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[VIEW 2035] What’s so bad about going bald?


Shim Sae-rom
The author is a political news reporter of the JoongAng Ilbo
 
“Is he wearing a wig?”
 
Wearing a wig is still considered something to be ashamed of.
 
According to the Korean Society for Alopecia, about 10 million Koreans suffer from hair loss.
 
That means one in every four adults has alopecia. Despite that, everyone is keen to know whether “he’s wearing a wig.”
 
“Tal-ming out,” a newly coined word meaning “to admit to hair loss,” shows that people are still reluctant to talk about their hair loss.
 
I wish everyone were frank about this condition like the 2030 generation is.
 
Many celebrities are opening up about their hair loss. The list includes actors, comedians and webtoon artists.
 
Actress Ko Eun-ah uploaded a video titled “Ko Eun-ah finally got hair implants,” on her YouTube channel. In the video, she talks to the camera after getting hair implants.
 
“I have finally got what I’ve been considering for 34 whole years of my life. I will take good care of my hair from now on so that I don’t let myself down,” she said.
 
Peniel of BTOB also opened up about his hair loss — the first time a K-pop idol has done so.
 
He appeared on a talk show in 2016 without wearing a wig, confessing that he had lost about 70 percent of his hair. He said that after coming clean about his condition, it got much better than before. He said that he used to get new bare batches every week due to chronic stress.
 
He showed off his lush new hairstyle last year, and was praised by fans for declaring that he could “even use hair wax.”
 
Many comedians are following the trend as well.
 
As for politicians, Democratic Party lawmakers were scrambling to disclose their condition earlier this year.
 
Lee Jae-myung, who was then running for president, proposed a policy to ensure that hair loss treatment is covered by health insurance.
 

The controversy surrounding hair loss will only stop if people stop gossiping.
 
We tend to be overly harsh when it comes to other people’s imperfections and act defensively when it comes to our own flaws.
 
What’s wrong with being bald, when so many people experience hair loss?
 
I would be more drawn to somebody who comes clean about their hair loss, rather than someone who’s trying hard to conceal it with wigs.
 
It’s that similar uneasiness that I feel towards people who got excessive plastic surgery.
 
I want to see politicians be frank about their conditions and receive genuine compassion, rather than having their conditions forcefully disclosed.

BY SHIM SAE-ROM [saerom@joongang.co.kr]





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