People can be so rude. I never cease to be amazed by this fact. They actually stand with open mouths and stare and turn their heads. Some people don’t even conceal it; it’s as if you don’t exist to them. You’re such a deviation that you’re ripped of your humanity. You’re not a person anymore, you’re an object. In this case, simply because I’m bald. The thing that baffles me most is that when people are turning their heads because of a balding woman, you know it’s more than probable that she has cancer. But this doesn’t stop them. They still blatantly stare. And I haven’t even come to the place in my life where I’m going to go public with my scar in a locker room or at the beach. That’ll be a feast I predict.
People I barely know asks me if it isn’t weird to have just one breast? “I wasn’t really using it anymore, so actually no”. For me, same goes with the hair; more than happy to let it go, especially now in summertime, and if I’m too cold I can just get a hat, wig or something else on my head. I was very lucky to have cancer in a non essential part of my body. I’m not upset by my new looks at all. But a lot of other people – people I’ve never met before – seems to be a whole lot more occupied with that than me.
This is not the first time I have found myself in this position. I have chosen to have crazy colored hair and even more outrageous hairdos for many years. But there’s a big difference, it was something I chose. Even then it took some time with each new style for me to adjust to the staring, pointing and whispering. Then after a while you stop noticing, you stop being self conscious and you let it go. But this is only doable because you like the way you look and it’s something you chose yourself. Even then I would some times ponder if it was worth the hassle. I don’t know if I will be able to let it go this time too. I mentioned this ordeal to an amazing activist and transwoman I know and she told me that she was never able to let it go. For her harassment is common, it’s a part of her life. She told me you learn to cope instead. You give an evil stare. Or even a comment back. But it’s oh so tiresome. I also hear from women that chose to not reconstruct, that people yell after you. “Freak!” This is verbal violence for just looking different. What kind of a world is that?
I’m definitely not complaining. My hair will grow out again. The missing breast will of course be something shocking for a lot of people in the coming years, but only when I stand naked in front of someone. For a lot of people in this world, they stand out no matter what they do and it’s impossible to hide from people’s stare and comments if they go outside. People with different skin tone than that of a majority, transpeople, people that are fat, people with visible disabilities or just simply people with striking looks one way or another, all need to face this every day. So what you can do is first and foremost, don’t stare! Remember that this is a real person in front of you. Seek eye contact and smile instead of looking away. Secondly, don’t try to conform for the sake of it. If you’re strong enough to handle it, stick out too. That’ll make pressure on the ones not choosing it less. If we’re all different no one sticks out. And a world of diversity is a way better one.