Nov 14 2005

Bald Is Beautiful




Thanks to the lovely and talented Mona Peters of 6th Street for this stunning coiffure. It was agreed by all that I have a perfectly-shaped cranium.

My head is really cold! Thanks, Nicky for sending the hats! And thanks, Yankee Transplant, for sending the seriously kick-ass organic ginger snaps. And thanks, Hogan, for the box-o-books! And thanks, Redneck Mother, for the card and the yipesarrific Chevy Truck ad ("Girls play with dolls. Boys play with trucks. Let’s start there."). And thanks to my neighbor Laurie Lambert for sneaking over here and leaving little breadstuffs on my porch. I know it’s you!


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  1. norbizness

    THX-1138! I would join in solidarity, but I fear that the sight of my assymetrical, misshapen bald head would make small children and the elderly cry. Now’s the time for that phrenology tattoo!

    Reminder: hunker down, the first real cold snap of the season is comin’ in tomorrow (with the caveat that lifelong Texans have an extremely generous definition of the word “cold.”)

  2. Twisty

    Dude! That tattoo is the first thing that popped into my little bald head! But alas, the expensive cancer doktors put the kibosh on it. Infections, apparently.

  3. nicky

    Twisty: You can always apply temporary tattoos. Or do your own with a Magic Marker-thing.

    What a gloriously round bald head you have. Glad you got the hats — just in time!

  4. Chris Clarke

    Ah yes. Leonardo himself would quail at the anatomical perfection there.

    So round, so firm, so fully packed.

  5. tisha

    baldies rule! you look great!

  6. SneakySnu

    I second Chris on the Leonardo comment. There is a perfect curve starting from the brow to the nape of the neck. Don’t be surprised if art students and mannequin makers* stop you in the street and ask if they can mold your head.

    *Predicated upon existence of mannequin producers in Austin.

  7. bitchphd

    Is it wrong to say that I sort of regret that you didn’t hang onto the reverse mohawk look for a while?

  8. Hattie

    C’mon baby don’t you be no square
    Got a beautiful head you don’t need no hair.

  9. Sylvanite

    Good idea to get a jump on the hair loss. You look great! Maybe you could keep the look.

  10. Rene

    I knew you’d look great bald — and you do.


  11. AndiF

    Damn but you are elegant.

  12. res publica

    I love it! You do have a nicely shaped head. Within about a week, your scalp will turn the same color as the rest of your head. I was a bit concerned when I first shaved my head and beheld the terrifying whiteness of my scalp, which almost made the rest of my pasty self look tan.

  13. Elise

    Tres chic! Nothing says “Fuck the patriarchy” with style like a hairless coiffure. Me likey.

  14. Anonymous

    Pre-emptive head shave. Good call. I should’ve thought of that when I was 25.


    Hope you’re making out ok vs. the chemo.

  15. Daphne

    Hi, I’m the jerk who’s here to say this post has made me really sad. This is a new one for me, on your posts.


  16. yankee transplant

    Oh your bald head is beautiful! Glad the cookies arrived. If they help with the nausea, and you like them, let me know when you are out. My kid loves baking with me and we’ll ship you another truckload. Keep smiling!

  17. ae

    Twisty, you are so cute. I’m wondering if your cabeza’s being perfectly shaped facilitates exceptional obstreperal lobe function. Seems to! Love the pix of the Big Snip.

    In other news, did everybody read Katha Pollitt’s response to MoDo?

  18. yankee transplant

    …that should have said, “If they help with the nausea and/OR you like them…”

  19. Josef K

    I hate to say it, but you look more stereotypically feminine with no hair. And kind of classically beautiful.

    Possibly you need some kind of patriarchy-blaming themed hat now. Or one of those tinfoil hats that stop the Government and/or aliens beaming messages into your brain.

  20. ursa

    There is definitely a touch of Nefertiti in the profile but I wouldn’t go for her hat.

  21. SF Knitter

    geez, you look great. you look better than most people without cancer.

    mmmmmm – cabeza…

  22. SF Knitter

    oh and ps. one day you will again be one of the people without cancer — and you’ll still look better than them!

  23. Ron Sullivan

    Aw fuck. Cheekbones, jawline, and cute li’l ears too! Damn, some gels have all the luck.

    (Why yes, that is my tongue in my cheek. The zit’s on the other side.)

    I’m awaiting the lightbulb tattoo… temporary, if need be. Hmmm, you could rent space.

  24. kathy a

    fabulous! your cranium is indeed quite elegant. glad you included the bi-hawk photo, too.

  25. Nikki

    You are so hot. I would totally do you.

  26. Jo

    You. Look. Gorgeous.

    I would keep the bald look, myself. It’s elegant, it’s minimalist, it’s really, really nice. You have a good skull.

  27. Amanda Marcotte

    Twisty, your baldness makes you even more make-out-able.

  28. nicky

    Twisty: c’mon, admit it. It’s really kind of, well, liberating to be sans hair, mais non? I did the preemptive head-shaving thing myself when chemo started working its evil, yet effective, magic. May I say that losing my breasts and hair, while shocking and not what I would have wished for, was, still, somehow very freeing? You may find that the dilemma, should it exist for you personally, of whether to submit to patriarchal edicts or remain au naturel in terms of body hair will for the time being resolve itself as your body becomes totally (and I mean totally) smooth as a baby’s bottom. I did regret the loss of my eyebrows and lashes, which occurred toward the end of the “treatment” ordeal (okay, I’ve always been, unashamedly, vain about them), but otherwise, to the holders of conventional notions of appropriate appearance, my secret exultation in shedding hair was completely not understood.

    No matter, for within mere days to a few weeks of your final chemo everything starts coming back in. I can’t wait to see your curli-cue “chemo” -do once these next few weeks are all over. I looked like Kramer (from “Seinfeld”) within two months. Kinda got a kick out of it. Hey, get your jollies where and when you can, as always.

  29. alphabitch

    NOT the tinfoil hat. I’m a little nervous about tinfoil hats, Josef K, as I just read this study about them and it turns out they actually don’t block the mind control/thought monitoring frequencies AT ALL. I feel so tricked! so stupid! And I’d made such a nice one.

  30. Ron Sullivan

    And the swan-like neck. I forgot to mention the swan-like neck.


  31. CafeSiren

    Can’t add anything new, so I’ll repeat: your head puts other heads to shame. I’m sure mine would be all icky & lumpy.

    Have you considered a “fuck the patriarchy” tattoo?

  32. caroline

    what chris clarke said. damn, woman, you are elegant. chemo still sucks but that panache does float above it…may your immune system continue to kick serious butt.

  33. darkymac

    ALPHABITCH I’m a little nervous about tinfoil hats, Josef K, as I just read this study about them and it turns out they actually don’t block the mind control/thought monitoring frequencies AT ALL.
    This one?

  34. Kate

    You have a lovely-shaped head, surpassed only by my husband’s when he had leukemia at the age of 17. His hair did grow back, and nicely, once the treatments were all over, AND he’s been cancer-free for ten years.

    Good luck to you, Twisty.

    (by the way, I love cafesiren’s tattoo idea)

  35. Manolo the Shoeblogger

    Hello to the Twisty!

    Oddly, the Manolo he has just blogged about the super fantasticness of the chrome dome.


    Muchos Besos!


  36. Twisty

    What a coincidence!

    Somehow I sense that the Manolo would not effervesce quite so affirmatorily were he to find out that I am wearing a pair of Crocs–easily the most hideous shoes ever imagined by delusional-yet-enterprising hippies– at this very moment.

    My sister is convinced that Crocs are edible if you boil them.

  37. kitchen

    whatevs, i love crocs. love them. ventilated and squeaky too.

  38. tisha

    OK, I give in. You look downright hot. I’m SOOOOO turning lesbian, heh!

    Croc tastes like chicken. ;-)

  39. TMo

    I recently saw an interview with photographer and former model Lynn Kohlman promoting her new book “Lynn: Front to Back”. The book chronicles her experience with breast and brain cancer and includes a stunning photograph of her bald, scarred (from a double mastectomy) and stapled (the brain cancer). There’s a small black and white photo of it at http://www.assoulineusa.com/lynnfronttoback.html

    The part that moved me is when she said she felt more beautiful in that photo and today than ever before.

    Twisty, good for you. Thanks for sharing your beautiful bald head!

  40. Hogan

    Head and shoulders above any other head I’ve seen.

    And I’ll bet if you shared your hat size with the rest of the class? Good things would happen.

  41. Ancrene Wiseass

    What a gorgeous cranium!

  42. Betsy

    Twisty, you got a gorgeous haid on the outside.

    And as for the inside — it’s gorgeous too. I want you to know that your thoughts on this blog have been VERY inspiring to me ever since I found it a couple of weeks ago. In fact I have been “spreading the blame” in my own circles cause-a-you. THANKS

  43. Sara

    Dang! You do have a perfectly shaped head. I’m so jealous. Mine is bullet-shaped, like Eisenhower’s. You’ve got the whole Sinead O’Connor thing going for you, though.

    A friend of mine was disowned by her family and removed from the Social Register in the ’70s when she showed up for dinner at the family manse in Bryn Mawr, PA, with her lesbian lover and a shaved head. I think the shaved head was really what did it.

    She’d shaved her head for religious reasons but often says she’d do it again in a heartbeat if it wouldn’t interfere with her ability to hold onto her day job. (Yes, do blame the Patriarchy. Bald men in their 60s are employable everywhere, but bald women in their 60s are somehow considered to lack — what’s that word you used elsewhere? — gravitas, unless it’s because of cancer, but especially if they’re bald on purpose.) It might be cold, but my friend says baldness opens up your “head chakras” and that the act of shaving off your hair helps you shed bad memories you’re too attached to.

    I’m not asserting these things to be true. I’m just telling you what she said. What do you think so far, though? Anything going on up top besides a chill? (I’m talking about the outside of your head only; obviously lots is going on up top on the inside.)

    Best wishes, as always.

  44. kcb

    Bellissima. I’ve been thinking about you today as the temperature creeps down; I second the hat-size suggestion. Some of us can knock out a knit hat in a couple hours, you know.

  45. Twisty

    I just measured my head, and it’s 21 3/4″ around. Is that a pinhead?

  46. Erin

    Back in the halcyon pre-dayjob, punk rock days, I shaved my head. One: your eyes will never look as big and pretty as they do when you’re bald. Two: do find an acceptable hat. Your head will get cold faster, especially if you’re out in the rain (I assume snow is not so much a problem in Austin), and sunburned scalp is a punishment I would wish on only a very select few. Three: people will want to touch your head. A lot. Practice your stay-the-hell-back glare. You’d think the shaved headedness would take care of that, but no. You’re still female, so they can still touch on you, or so the theory goes. I bet Mr. Clean never had that problem.

  47. Kate

    Nah, 21-22 inches is pretty normal for a woman’s head.

    Yet another way in which knitting has enriched my life is knowing the average sizes for women’s heads.

  48. emjay

    Is it antifeminist and objectifying to join the Twisty-is-hot bandwagon?

    I like that your bald head has turned a straight woman (Tisha) into a lesbian. I am already one, so no toaster for you on my account.

  49. Jen

    Twisty, when my head became cue-ball-like, a lovely person named Libby sent me a bunch of the temporary tattoos that she had leftover from HER chemo days. I still have some of those left, so I’m going to mail them to you today.

  50. tisha

    Folks, I have a hair disease and I shaved my head while on a camping trip last spring. Like Twisty, I had the Sinead O’Connor thing nailed! I received so much fondling from men AND women that weekend: At one point scores of ’em were spraying whipped cream on my head and licking it off. I had so much fun that night, I was prepared to turn at least “bi” then anyway ;-)

    Unfortunately, my urge to fuck men caused me to eventually choose a hairpiece over proud baldness. But Twisty looks so H-O-T now, I might change my mind. Damn!

  51. Party Pooper

    Party Pooping Observation on Female Baldness: For those of you who haven’t enjoyed cancer mistreatments, baldness from chemo is not the same as the voluntarily shaving your head. You know your hair is about to fall out because all of the cells in your body will soon be poisoned, and killing off all your hair follicles is only one of the many things that will happen. You can try to feel empowered all you want with a preemptive shave, but once those treatments kick in, you will soon understand that you are not the one in control of the situation, even tho it is your body that is being poisoned.

    Also, most of the women who assured me that me that bald was beautiful, awesome, what a lovely head,etc…would then rush off to their hairdressers and drop a hundred plus for a color and a cut. I guess what they really meant was: hair doesn’t matter for YOU..YOU have cancer!

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