Hats off to Politicians Challenging Youth; ANALYSIS

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Evans

'Her crowning glory' used to be the description of women's hair but as every female under the age of 30 has exactly the same hair style - long and straight - and attention at the moment among the fashion cognoscenti focuses on the legs, female coiffeur has long since lost its power to distinguish.

The same cannot be said for men. Gordon Brown had his hair cut before his inaugural I'm the next Prime Minister speech. David Cameron's receding hairline and growing bald patch are causing the bookies to lengthen the odds on him leading the country after a General Election. He must look back shuddering at the fate of at least two recent leaders of his party. Baldness is not good for politicians in the Age of Yuf we now inhabit. As people reflect on the changes wrought by 10 years of power on Tony Blair, you can't but help notice his thinning hair. The light now shines through it on photographs.

Some men embrace hair loss and decide to shave it all off before nature takes its course. One can only assume that they think the unsoftened shape of their heads is preferable to the lawned look - rather like those people who prefer a front garden paved over to grass and flowers. This would fit with a general male belief that they are attractive regardless of their physical frailties. No need for make-up, thought about clothes - do they fit, are they clean, do the colours go together? - or control of body weight. Women are far too nice to point out the aesthetic pain this causes and other men like to pretend they don't notice because if they did, they would have to do something about themselves.

But politicians can't afford to be quite so cavalier. …