Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bald. Beautiful or not?

Betina here. In shock. Okay, maybe more simple surprise. I'm researching my contemporary for Blaze and ran up against a little rule that kind of threw me for a loop.
Blaze doesn't do BALD.

Not even shaved bald.

See, I had planned to have a balding hero-- prematurely balding, of course and a little sensitive about it. But very buff and manly in all other respects. Nope. No baldies in Blaze I was told. Wasn't given an explanation, but my guess is "bald" doesn't play well on covers. And there would be some logic to that if we were talking these guys.





But this is sexy BLAZE, after all. I know the rules and no way I'd be caught with a HOMER hero. . .no matter what Marge says. Sigh. I guess HQ thinks that it's demographic likes to run fingers through hair, not over skin. Sigh again. You suppose they've done focus groups and studies? Still, it seems a little short sighted to me. But I'm going back to the drawing board, because "bald" is not my cause. I'll leave somebody else to fight for that one.
But, I'm thinking about using a baldie in a women's fic book I'm working on. It's a built-in and has to be there to show the transformation in the hero. So. . . whaddya think about bald men?

Guys like:


Or like:
Sexy or not? Just to help you decide, I've pulled in just one more example from the ether-o-sphere:


Okay, now vote. Bald or not bald? And no maybes. I've gotta have an answer so I can get this book moving ahead! Do you think bald can be beautiful and sexy or not? Does a shaved head equate to "whoa, baby" or "ewww, momma"?

And since everyone's being so helpful, I'm adding a couple of additional images. I've seen Shemar Moore here with hair and without. You be the judge.

And to sum up, here's my opinion:

36 comments:

Margay said...

I think it all depends on the guy - not every guy can carry off the bald look. Personally, I love hair and I love to imagine myself running my fingers through it as I read a book. I cannot imagine stroking a bald head. That just doesn't do it for me. Sorry, all you hairless wonders out there, that's just my personal taste.

Dina said...

There are some sexy men with bald or shaved heads, but I like guys with some hair.

Cindy Gerard said...

Betina
I'd take any one of those guys (well, except for the comb-over guy, scary hairy or Homer). Bring bald on. On the others it absolutely is beautiful. and yes, bald can be very sexy. Think Chris Daughtry. Yum yum.

Liza said...

I think bald can be very sexy too. I think it is all in the attitude of the guy. If the guy feels sexy bald, it comes across that way.

Betina Krahn said...

Okay, so far it's two for bald and two for hair. sigh.

Margay, you're right-- some guys can carry it off, others can't. hard bodies and chiseled jaws help make the skin-pate seem virile. On a pale, pasty puff-ball "bald" just looks. . . deficient.

Dina. . . some hair. . . lots-o-hair. I get it. It's a texture thing.

Cindy, you're right. It's all in who the guy is. I was surprised when I went searching for pictures-- there is a ton of handsome bald out here!

Liza, you're so right. The biggest sex organ is between a man's ears! It's all in how he thinks. Like with women: if a guy thinks he's sexy, he usually is. Confidence is what draws us to a man.

Helen Brenna said...

Assuming the guy can carry it off, I say whoa, baby! I love the bald, shaved or not, trend.

But then I love long hair too. And short. Curly. Or not. Scruffy beard or cleanly shaven.

I'm seeing a trend emerging here. lol

Thanks for the eye candy, Betina!

Lori T said...

I do think that bald/shaved look can definitely work...I absolutely love Jason Stratham...that man is gorgeous!!

BousMama said...

I think with the right face, bald can be beautiful (Bruce Willis) but the hair comb over guy --- ewww! :)

Margay said...

I think I've seen that name before. Who is Jason Stratham?

Keri Ford said...

Some bald men are very sexy (yep, I'm with the other ladies, it's all in the build and his attitude). Though I've never stroked a bald head, and I don't see my hubby going bald for that experiement, but it wouldn't at all be a turn off if I read of a bald hero.

In fact, I bet it would be one sexy-arse hero because he's going to likely be so self-confident, so self-assured, not afraid to walk around naked...aw, me jealous of you getting a bald hero. He be a lot of fun to write with a blushing heroine!

Michele Hauf said...

Oh, Betina, I feel for you! I got the 'no bald head' slap for my last vamp book. He was bald and had a head full of tattoos. I loved that guy! My editor nixed it. SIgh... So in revenge, I gave him long flowing locks, but in the last chapter, he rescued some people from a fire. Got all his hair burned off. Had to be bald for three pages! (I can be so sneaky.)

Anyway, bald is so sexy! I used to love long hair, now I've swung completely the other way. I like it when there's just a bare hint of stubble over all, kinda like the Jason Statham pic.

Helen Brenna said...

Margay! Jason Statham is only one the the sexiest Brits alive. He's in a bunch of action flicks, so if that's not your fav genre ...

I first saw him in Lock, Stock and Two smoking Barrels. He's also been in Snatch, the Transporter movies, The Italian Job, and on and on ...

Samantha Hunter said...

Hey Betina -- there are some of those things that happen at Blaze now and then -- I was once asked to change a hero's last name because it wasn't sexy. LOL I guess the eds know, so I just go with it.

I think bald can be sexy, yes, definitely, and moreover, I think natural is sexy -- a man naturally bald and happy with himself that way is sexier than one with combovers, plugs, or hairpieces. So maybe it's the confidence they have regardless of their appearance.

But I can also imagine not really being able to get into it in a romance novel, especially a category. You can do closely shaved, like a military cut (because it's military, and hence, sexy), but not bald. I was trying to think of what movie or TV romances I could think of with bald heroes and came up empty, so I think there's probably something to it...

Sam

Amy said...

Not crazy about the first three, but the rest?

Um, yeah. They can come home with me. Would TOTALLY buy a book with one of them on the cover.

MsHellion said...

Depends on the guy...but I love Bruce Willis...and that guy off of L&O: SVU. HAWT.

In fact any of the guys in the second demographic could hang my shelves and crawl into my bed anytime.

Bald is good...and beautiful. When they start getting a little paunchy (or building a toolshed for the "tools"), I'm not impressed. No toolsheds. (Yes, I'm shallow and live by a double standard. *LOL* Boys should have muscles; girls should have curves.)

Betina Krahn said...

Helen, ::chuckle:: glad to see you're so flexible! I aspire to that, myself!

Lori T, Bousmama. . . I'm with you on that it can work on some guys beautifully. And the guy i have in mind looks a lot like Jason Statham. sigh. I can't wait to work on this book.

Keri-- yeah,baby-- on the "not afraid to walk around naked." I'm just picturing Statham in that Transporter scene where he's changing clothes. It is getting warm in here or is it just me?

Michele, I'd have loved a bald vamp with a tattooed head! Wow, girl you really think outside the box!

Sam, I'm sure they have good readsons for what they do in category, I was just a little surprised there was such a clear rule about something so unexpected. I think for a lot of people "bald" still has the "hormone deficient" or "growing older" taint. maybe as fashions change and "shaved"
becomes a more frequent choice, the rule will change. And-- hey-- every rule has an exception, right?

Amy, I would totally buy a book with them on the cover, too. But I think the point is that it won't be them on the cover. . . just some generic bald guy. Hey-- why couldn't they just put the rest of him on the cover-- his pecs and six-pack abs?

Playground Monitor said...

My husband just shaved his head last month so I'm getting used to the bald look. He had alopecia. The hair had fallen out in several spots on the back of his head. When it grew back, it was snow white and wouldn't hold dye (his hair is dark brown). Finally he said "Forget this" and had it shaved. He wanted me to do it and I just couldn't. I knew I'd cry and probably decapitate him. He's always been so fastidious about his appearance. But I'm getting used to it and actually like it. I've always thought Patrick Stewart was quite handsome with his smooth pate.

And it's all about the head shape too. When the barber shaved his head, she commented that he had a nice head shape to carry it off. He loves the convenience of it too -- no more shampoos and conditioners and styling goop and blow dryer. Just a good razor and some lotion with sunscreen.

So my vote is for bald and sexy, but I can understand how Blaze might say no.

Marilyn

Betina Krahn said...

Mshellion-- what a hoot! A "toolshed for the tools"! Never heard it put quite so vividly! Love it!

When my son was playing football in college, he and a bunch of his fellow team members shaved their heads. . . out of respect for my husband, who was bald due to radiation treatments. They looked strange. Especially one guy-- whom the others insisted looked like Uncle Fester from The Addams Family. With hair he was smokin' hot. Without hair he was Uncle Fester. They made him wear a knit cap most of the time until his hair grew back!

My son? He looked pretty good, actually. But I think guys with shaved heads need some SUN on them. Know what I'm sayin'?

Betina Krahn said...

Marilyn/PlaygroundMonitor-- how wonderful of you to support his choice to shave it off! (I sure understand the choking up as he shaved it off!) You've given us a fresh appreciation of the reality of "the choice."

Here's to your DH and his handsome smooth pate! Give him a big old smooch for us! He's our hero for the day!

Michele Hauf said...

Bald guys and sun. I have to laugh. The first time my hubby went bald, it was mid-summer. What he neglected to think about was that he was uber-tan (from working outside as a carpenter) so when the hair came off, that left a nice what hair space on his head. Ha! Now he shaves before summer. I like it.

Michele Hauf said...

White hair space! Not 'what'. Oy.
What I was trying to say is he looked doofy.

lois greiman said...

Betina, darling, I don't think you're fighting fair. Those guys would look great even if they had toothpicks with pineapple slices sticking out of their heads.

Lori said...

Sorry, as sexy as those guys are (Homer and combover dude notwithstanding, bald doesn't do it for me. Nor does long hair. Sheesh - picky, aint I?

Debra Dixon said...

Big difference in "bald" and "shaved." Bald/balding implies the DNA is poor quality. (g) Shaved heads skirt the DNA issue and those men can be appreciated for their bone structure.

I think the "chrome domes" you offered make the case for bald being beautiful.

But I have to agree with Lois.

You stacked the deck. (g)

Christie Ridgway said...

I think in RL (real life) bald can be beautiful. I wouldn't care if the guy had thinning hair or whatever. But like Samantha said above, in a romance novel I like a man with hair. That's part of my fantasy, I guess.

Son 2 is going to Belize in a few weeks with Surfer Guy and he's talking about buzzing his hair very, very short. You guys have reminded me I'll have to tell him if he does that he'll have to wear sunscreen on his scalp. (He's blond.)

Anna And Sean said...

Bald can be very sexy! Vin Diesel would look horrible with a full head of hair. I'm not much into receding comb overs, but the shaved bald look is cool. Look at the military- really hot guys with little to no hair. When I met my husband (back in high school) he started growing out his hair and when we were in our 20's his hair was mid back and longer than mine! He is now going on 10 years in the military and his hair is super short- I still think he's hot and can't imagine the long hair on him again. Some guys are yummy with long hair and some are yummy without- it depends on the character/personality. Personally, I would like to read about a hot bald dude- and Michele, the bald guy with tattoos on his head is super, ultra hot and I wish you could have kept him. In fact, I think baldness is one of those literary taboos that will soon be broken- just like the wilting female and risque sex scenes. Readers have evolved and we want strong and smart chicks, hot and steamy sex and now... hot bald dudes:)

Tori Lennox said...

I don't generally go for the bald look, but I have to admit it works for some guys. Shemar Moore and Vin Diesel, for example. Love them!

Playground Monitor said...

Yeah, the pale scalp was quite a contrast to the DH's summer tan. He plays sand volleyball and tans easily. So I clued him in to the lotions give you some gradual color and he's let his head tan slowly so he's all evened out now. I just kept warning him that he did not want to let his scalp blister and peel cause then he'd be back at square one.

And on the added photos: Shemar #1 oh yeah baby! Shemar #2, yuck.

flchen1 said...

I agree with Margay that some guys look totally hot bald, and others not so much. It's definitely in the genes and in the attitude. I'm a bit surprised at the no baldies rule--I guess they don't want any possibility of comb-over guy being the next Blaze hero?

Jane said...

I agree that not everyone looks good bald. I think Yul Brenner made bald sexy. Sinead O'Connor looked good with the bald look,too.

catslady said...

I've always liked bald - yul brynner used to be my favorite actor. And if you add an accent...

Estella said...

I believe bald can be sexy. But I need a hero with hair.

Betina Krahn said...

Okay, so now I'm getting an idea of why Blaze may have banned the baldies. A lot of you like the bald look, but not on YOUR hero. And some guys can carry it off, some can't.

Most of us would love one of the Hollywood hotties that are bald, but mostly just the shaved ones.

Hey, maybe that's the key-- call it a shaved head, not a BALD one! Cool! For my single title, I'm thinking I'll stick with the buff bald guy who shaves the rest off and accepts himself and wins the heroine in the process. Sound interesting to anyone?

catslady said...

I think that's a great idea. Nothing worse than men who do comb overs lol. And look at Trump for a perfect example. I for one would love a shaved head hero.

Betina Krahn said...

Thanks, Catslady! Another one for the shaved-head team! Yeah, I might have to test the waters with a hero who shaves it all off.

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