As a bald man, I am frequently asked if I’ve ever considered buying a toupee. The answer is no. The follow-up question is usually, “Why not?” My answer varies according to my mood, but usually it has something to do with me not wanting to pay for other people’s entertainment. I’ve rarely seen a rug that didn’t inspire stares of amazement or snickers of amusement, and sometimes both.
Besides, there’s ample evidence to suggest that once you commit to wearing a hairpiece, you become a slave to it. You can’t walk past a mirror without scrutinizing yourself. You squint, you tilt your head, you turn this way and that, never really feeling satisfied. And so off you go in search of a better looking rug. When Burt Reynolds, one of the most famous “toupers” of all time, filed for bankruptcy in 1996, he listed debts to two toupee companies. One was a staggering $121,796.62, owed to Edward Katz Hair designs.*
I realize that some people wear wigs for very legitimate reasons: chemo patients, people with skin cancer, etc. However, the person who slaps a “toup” on his head simply for cosmetic purposes makes me wonder. Why can’t he just be satisfied with what God gave him? Or in this case, didn’t give him? The same goes for people who spend mind-boggling sums of money on plastic surgeries that are completely unrelated to health or medical issues. Does a larger bust or a slightly less wrinkled face really improve the quality of a person’s life?
Perhaps it does, I don’t know.
I just can’t help thinking that God must shake his head at the way so many people obsess over their physical appearance while failing to cultivate beautiful inner qualities. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.”
How different would the world (and the church) be if we spent as much time beautifying our hearts as we do our faces and bodies?
*Vince Staten, Do Bald Men Get Half-Price haircuts? (New York: Simon & Shuster, 2001), 126