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What Are They Staring At? (1061 hits)

A while back I was walking through the West Palm Beach airport in Florida and spotted a bald woman walking in front of me. She was scheduled to take the same flight as me. At the time, I had a head full of hair. I remember thinking, “Did she choose to look like that? How could she walk out the door like that? I would have covered up, worn a wig or something. “She appeared to be healthy and was dressed attractively.

I also remember feeling sorry for her. I just couldn’t imagine having to walk around in public like that. I assumed then that this had to be her choice... I pictured her to be an “artsy” type of person…you know the type…folks that march to a different drum than everyone else…creative people that don’t mind calling attention to themselves. How narrow minded of me to have these thoughts.

Since becoming an alopecian, there are times I find myself becoming agitated when people stare at me the same way. I’ll even become angry and wonder what they all find so amusing that they are unable to take their eyes off of me. Are they just staring at my strange fashion sense when looking at my colorful head wraps?... Or are they staring today because I have long curly hair and yesterday I had a sassy looking short hair cut? Maybe they are thinking that I’m some “backwards chameleon” looking to get attention on a busy work day morning. Nonetheless, I get agitated and sometimes grow weary of the stares. Sometimes I get so angry that I think, “I’m just going to freak them all out tomorrow by going “topless”, meaning nothing on my head that is!
Recently, I thought of the lady in the airport. Wow, I used to be like the people that stare at me. I’ve been so hard on those people, always wondering why the hell they were looking at me. I would get so angry at their curiosity.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot I see things much differently. People are going to stare and wonder. It’s only natural to do this if in the mundane routine of their day, they see someone or something that is different. With the type of alopecia I have it is sometimes impossible to put on a wig or hat to blend into the crowd.
AND…How about this novel idea? Maybe they think my bald head is beautiful!

Trying to control how people react to me is a waste of my time and energy. It serves absolutely no purpose to do this. That’s way too much weight to carry on my shoulders. I have enough baggage in trying to deal with the ramifications of protecting the thinning skin on my scalp from the heat and cold environments. For me, it’s about perceiving myself in a positive manner. Everything else is conducive to that very thought. I need to rely on my own voice of integrity in order to turn that negative energy I was feeling into a positive one…But, how does one go about doing this in a society that views having hair as a sign of health, beauty and status? I believe different answers to that question exist and the answers are as different as the individual posing the question. For me…, BE HEALTHY! I’ve decided to love what’s left of my body. There’s so much more to my physical being than my hair. As far as what I possess inside of me, well there are so many layers there, they are too numerous to mention, lots of which I have yet to discover.

Many of us don’t realize how much we hide behind our hair every day. It’s what frames our face. It makes us feel good especially when each strand is laying just the right way.

Framing my face still seems like the natural thing to do some days since I wasn’t bald all of my life. So, sometimes I overcompensate by wearing colorful head wraps, makeup, jewelry and clothes. It’s how I deal with some of my buried emotions regarding not having hair. I admire people who have had alopecia all their lives and appear to take not having hair all in stride. This is a learning process for me but I’m happy with just realizing that losing my hair in this stage of my life is just that…a learning process.

From time to time I may find the negative thoughts creeping back, that’s only human nature. Being able to put things back into the proper perspective is not always an easy feat for some of us. Maybe, I will learn to master this skill, hopefully to perfection. If not, I’ll just be content at being, “human”.
Posted By: Annette Moore
Thursday, March 19th 2009 at 2:02PM
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Girl they are looking at your beauty, strength and power. Keep keepin on.

Thursday, March 19th 2009 at 2:31PM
crystal smith
Hello Annette, Dae's comments above are very endearing and understanding.

Beautifully stated. I know someone who wore "no hair". Her face was so pretty. She put her makeup on beautifully. We worked together at the airlines. She wasn't nice to me. I never did anything to her and wonder if it was a deep jealousy because of my hair or because I think she was bi-s*xual and I like men. I also hear in you how judgmental we are of others until we walk a mile in their moccassins. Now that you are the recipient of the stares and thinking that you used to have, now you have greater understanding.

It's the universal intelligence or God moving you to greater heights. When we face challenges of this nature, we grow.

I have had discussions with people on hair. Yes we are more than hair,but the fact is as you face everyday that hair is an issue and will always be an issue as I said before on another blog until all humans go bald.

You are growing into you. By deciding not to put on wigs, everyday, you are doing the greatest thing a human can do, feel good in self-acceptance. You are so lucky!!!:-)
Saturday, March 21st 2009 at 8:49AM
Marta Fernandez
Annette you are absolutely beautiful. When I saw your photo and the fact that you are from the city I love, it was what prompted me to reach out to you. I find it admirable (just as Dae commented above) that you have shown such transparency of your feelings, a lesson for all of us. Stay in faith, God has a greater purpose for your beutiful new style.
Wednesday, September 23rd 2009 at 7:40PM
Linda Spencer
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