A couple of days ago, I overheard one of those terribly predictable but nonetheless funny jokes that start 'A blonde, a brunette and a redhead' and which inevitably end with a derogatory comment about blondes being stupid. I've told a few of them in my time and heard even more, but for the first time it occurred to me that these jokes exclude the fourth biggest sector of hair society - us baldies.
I started racking my brains to see if I had heard any jokes at all with reference to those of us that have alopecia, chemotherapy hairloss, trichotillomania, etc., but nope, I couldn't think of any! In fact, the only joke at all that I've heard was a truly terrible one in the comments section of a Daily Mail article about the Pretty Bald Calendar, which said:
"What do you call a group of bald people on a raft?
Beans on Toast!"
It barely makes sense, let alone being funny, but I have to be honest, it really is the only one that I can think of hearing / reading. Having puzzled out something new to think about, I did what I always do and popped onto Google; I searched "Bald Jokes" and whilst there were a lot listed, there were none I considered high-calibre, 'good' jokes and many more which offered poor, inadequate humour.
It got me thinking? Why is it that we don't have good humour relating to perhaps one of the most obvious targets on the planet? Is baldness still such a taboo that we dare not voice a joke in case of offence, let alone invent them in the first place? Have all the bald jokes through history flopped and failed to get a laugh? Perhaps it is just considered bad taste to point out a lack of follicles, whether to a balding man or woman? Or perhaps it just isn't a topic worth mentioning?
At the end of it all I am still not sure why; perhaps it is the fear of the unknown, not knowing how people will take it?
For me, I'm not sure I would take offence at a joke about my lack of hair, if made by a stranger, but I do suspect I'd probably be stony-faced and a little upset. It is not, after all, nice to be the butt of someone else's joke. That said though, my own family, and the friends who know me really well, have often made jokes about my lack of hair and my baldness, from drumming my head to stupid play-on-words about 'hair'. It is something for which I will always be grateful - teaching me that my lack of hair was not the end of the world and reminding me that it is important to laugh, no matter what life throws at you. Perhaps then, we do not need 'a blonde, a brunette, a redhead and a baldie walk into the bar', but in fact need to surround ourselves with people who know and love us enough to remind us, that hairloss really isn't so bad! You never know, in a few years time if we've managed to change societal perceptions of baldness, we'll be the proud owner of our own set of jokes that we can share with the world...