Oh the joys of being bald. It has been about twelve years now since I was diagnosed with Alopecia Universalis
and six years from when I made the decision to go wig free and embrace the baldness. Clearly it is not the norm for women to be bald. You can only imagine the varying responses I hear on a daily basis as strangers assert their opinions. Most of the time I find it amusing and there are regular conversations others strive up with me as a bald girl.
More often than not folks are simply curious. In deciding to go all natural, I embraced the reality that these conversations would come up often and actually use it as a platform to inform curious individuals. Why wouldn't I love sharing about what has attributed to who I am as a person today? Some of these conversations are the best as I am given an open door to share about natural beauty-a subject that is near and dear to my heart.
Kids & Their Embarrassed Parents
Kids will be kids. Nine times out of ten I can predict exactly how a child/parent interaction will go if they recognize I am bald. "Mom, mom look she doesn't have any hair" says child. "[in an incredibly hushed yet still audible tone] Johnny, do not say that, come on let's go" says embarrassed parent. Kids simply have no filter and they see it how it is. I love it. Yes I am often mistaken for a guy in the eyes of children, but hey at least they recognize me as a person unlike the embarrassed parents who avoid any eye contact or acknowledgement.
Technically this doesn't count as a conversation yet it's too good to not include. As if people think they are invisible as they stare into the depths of my bald head, I have the urge to say "you know I can see you there!" There may have been an occasional time or two where I have found it entertaining to stare right back at them. They don't take a liking to that too often.
Isn't it the best when strangers are friendly? They really have no reason to be and owe you nothing yet they choose to brighten your day with a compliment-what a wonderful concept. People who are genuinely nice and go out of their way to compliment my unusual appearance rank pretty high by my standards and make up for the other not-so-nice conversations.
Statements of Disapproval
Unfortunately there are people out there who are uncomfortable by what makes me different and decide to express their disapproval to me directly. Quite a few times I have heard "Why don't you wear a wig?" or "Haven't you tried medicine or treatment to grow your hair back?" To me this shows their dissatisfaction with my appearance and their thinking that wearing a wig or growing my hair back would be a better option for me. It is my decision what I do with my Alopecia, not yours.
Out of all the assumptions, questions, and conversations others strike up about my baldness by far the most popular is that I have Cancer or am undergoing chemotherapy. This happens almost daily it is so regular and is rather bittersweet. I have come to find that almost every single person I am approached by in this manner has some sort of connection to Cancer and is looking to relate. It puts me in a tricky position to share that I am 100% healthy, just simply don't have hair, however it also creates truly beautiful and vulnerable moments. Cancer, Alopecia, or otherwise there is a connection formed in the loss of hair and that is a unique opportunity.
Labels: about me, Being BALD