For the last several years I’ve been having an identity crisis, caused by my hair loss. I was always known as “the girl with the thick curly hair” and I was defined by my hair. Now when I look in the mirror I don’t see myself, and it freaks me out. I just had a dream where I was looking at current pictures of myself, and there I was with the thick hair that I no longer have in real life. When I think about how people describe others, it usually starts with the hair. To describe most my friends, I would start off with a description of their hair. “Oh, you know Suzie – the girl with the spiky blonde hair.” Or “remember Bob – the short guy with the shaved head?”
Celebrities are also defined by their hair – Britney Spears with the horrible extensions, Michelle Williams with the pixie cut, Jennifer Aniston with the perfect blonde beachy waves, etc. Jennifer Aniston just cut a few inches off her hair, and it’s become a major news story that hundreds of sites have written about. Hair loss is devastating to almost all women, but I think it’s even harder on women who were known for their beautiful hair. When anyone’s best feature is taken away (perfect body, thick hair, flawless line-free skin), it sucks. I asked my boyfriend how most of his friends describe me (I haven’t had thick hair since before I met him), and now I’m “the girl with the brown hair.” It’s still about the hair, even though I am now so nondescript. It’s boring! But of course it’s better than being “the balding girl.”
Who am I?
Have you lost your defining feature? Have you reinvented yourself? What sentence do people use to identify you? I really want to reinvent myself and be “the girl with…” and not have hair anywhere in that sentence! I don’t know who to be. I was at a party yesterday and a friend said she’s worked so hard to be herself – to be “Farrah.” I feel like I still need a defining feature because I don’t know what being me means anymore. Prince was so sick of his name and image that he became “the artist formerly known as.” I feel like “the girl formerly known as the girl with the thick curly hair.” Ugh!
Distraction from my hair loss
Now that my hair sucks, I don’t want people looking at it, so I’m trying to think of what I can do/wear to distract from my hair. I don’t have any tattoos but have seriously thought about getting some as a distraction. I haven’t read the book “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” but apparently just one tattoo makes you worthy of a book and movie. I’m not into fake boobs, but half of Las Vegas women can be described as “the girl with the giant fake boobs” but of course you have to add on “and hair extensions” to that sentence. I’ve been trying to workout more so I can be “the woman who can get away with skinny jeans” but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon.
My favorite book is “Confessions of a Shopaholic” and the main character goes through the whole book buying stuff to redefine who she is. She thinks that once she’s known as “the girl in the green scarf” her life will be perfect… Lately I’ve been buying jewelry I don’t need, partly because I’m depressed about my hair loss, and because being “the girl with the cute necklace” is better than “the girl with the thin hair.” I’ve thought about shaving my head but being “the girl with the shaved head” is something I’m so not ready for.
Will a wig solve my identity crisis?
I’ve been considering wearing a wig or hairpiece for a while now, but that brings up new problems. If I end up with a wig that isn’t realistic enough I’ll immediately be “the girl with the wig – OMG why is she wearing a wig?” If I find a super realistic, beautiful wig, I’ll be “the girl with the perfect hair.” That sounds great and all, but I’m tired of being defined by my hair! And I don’t know if I want to call attention to my head if I’m wearing supplemental hair. I love the color pink and really want a crazy pink wig like Nicki Minaj, but I think with my suburban life, wearing it would cause too much unwanted attention.
Who are you?
Tell me who you are – how would you describe yourself, and how do others describe you? Have you also suffered an identity crisis from your hair loss? Have you found a new identity that you’re happy with, despite your hair loss? For now I’ll just be “the girl who has no idea who she is…”