So we’ve got to have some Family Guy fans out there right? Anyone see episode 3 from season 11? ‘The old man and the big C’? If you have, one word for you… Wiggity. If not, read on!
It starts at a baseball game. Keep with me Brits, it gets better. Quagmire catches a baseball and when going to catch the ball, his toupee or hair system as we’d rather call it, falls off. Horror of horrors.
Family Guy fans will know what a womaniser Quagmire is, and instead of embracing his shiny pate-ness he decides he needs to embrace the stereotyped bald guy next door, complete with angora jumpers and herbal teas. You know the ones. He switches his womanising ways for sitting with a knitted blanket tutting at speeding drivers. In a word, he loses his mojo.
Although his friends try to get him to embrace his baldness and carry on as he is, he somehow loses his way and who he is, and instead succumbs to a stereotype. From an outsiders point of view, it is easy to ask why he doesn’t just embrace how he’s made? If God intended you a full head of hair he’d have left you with a full head until you’re in your 90s and your teeth have gone before you’re hairline’s even considered a shift North. But as many can relate to Quagmire’s problem, it’s not so straightforward.
How many men are out there are prematurely ageing, but at the same time trying not look like the desperado trying to grasp the fraying strands of their hair? Some men are born with receding hairlines, others find they receded later in life but still not early enough for the pipe and slippers brigade. So what to do?
It surely has to be one of the easiest and less painful remedies to wear a hair system. But what if there’s wind? What if a stray baseball knocks it off and you become a national laughing stock? What if a bald eagle swoops down and takes it for it’s nest? You get the gist.
Whilst Seth McFarlane and Co found a lighthearted way to look at it and indeed brand Quagmire the laughing stock until his hairline is later restored, there’s an underlying message even McFarlane didn’t want to take too far. There are literally thousands of viewers that must have squirmed when Quagmire was ‘outed’, either being system wearers themselves, or because of how raw it feels to deal with the day to day jibes of being a ‘baldy’.
One day a genuine cure for baldness may become available which will end their anxiety, but in the meantime there are still many different options to try without the drawbacks that system wearers are familiar with. Whilst it may be true that hair systems are far more advanced than they once were, offering a greater degree of realism than ever before, ultimately there is always the possibility of being discovered by friends, family or colleagues throughout the course of your day to day life. Hair systems may have come a long way, but unfortunately the stigma associated with them is as prevalent as it ever was.