ang mga kalbo!

 



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