My five-year-old daughter was confused in watching the royal wedding. It wasn't quite what Disney led her to expect. The Princess-to-be had dark hair, and the Queen looked like grandma. Still more baffling, the Prince had blonde hair, and not much of it. In fact, Prince William has a rather prominent bald spot. Since my daughter regularly ridicules my bald spot, this rocked her world. How could a young, handsome prince, attired in dress-military uniform share something so unbecoming in common with daddy? Would she have to give up mocking her father? I doubt it, at least not completely. But she'll have to find something else to pick on, because thanks to Prince William my bald spot is now stylish.

In recent years, balding guys like me have been shaving their heads in increasing numbers. Who are they fooling? They're not stylishly shaven, they're balding. Sure, they can cultivate a look by growing a goatee and maybe wearing an earring, but the truth is they'd love to have their hair back. In fact I've contemplated going this route, but when I picture myself shaven all I can see is a misshapen head and graying goatee. I'd look older than I already do. No thanks.

Because of the royal wedding, the bald spot is now a marker of youth and virility. In fact, I predict that men will start shaving bald spots into their otherwise healthy heads of hair. Think I'm crazy? Don't think it will happen? Do you know why "z" and "c" are pronounced like a "th" in Castilian Spanish? Legend has it that King Ferdinand lisped and couldn't pronounce the "z" and "c" sound properly. The royal court imitated him and it spread from there. Now, thanks to Prince William, the bald spot is poised to go viral. Sure, you may object that the story of King Ferdinand is just a legend, but it's a good one, and good ideas, good memes, tend to spread whether they're true or not.

Fairy tale endings aren't just the stuff that five-year-old girls enjoy in Disney movies, they're the hopes and dreams of forty-year-old men too. In my dream bald isn't beautiful, but bald spots are the bomb. In my dream we can all uncomb our combovers and throw away our baseball caps.

It's time for a revolution. Bald-spotters of the world unite! We have nothing to lose but our hair!  

Copyright William Irwin

Plato on Pop

Philosophy and pop culture
David Kyle Johnson Ph.D.

David Kyle Johnson, Ph.D., is an associate professor of philosophy at King's College in Pennsylvania.

William Irwin, Ph.D.

William Irwin, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at King’s College in Pennsylvania.

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