First order of business: I’m a Cosmo girl now! For those of you who may not know, I was approached by Cosmopolitan.com to a be a featured blogger for their website. Hallelujah, I have everyone fooled! People think I’m a writer! This means two things: First, I may be blogging a little less on this site to accommodate my deadlines for Cosmo. Second, that doesn’t really matter because I will be posting my Cosmo blogs on this site as well! Read, share, and enjoy! Here’s post number one in case you missed it!
Now back to ChemoCouture land!
As you can see from my last post, I was having a ton of fun with the wigs. Each one I put on gave me a fresh attitude and a new way to carry myself. The long one made me feel like a socialite with not a care in the world except which club to go to tonight. The red finger wave catapulted me into an era of intense glamour and desire. The short brown one acted as an invisibility cloak, allowing me to carry on with my life as normal with no one being the wiser. Interestingly, I also noticed people treated me in slightly different ways depending on what crown I adorned myself with. The red super hero wig made people a little nervous! Salespeople seemed anxious about upsetting me, almost as if this fiery red head was going to lunge at them from across the counter if they made one false move. It really is a super hero wig! It has the power to scare people into submission!
Up to this point, my concern about people’s reactions to my appearance was what kept me from unveiling the one look I hadn’t tried yet: Bare. I had been prepping myself for the things I imagined people would think about me. They ranged from schoolyard taunts like Baldy or Chrome Dome and went to derogatory ideas like Skin Head or Hardcore. But the worst term I could imagine that people could think about me was Sick. There was no hiding it now. I would be bald and everyone would be able to see it. I knew that no one would say these things to me out loud but they might be thinking it and I would read it all over their faces. They could pity me, patronize me, thank God they aren’t me. All things I wasn’t sure I was ready to confront.
Like everything on this path I’m on, I needed to get over this hang up and fast. Wigs are fun but they are just not practical. They itch, they’re hot, they require maintenance, and they start to give me a headache if I wear them for more than four hours. Not to mention it’s just plain weird at times! I’m constantly reintroducing myself to people I’ve known for years, their eyes blinking quickly until they finally recognize the updated me. It’s not any better with strangers. When I walk into public places, I may as well be wearing a chicken on my head. That’s how strange it feels to know this weave you’re sporting doesn’t belong on you. I attempt to meet a new person and it’s all I can do to not blurt out “Hi I’m Krystacanyoutellthisisawig??” Getting comfortable with my scalp was necessary to my comfort, convenience and sanity.
Peter and I decided to try it out for the first time on a trip to the movies. I figured if I chickened out, at least it would be dark for two hours! (I should mention that we were in California at the time and this should not be attempted in cold climates in March!) I approached the ticket counter and the woman acted so unfazed it was almost surreal. She didn’t look at me pitifully. She didn’t act afraid of me. None of the things I had feared came true. She did her job, printed my ticket and sent me to the theatre. We watched the film, enjoyed ourselves immensely and the thought didn’t enter my mind again. Afterward, I went to the restroom and an older woman was walking in with me. The thoughts came back again. Is she scared of me? Does she think I’m an angry person who balded herself with rage? Does she think I’m an immature hipster? Does she think I’m contagious? Does she think I’m dying? We washed our hands together at the sink and she turned to me to speak. As her mouth opened, I braced myself for what she had to say. Here it comes………”How did you like the movie?”
I was floored. That’s it?! We continued in polite banter, something I as a New Yorker have always had trouble with, and then we went our separate ways. Her question was so benign, so innocently inquisitive. As I encountered more people and had more of these simple interactions I realized something. If I don’t pity myself, people won’t pity me. If I don’t bite heads off bats, people won’t think I’m a deranged skin head. If I don’t act sick, they won’t see me as sick. But they DO want to get to know me. They sense I have a story, one that I need to tell to feel free. They ask, they listen, they smile. They are rooting for me. They know I can do it. They know because I told them so.
All photos taken by Peter!
Color correction and photo editing: Adam Deen. adamdeen.nyc