Because I’m Bald…

trikonasana“Because I’m bald…”

I find myself using this answer for a wide variety of questions.
“Why are they staring at you?”
“How’d you get that so fast?”
“Why did that guy randomly hug you?”
“Why do they think you have cancer?”
“Why do you get cold so quickly?”
And most recently, “Why did they just laugh at you?”


I suppose being made fun of is something we assume we grow out of. Something we think stops once we reach a certain age. Sadly, I don’t think it ever ends. As much positive energy that I get from people, I receive a surprising amount of negative. People can’t imagine grown women laughing at each other over something so minimal. But it happens, more than I’m willing to admit. Whenever I tell people I’ve been laughed at or made fun of, I get this immediate wave of pity. Sympathy. Two things I have worked hard to avoid for over 10 years.
When I lost my hair, the only emotion people passed on was that they felt bad for me. Horrified for some. No one could relate; they all felt sympathetic. And I hated all that energy. It made me feel like I should feel bad for myself, that there really was something wrong with me. It wasn’t passed on intentionally- it was just a side effect of losing your hair. Something so visible and so obvious, no one could help but feel the way they did. So the last thing I wanted was for people to know I was being made fun of. I already had enough pity, I didn’t need any more. So I silently dealt with those obstacles, not announcing every time something horrible happened.  And I carry that with me to this day- I don’t like having to let my friends and family know that there are still mean people in this world. That there are women who feel like they’re superior to me because I don’t look like them. But there was. And there are. And there always will be.

So after giving this some thought, I have decided to share a recent experience. Maybe parents with children who have Alopecia will be saddened by this. Maybe grown women who have Alopecia can relate to this. Maybe someone who has a friend with Alopecia can learn something from this. Maybe you will learn something from my experience:

I stepped out of the sauna at my gym wearing a bikini when two ladies felt it was appropriate to laugh at me and make comments in regards to the way I look. When I say ladies, think late teens early twenties, dressed in the trendy tight leggings and crop top shirts. Ladies that, in high school I would have described as “Mean Girls.” They obviously felt superior to me based on looks, otherwise the following interaction wouldn’t have occurred:

(I step out of the sauna, bikini clad and reaching for my towel. The “Mean Girls” walk past as they enter the locker room, both staring at me as they stride with noses in the air.)

-Mean Girl 1: OHMYGAWD, I thought that was a guy in here!
–Mean Girl 2: hahahahahahahahahaha, when did they start letting tranny’s in here?!?
-Mean Girl 1: hahahaha I wondered why he was checking us out!

The rest of their conversation was had whispered between them both, all whilst looking and laughing at me. I made eye contact with Mean Girl 1, and held it for long enough to make her uncomfortable. She knew I heard her, and made no effort to hide the fact she took time out of her day to ruin someone else’s.

So there I stood, half-naked in a bikini feeling humiliated by Mean Girls.

I considered approaching them about it. I went through about fifteen scenarios where I told them right where they could shove it, and how often they could. I have replayed this scenario in front of a mirror about 50 times now with the perfect comebacks, stinging responses and threatening looks…

But nothing.

…I did nothing. I couldn’t do anything. I waited for them to walk out and go on with their evening as I eventually changed and left for home. They left me stripped (literally and physically) of my dignity, words and confidence.  Why did this happen?
Because I’m bald. 


So why do I share this heart wrenching experience? Why bring up the bad when the world needs good? There is no feel-good outcome of this story. I never got my revenge. I never saw them again. I never reported it to the gym or told anyone else about this.

I share this because, this is reality. We face the most unexpected challenges alone, abrupt and invading our safest places. Never would I think someone could shake my confidence; I’ve been working on this for 10+ years. But it takes a moment. A second. A word. A look. And all came crashing down.

I guess what I’m saying is, body confidence isn’t one-a-done. It’s a process that brings us to feeling stronger than ever before only to fracture it the very next day. Such is life.

 

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To New Beginnings

To New Beginnings

So I know I don’t use this blog regularly, to a point where I should know better. But I get caught up in this crazy thing called life. And rather than spend hours and hours on social media (which I do enough of) and post something just to watch the numbers rise or fall, to see how liked or viral a picture goes: I’m too busy living this beautiful life.
Which is exactly what I have done.

 

I married my best friend and soul mate on October 7th, 2016. I had the best weekend of my life, and can safely say I am a very blessed and fortunate individual to receive the unconditional love of a trustworthy and kind man. Someone who I have been with for a long time, and never imagined my life without. I know our story isn’t like many others, and that some women with Alopecia state they cant find love.

Here’s a small response to that: if the men you’re dating don’t accept you for who you are, you are dating the wrong men. You are looking in the wrong places. Men who can love, accept and appreciate who you are exist. I can attest to it. Don’t assume it’s your flaws that are the problem: it’s their shallow, insensitive and immature personalities that are the problem. Too many men think they’re entitled to be with what the media portrays as a perfect woman. The stereotypical model with nothing but time on their hands and him on their mind. Let me fill you in on a secret: that woman does not exist. So stop comparing yourself to an idea, something that has been a figment of men’s imaginations for years. Men that turn you down because you have hair loss never deserved you in the first place.

Don’t turn into someone else, for someone else. If you love yourself, you’ll find you need don’t need anyone else’s approval and can continue living the life you love to live.

 

I want our story to inspire others. I want women with Alopecia to feel that they too, can have the love of a lifetime and not feel insecure about their looks. Love yourself and love will find you.  Getting married has given me such an appreciation of depth of love we share, as well as expand my perspective about who we surround ourselves with.

Having toxic people in your life, leads to toxic thoughts and lifestyles. Don’t let other people’s thoughts or actions influence who you are. Find people that enhance your personality. Your quirks. Your sense of humor. Find people that appreciate your uniqueness. Don’t let someone else’s negativity cast a shadow over your ray of sunlight.

I Don’t Want a Cure for Alopecia

Now I understand this may be a little controversial, but I want to explain WHY. Why I believe money is better spent focused on curing ourselves of depression, anxiety, self-hate, low-self esteem, apprehension, and everything else that stops us from living our best lives.

 

A cure gives us hope. Not to say there’s no hope when it comes to Alopecia, but I believe it’s false hope. It’s like the light at the end of the tunnel: it’s always there, but when will you reach the end? We don’t know if there’s a cure for Alopecia coming this lifetime, or the next. Yes- it’s important we spend money on researching autoimmune diseases. Yes- we should definitely support the opportunities to find a cure.

But how does any of that help us right now? How does spending $50 of our hard-earned money help me right now? It doesn’t. Granted, it’s an investment into your future and blah blah blah, things that I can’t argue. You’re not wrong for wanting to donate cash to find answers for alopecia. I can’t fault anyone for wanting something better for civilization it’s something everyone should absolutely 100% do.

My argument lies here: how can we help ourselves right now? How can we better our lives right now? How does the possibility of a cure for Alopecia and the promise of growing our hair back help me right now?

We spend so much time, money and effort on trying to fix the future just right so that when we get there, we might be comfortable. But no one is focusing on how we’re feeling right now- and we’re ignoring signs that maybe, we should spend a little time on ourselves. People forget to take care of their bodies and minds, and to treat them with a little respect!

So here’s a little snippet of my thoughts:

 

Comment, share, or let me know what you think!

Why I Don’t Suffer from Alopecia

Why I Don’t Suffer from Alopecia

When I created this video, a headline captured my attention and actually frustrated me. It triggered my mind about a lot of things, and how the headline is used for sympathy on a variety of issues.

To gain readers, more dramatic titles and headlines are given to peak their interest. Grabbing them by sympathy, people feel compelled to feel bad for the subject of the story. Now, this is just how some journalism can go. I just hate being lumped into a misconception… I DO NOT SUFFER!

& I’m not alone in that category. Many women who have broken free from the wig feel better than they did before. It’s a very liberating experience and I welcome anyone to try it. Would I wish Alopecia on anyone? Of course not… but to free yourself of the beauty expectations by choice, that’s rewarding.

I encourage you to watch this video and think about what labels are in your life, and if there’s something you’d like to change.

Our Deepest Fear

“It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us
 
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
 
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
 
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
 
Actually, who are you not to be?”
 
Marianne Williamson
 

Why A “Be Like Bill” Meme Infuriates Me

Why A “Be Like Bill” Meme Infuriates Me

So the past few weeks I’m sure you’ve seen the “Be Like Bill” memes floating around Facebook. They’re designed to be amusing, passive aggressively poking fun at some of the more annoying social media practices that individuals continually partake in. Initially, there was just a couple Bill images – often getting reposted several times.

BeLikeBill.jpg

Now, users can get their own “Be Like___” by simply entering their name and gender into a online form. Within a click of a button, they have their own meme with the frowned upon social norm tagged along with it. Although designed to give some sort of advice to the people unaware of their less-likened practices, the latest round of memes have become more aggressive, less passive. Which breaks down to this: an excuse to share memes that simply makes fun of others.
This particular “Be Like___” came across my news feed this morning:

IMG_7890

 

 

For obvious reasons, this offends me. But to think about how many other people will see this who draw on their eyebrows because they’ve been taken by a wide rage of health conditions absolutely infuriates me. This latest round of memes have gone beyond social media habits, attacking someone’s looks for their own amusement. Granted, the person who shared this had no intentions of ever hurting anyone, it’s a pretty shallow image. Attacking aesthetics is always  the low of the low, and it’s pretty clear these websites are running out of content.

This isn’t the first meme that’s bashed women and their eyebrows. This one is from last year, but still gets kicked around every now and again- offending most, if not every, Alopecian that sees it.

Eyebrows.jpg
Please note: there are no eyebrows on the emoji…

I’m not sure why making fun of women’s eyebrows has become popular, but it needs to end. Like, yesterday. Come to think about it, I take back my previous statement- I know exactly why there’s a recent fascination with women’s eyebrows. In early 2014, eyebrows became one thing: On Fleek. Which basically meant they were on point, looking good, and shaped beautifully. Women lusted after thicker, darker and more shapely eyebrows. No longer was the over-tweezed and thin eyebrow considered attractive anymore.
(See: Cara Delevingne, Kardashians or anyone else on Buzzfeed’s list of best celebrity brows.)

Side Note: Yes, this list exists. No, it wasn’t remotely difficult to find. Are you surprised?

Since the eyebrow craze of 2014 has hit, women have been tattooing, coloring in or adding to their natural eyebrow look. Which has been great news for Alopecians- the line of eyebrow products that has come out of this craze has been wonderful! Youtube tutorials and demos means there is finally some online resources for those that struggle with drawing their eyebrows on every day.
& When struggle became real for so many others, such as myself, not having eyebrows at all is okay too!

So when I see a meme, telling others how to behave in manner that they cannot help due to a health condition, naturally I lose my cool. I get it- they were funny at first. Everyone knows someone that has annoying social media habits (and if you don’t know anyone, you might be that someone).
But, can we PLEASE leave eyebrows out of this? They have one place and one place only: above one’s eyes.

 

Thanks.

 

Things Not to Say to an Alopecian

Things Not to Say to an Alopecian

Had a pretty fun time making this video- some really interesting responses but overall, hopefully tackled some of the more frustrating things that happen to people with alopecia.

I really do hope that these videos help other people in the long run- to inspire others to make their own videos, or pursue their dreams, whatever that may be.

For me, I’m not certain I know what’s in store for me. Every month it seems like I have a new opportunity, it’s the figuring out which one is right for me part that’s tricky!