Bald Is Beautiful

Boston Globe Photo

Governor Deval Patrick has a history of taking brave stands for progress and civil rights. He headed up the Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice in the Clinton Administration. He became the first ever African-American governor in Massachusetts. Now, according to Matt Viser in today’s Boston Globe he earns his place in Massachusetts history as the first ever Massachusetts chief executive to shave his head. Hats off to him.

Patrick’s move follows in the footsteps of a former state senator from Watertown and 2002 gubernatorial candidate, Warren Tolman. Tolman was a pioneer for bald politicians — and even journalists — in the Commonwealth. The catchy slogan of one of his publicly-financed advertisements was “bald is beautiful.”Hopefully 2008 will be a new era for the bald in Massachusetts. Back in 2002, Gersh Kuntzman, then a web columnist for Newsweek, did a piece on Tolman that captured the anti-bald spirit of the era. Kuntzman wrote: “The victim this time was former Massachusetts state senator Warren Tolman, a proud bald man, who lost the Democratic primary for governor last week. The loss was particularly bitter for the bald because Tolman had intentionally used his lack of hair to get on the radar screen in the race, running ads that showed him rubbing his shiny pate while standing in a barbershop surrounded by equally hairless men.”

I caught up with Tolman to find out what he thought of the governor’s bold bald move. “Welcome to the club,” Tolman said Patrick. “Up to this point I always said Deval Patrick was a handsome guy, now more impressively he’s a handsome bald guy.” He described his own bald ploy as taking “what in politics what is often perceived as a negative and make it a positive.”

Of course, I’ve got a stake in this battle as well and thank the governor for his courageous leadership.

2 Responses to “Bald Is Beautiful”

  1. friend-of-fab-dana Says:

    Funny how different the responses are to a male and female politician changing their hairstyle. He looks totally un-gubernatorial (which is not to say that he doesn’t look good.)

  2. Bryna's other half Says:

    I was wondering if you were going to tackle this subject. As a future member of this esteemed club, I am proud to call him our governor.

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