Okay, so I have heard this so often now; “It MUST be awful to lose your hair when you are a woman!?” It was normally said by those trying to be sympathetic/ empathetic… and supportive…… So was it awful being a woman and having lost my hair so rapidly (within six weeks)? YES, it was! Was this because of my gender? NO!
Did it feel like the end of the world (at this time)…and that my life was in turmoil? Yes, for me it did. Do I consider this vanity? NO! It was not merely my aesthetic appearance…… for me, it was about how this had such a strong correlation with my sense of self…… the emotional adjustment to my physical change threw my world in to turmoil!
I felt that i was losing myself. My identity was slipping from any grasp I had. My physical appearance changed so dramatically, and I struggled to adjust to this person staring back at me in the mirror. Who was she? I feel the same – but who is this? My world was crashing down around me, and I felt frozen in this unknown place.
Am I still bald? YES!!! And am I still a woman? YES, well last time I checked! 😀 Is it awful that I have lost my hair? Well, NO! For me, it has been a bit of a journey, but i can say that i am accepting of myself. It has been a blessing that jumped out on me in a huge disguise – but yeah – I 💗 my pal AL-Opecia (haha my pal al – see what I did there 😜)
So nowadays, I do wear as I please for me! I feel for me…. now I am comfortable in my own skin! Am I perfect? NO! Will I ever be? No! Has alopecia been an opportunity for me to meet other amazing people, and turn my life around? ….. SURPRISINGLY ….YES!!!
Two years ago, I felt that i was cursed with this condition. I could not even have a mirror in my bedroom. I would laugh and joke in public about “cant wear mascara, still have to shave a hairy big toe on my left foot!”
Behind closed doors, however – I would cry.
I would cry, and cry, and I felt despair – I was being forced to examine – who is michelle? I couldn’t hide behind my appearance anymore with hair and make up – my physical appearance changed so rapidly, that i felt i lost my sense of self – this person in the mirror – who are you? Is this really me?’
Another statement I hear so often is “HAIRLOSS MUST BE SO MUCH WORSE FOR A WOMAN!” MUST IT? Why?
Do I feel it is worse for a woman? simply, my answer is NO. I do not think that we can say it is easier or more difficult for one gender than another.
In the society that we live today, I believe that we are bombarded of these images of what we should consider to be beautiful. HOWEVER, I truly believe that beauty is MULTI FACETED
For some reason, there is such a stigma with woman and hair loss – SO many wear a wig – not for their own wants and needs, but to fit what they perceive as societal pressure.
Hellooooo world -its michelle….. just to say….. we have enough to deal with in ourselves without that!
Come on media : we see women who have shaved their head through choice – i support that totally…….. why is choice of no hair bold and beautiful, but Medical hairloss is seen as shame and to be hidden???! Is it just me, or is anyone else confused? 🤔
It is awful to feel the pressures of society – and most of us do at sometim……… I have been there! It is awful – and it breeds a sense of shame within one self, i believe.
I do wear wigs at times – i wear head wear at times. I also go out bald at times. These are all things that I do for myself, and dependent on how I feel at the time. I am the same me.
I think that as we are all individual people – we have all different views and walked different paths – what may be easy for some, can be incredibly difficult for another. Even within ourselves, some days we are happy, others sad – such is life!
All days, I’m eccentric and wacky – but hey…. I’m ok with that!
So whilst society and our western culture continues to bombard images of a singular portrayal of beauty – how does that affect us? Well, simply – massively!
Some women may feel that losing their scalp hair is a loss of femininity. However, there are amazing choices in wigs for woman should that be a route people wish – if you choose not to show the world your alopecia.
Likewise, there are amazing make up products out there for us to use – we can have brows drawn on and false lashes – but for men and boys…… it is not seen as acceptable (in the eyes of our culture) to wear such things! Ludicrous! 😱
if a man is affected by alopecia and loses all body hair – they may feel a loss of masculinity. Why do they have to feel forced to accept this?
I think that we should never group anyone. No one should feel pressure to dress or act or cover up or not. It should be YOUR choice! And regarding the emotions- sadly, it takes time to work through. I just feel so strongly that we should not have undue pressure from this world to add to our own struggles.
Personally, I am very lucky to be in the place i am with my alopecia. For me, acceptance was definitely the key. I guess in my personal opinion – it appears that society accept a man with hairloss, but not a woman. This doesn’t make it easier for men, though…….. And covering up is the inverse – it seems socially acceptable for women but not men!!! Why do we have these gender related issues? Alopecia does not discriminate, so why should we?
Every one of you reading this – you are beautiful. You are – whether hairy like a gorilla, or bald as an egg – or in between – you are just beautiful. Hairloss is not physically dangerous i always say – but we are more than just physical beings. A rapid change in appearance – whether due to accident / injury / medical condition or other – it can be emotionally and mentally devastating.
I think that there is no way to say alopecia is easier for men or woman, likewise for young or old. Alopecia is alopecia. You are you….. it will affect us all as individual- as that is what we are.
I am so blessed that I have had amazing support from family and friends – from my gorgeous work buddies, and especially from the charity Alopecia UK.
if you are affected by hairloss, and are in the UK or are british – have a look at the ALOPECIA UK site. There is an organisation too who can support people going through the challenges of a changing appearance – CHANGING FACES
This has become a massive rant – and I feel I have so much more to say…… but for now, I shall leave you with this – no one has walked your shoes……. no one has your experiences. I am bald, but I don’t know how YOU feel, as I am not you. But I care.
I can let you know I have felt, and hope that my experiences make me more empathetic and understanding……. but never put pressure on yourselves. Ever. And never forget just how beautiful you truly are.
It sounds cheesy, but look in the mirror and tell yourself that. Try it. Every day.
And if you can’t see the beauty in yourself – that doesn’t mean it isn’t there….. it just means you need some time to see what others can.
All my love 💗 to all of you,
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