Bob Goldman

When it comes time to explain all the obstacles I had to surmount to achieve business success, I'm not going to mention my bad luck or my bad attitude; my laziness, sloppiness, or my inherent hostility to authority. No, sir! What makes my success so impressive is that I managed to accomplish so much despite being held back by a luxurious, full head of hair.

Yes, sir! In today's business world, hair is out and bald is in. The Wall Street Journal told me so. The headline of a recent article by Rachel Emma Silverman said it all -- "Study Shows Baldness Can Be a Business Advantage."

That's good news to men who have been worrying about their receding hairline. And that's bad news to women who may not be ready to shave their heads in exchange for a quick bump up the executive ladder, but, hey, if you're not willing to show your loyalty to the company, don't expect to use the electric pate polisher in the executive washroom.

The study mentioned was conducted by the Wharton School of Business, a highly respected institution where the faculty may not have much hair on their heads, but clearly have a lot of time on their hands. In a series of tests, management lecturer Albert Mannes showed 244 subjects two versions of the same men, "one showing the man with hair and the other showing him with his hair digitally removed."

We don't know who these subjects might be, but I assume they weren't barbers.

The results of the experiment were surprising, or should I say, hair-raising. The studies showed "the subjects finding the men with shaved heads as more dominant than their hirsute counterparts. In one test, men with shorn heads were even perceived as an inch taller and about 13 percent stronger than those with fuller manes."

If this is true, you can hand me the razor. I've been trying to appear taller for some time now, and wearing these Manolo Blahnik ankle-strip pumps with 5-inch heels just isn't doing the job.

If baldies are tall and powerful, the short and weak amongst us are men with thinning hair. Since 35 million men are estimated to suffer from this cruel trick of nature, also called male pattern baldness, this could be both a problem and an opportunity. If all it takes to turn yourself into a workplace Samson is to cut off your hair, fire your trainer and start looking for your Delilah.

Bob Goldman

Bob Goldman is a business humor writer.

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