When I was a kid, I remember watching a rerun of Gilligan's Island. Okay I watched them all and can beat anyone on Gilligan's Island trivia are you happy? On this particular episode, Gilligan lost his hair and was 'bald as a billiard ball'. Nobody could figure out why Gilligan went bald, but while the professor was trying to come up with a cure, Gilligan felt like so much of an outcast, that he moved to a cave on the other side of the island just so nobody could make fun of him and nobody would have to look at his horrible, hairless head. Eventually, the Skipper also went bald and moved into the seluded cave with his little buddy so the pair wouldn't be the object of torment and ridicule because of their condition. As a child, with a great mop of hair no-less, I thought that was funny. After all, it was the late 60s and the only poeple who were voluntarily bald were Yul Brenner, Telly Savalas and Mr Clean. For bald or balding men, you wore a hat, a combover or a toupee. It taught me that being bald signified that you were less of a person and not desirable to women. After I started losing my hair in college, I kept thinking about that Gilligan episode and couldn't help but wish I had a metaphorical cave somewhere to hide in. I've been told many times that I have a great looking head....and that God only made a few perfect heads - the rest he covered with hair.....stuff like that. But the damage has already been done. My self-image was already formed, sitting cross-legged in front of the console watching re-runs as a child.
These days, we hear about how commercials or TV shows help children form opinions and ideas about relationships and self-image, but we usually laugh them off and say it's just psycho-babble. Why would a little girl think that she has to be skinny and gorgeous to be happy? Because that's what everyone on TV is. When we start to see people of all shapes, sizes and persuasions on TV or in magazines, it's good for diversity, but it's also good to show the kids out there that the world is made up of more than just models. Everyone has a chance to be happy.
By the way, the reason Gilligan and Skipper went bald was because of the laundry detergent concoction the Professor made. He 'cured' them with a new potion that made them grow long hair and beards. Still can't figure out why he couldn't patch a hole a in a stupid boat.
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