On this day in 1979, Star Trek: the Motion Picture was released. From a fashion standpoint, the film was not particularly influential (though those Space Age go-go boots and ridiculous minidresses are a guilty pleasure). But there is one person in the film who commanded our attention from a beauty standpoint: top model Persis Khambatta, who surprised audiences when she appeared on the screen with a fresh, new look: Bald. Khambatta got her start in modeling after she was named Miss India in 1965 and then quickly moved into print work, even signing a longterm contract with Revlon. She longed to launch an acting career but her Western-esque features apparently steered her away from leading roles in the Bollywood industry. When she landed the role of Lieutenant Ilia, a Deltan working a brief gig with the Star Fleet, she went for broke and shaved off her long, thick mane to authenticate the alien look.
Doing so was a good choice for the plum role: To this day, Khambatta is best remembered for it—though we concede that pretty much any association with the Star Fleet guarantees immortality among Trekkies, and the kinky qualities of her character, Ilia, didn’t hurt, either. Deltans exude phermones which arouse human males. Her powers were so great that at some point Ilia even took a formal oath of celibacy, which is generally advised for Deltans who wish to serve among human males, so as not to, you know, tempt them too much. Goodness knows what might occur!
As far as we know, Khambatta is the first actress to shave her head for a role, and yet she is rarely included on lists of beautiful bald women. In a nod to her stylish dome, we decided to take a look at the short list of beautiful women who rock the cue ball, whether it’s for a role in a film or simply because the style suits them. Here’s our list, and let’s hope that from here on Khambatta is forever included in the lineup of beautiful bald women.
Of course Persis Khambatta tops our list! She was probably the first to go cue ball and she’s been left off too many lists for too long. Plus, she looks totally amazing, with or without hair.
Demi Moore forever stole our hearts when she not only shaved her head for the role of G.I. Jane, but did it with cameras rolling to boot.
Some women just have heads that should be bald, and beautiful Sinéad O’Connor is one of them. The Irish musician broke the bald barrier as the first mainstream artist to rock the look and still have frat guys lusting after her.
She’s bald and she’s bad-ass. As Ripley in the Alien series, Sigourney Weaver just looks damn sexy—makeup, heels and hair be damned.
Was Ève Salvail the first successful bald model? Certainly she rode the coattails of Sinéad, but we fell in love with her after she stomped through Isaac Mizrahi’s salon in Unzipped.
Like Sinead, Natalie Portman is just so damn beautiful she doesn’t even need hair. Looking through this list, we’re pretty sure it all comes down to a great set of lips, something Natalie has in abundance.
When you have the greatest set of legs in modeling, you really don’t need hair. Sudanese model Alec Wek sported the bald look since first gracing the catwalks in 1995, and if it ain’t broke why fix it?
She kind of dresses like a crazy person, but we love her for it. Amber Rose makes up for her lack of hair with outrageous outfits, and she’s so beautiful she really doesn’t need hair anyway.
Beyonce’s sister, Solange Knowles, shaved her head a while back and it suits her! We’re guessing she needed another way to distinguish herself from her famous sister, and it works.
The most recent baldie on the list, Agyness Deyn—who has always favored short, edgy locks—shaved her head this past summer for the Coachella Festival.