I have always disliked labels, when I was married I used to ask people not to call me Mrs Western I preferred to be called Susan. I don’t like forms which ask if I’m divorced, married, single, de-facto etc. what difference does it make? Just the other day I was asked at my new doctors surgery if I was heterosexual or homosexual – I told the poor nurse (who was simply entering the information on the government database) that my sexuality is none of the governments damn business!!
Having said that; I frequently use ‘labels’ to define people… my friend who is short (I’ve actually nick-named her the Hobbit because she’s so tiny) or my classy friend who always looks gorgeous when she goes out, my pommy-friend from work (until she told me off and pointed out that she was more Australian than me as she actually took out Australian citizenship (lol), my friend with the seven kids… the list goes on. One of my girlfriends told me she used to describe me as her friend with the gorgeous hair and without trying to sound proud I knew that was a fair description because I knew how to style my hair and I was lucky enough to have the kind of hair that people complimented me on even on ‘bad hair days’.
I’ve never been one to dress to impress and I especially don’t like the idea of dressing to attract attention, my goal has never been to look sexy – my goal has always been to hopefully look classy and the one thing I’ve always had complete confidence in was my hair – how fricking ironic!!!
Losing all my hair in the space of three and a half weeks was very confronting because it was the one thing about my appearance that I never doubted. I cried more about losing my hair than I did about finding out my husband of 18.5 years had been unfaithful. It’s been nine months since I lost all my hair and although I am getting closer to accepting the fact that I may be bald for the rest of my life I will never been happy about it. I now have another ‘label’ to add after my name… Hi, my name is Susan, I’m a bald 43 year old, divorced, overweight woman who hates how labels define us but yet here I am with labels galore!!
When I was losing my hair I searched google for quotes that might make me feel better about myself as a woman with no hair and this is what I found… “She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future”. This has become my new mantra and I’m trying desperately not to allow my baldness label to define me. I need to have confidence in the fact that I have strength and dignity rather than in the fact that I had beautiful hair. Easier said than done… but I’m trying!!