I don’t have hair, but at least I have good health. Trust me, I never lose sight of that. Afterall, I surrendered my healthy breasts and ovaries in an effort to protect my health. But I still resent it when others respond to my hair loss by reminding me of my good health and minimizing the challenges of being a bald woman. I fully agree with Therese when she says, “If there is one thing I’ve learned from alopecia, it’s that I have absolutely no idea how anyone feels about anything, so it’s best to listen - not talk.”
If you’re a woman with hair, you have no idea what it feels like to be a bald woman. Even if you’re a bald man, you still have no idea what it feels like to be a bald woman.
I am in good health, even if my hair follicles are not, but that’s not true of all women who lose their hair. There are of course the many women who lose their hair during chemotherapy. Many of them will be reminded that it’s just hair, that it’s temporary, that surviving is what they need to focus on. There are also women who lose their hair due to Lupus, an autoimmune condition that doesn’t go away. What does the dismissive non-listener say to the friend who has lost her hair in the context of Lupus? “Well, at least you don’t have cancer.” Don’t you dare. What your friend with Lupus needs is silent empathy, or better yet, instead of assuming what it’s like to be her, ask her what it feels like. You’ll be a friend like none other in her book.
susanficus.jpgSusan Beausang, President, 4Women.com
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