Growing up I always related
a bald head to men,
older men at that! The stereotype image in my head seemed standard at the time because never had I heard of or seen bald women with the exception of those going through chemotherapy, and I would only know if I knew them personally because a scarf or wig would be worn.
My biggest fear when losing my hair was the thought of my femininity being swamped by this severe near to kin barber cut and appearing attractive, not just for myself but to others. In order to overcome those fears and to fit in I decided to wear wigs, which seemed to be a relief for those lose to me. I can see them exhaling with relief, then offering compliments to my latest synthetic wig that just made me feel so awkward. However women are supposed to have hair right?! I remember the elders saying ‘A woman’s hair is her beauty’, and here I was patchy bald, disguising my authentic self because if I revealed who I really was I would no longer be beautiful, feminine, womanly and desirable.
Getting long stares from people
made my anxiety skyrocket
especially children and being referred to as ‘sir’ by bored shop assistants or ‘excuse me mate’ by the cheeky builder trying to hustle pass me in the street. Those situations would hurt my heart and make me feel small, unfeminine, undesirable, ugly continuing that vicious cycle of self-hate and loathing.
I learned pretty quickly that I had to own who I was
and love what I saw in the mirror. Once that happened my confidence, femininity and sexuality all seemed to align and it felt great and being bald was not an issue because I LOVED ME and that was more important than the opinion of others