Thursday, August 02, 2007

how much is it worth?

A rather convoluted train of internet surfing brought me to the homepage of Allure magazine. There, it's daily poll asked "How much would someone have to pay you to shave your head?" Their options were 1)Nothing, I'd do it for free 2)$1,000 3)$10,000 4)$1 million. Amazingly enough, I really had to sit and think about this question. For sure, I would never drop below $10,000, but I wasn't quite sure that was enough.

In my mental calculations of how fast my hair grows, I would have about 2-3 months of having hair short enough to get me stared at in public. How embarrassing would that be? How ashamed would I feel? How debilitating would it be to feel unattractive, and to have my husband find me unattractive? Could I live with those levels for 2-3 months? Would I gain confidence, or some other virtue, by withstanding stares and questions? Would I feel justified when I told people why I shaved my head?

What would $10,000 do? It might be the down payment on a house. It would buy most of car. It would buy us good furniture. It would give our 401K a jumpstart. It would cover lots of expenses while Sam went back to school. But those things don't feel too far out of reach, or very necessary at the moment.

On the other hand, at my current wage level and number of hours, it would take me 7 months to make $10,000. Would I trade 7 months of working for 2-3 months of some shame?

I talked to Sam about all this and we agreed that most definitely we'd agree for me to do it for $50,000 and I suspect we'd be convinced for $30,000, so I don't really see why the writer(s?) of this very scientific survey jumped straight from $10,000 to $1 million. I think many others felt this way too, since at the time I answered the survey, 64.5% of respondents said $1million would be their limit and I suspect that many would go for less.

So, I pose the question to you. How much would someone have to pay you to shave your head (for the women) or to grow your hair long (for the men)?

In the mean time, here are some other potentially embarrassing odd beauty routines someone would have to pay me to do and how much my going rates are. This doesn't make much sense, but I think these are such simple pleasures, someone would really have to shell out the dough to make it worth it, even though most of these happen pretty frequently:

Assume these last between 6 months and 1 year
Not shave my legs or armpits: $50,000
Wear mismatching clothes:$75,000
Not wear makeup ever: $7500
Not pluck my eyebrows: $5000
Never use a blow dryer or hot hair tool: $7500
Never paint my toenails: $1,000

Any other suggestions? I'll tell you how much it's worth to me.

3 comments:

D said...

I think the Sinead O'Connor look would be pretty cool.
I think you're misjudging how people would react. Most would think of you differently if you shaved your head, but not worse. You would likely feel embarrassed-- socially out of place-- but not ashamed. Shame is for when you do something wrong.
By the way, I don't think wigmaking shops pay more than $50 for a head of hair.

gremhog said...

i would love to see what my head looked like before I shaved it. but personally I would settle for the $1m and not go a cent lower. I'm selfish. and i want $1m.

Why settle for less. If i wanted to do it to donate it for Wigs of Kids or whatever, then I would do it for free. But just to shave it all off? nope...$1m.

Steve said...

There's really no minimum you'd have to pay me to grow my hair out. I don't feel like that'd be too weird. But make it something like "stop wearing deodorant" or "stop bathing and brushing your teeth", and then I'd start demanding the hundreds of thousands of dollars range.