Before we can celebrate Baldness, we must first discuss Fred Durst. In many ways, he is a mirror for all Bald men — at least, for the ones who don’t like the reflection staring back at them.
Surprisingly, Fred Durst always seemed more ashamed of his Baldness than of his years spent rap-singing as the cargo-shorted frontman of Limp Bizkit. The former tattoo artist should have been able to employ his inking talents towards rocking out his Baldness (see Mike Tyson) the way he rocked out crowds of rapists at Woodstock ’99. Instead, he cowardly hid his receding hairline under countless backwards red caps well into his late thirties. When plunging sales forced him to switch things up and try out a radical sans hat video (the self-directed, allegedly-sexy “Behind Blue Eyes” featuring Halle Berry), nu-metal fans’ hunches were confirmed: Durst had yet to accept the inevitable and break out the razor. There he was, still desperately clinging to any remaining patches and tufts he could bleach. Like its predecessors, the video was met with universal scorn, and Limp Bizkit’s fanbase moved on to Balder pastures. Meanwhile, the tattoo skills that could have saved him all along were wasted drawing iconic Haired artists on his chest (blonde Kurt Cobain, pompadoured Elvis Presley), as if their rich, full locks would somehow compensate for his lack thereof.
Today, forced to hang his hat and admit the truth, Fred Durst’s sad proto-Baldness conveys an admission of defeat rather than the proud statement of defiance one would expect from the man who wrote “My Way (or the Highway)” and “Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)”. It is certain that an unhealthy percentage of his quiet moments are spent modeling a red backwards cap in a forever-mirror and trying to remember the good ol’ days when this combination was found attractive by such luminaries as Christina Aguilera. Perhaps if he had embraced his Baldness from the beginning, his current look would not be such an obstacle to maintaining a level of self-esteem appropriate for a retired nu-metal performer. Alas, he fought his fate and lost. Fred Durst is not a good role model for the modern Bald man. Fortunately there are others who can point the way.