This week I read an article on DiversityInc.com titled "7 Things Never to Say to LGBT Coworkers."

It got me to thinking: What might be 7 things people should not say to a bald woman at work or anywhere else, for that matter?

I immediately thought that such a list would certainly include statements like the following:

1. I thought you were a man.
2. Are you a lesbian? (Or, are you straight?)
3. I see who wears the pants in your relationship.
4. You need a wig!
5. No man wants a bald-headed woman.
6. Is it contagious?
7. I thought you had something!

It goes without saying that such ignorant and insensitive statements are downright insulting to bald women. Moreover, as an integral part of creating alopecia awareness, we must be sure to debunk such myths and madness and, thus, help make the world a better place for all people living with hair loss.

What are some other things that people should never say to (or about) bald women?

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have you got cancer
My personal favorite has always been these three:

1. Shouldn't you keep that covered up?
2. You can't wear that hat (or scarf) -- it's against the dress code!
3. Let me rub your head for luck!!!

At which point, when insults 1 and 2 show up, I politely give HR a copy of my doctor's letter that I keep on me at all times and a letter from my attorneys advising them that ANY comments they make are in direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and tell them they might want to rethink their statements.

Another good one is "you should always wear a wig -- you're in a professional job and you need a professional look and being bald or wearing a scarf is just not professional looking." Can you believe this one came from my own mother???

Kastababy, I hear ya! I know that if I didn't wear wigs to work, my career would be OVER! And I hate the fact that alopecia "controls" me in that manner!

Yeah, my "favorite" is being called "sir" - I usually just stand there and stare at them until they realize

But I would also add: why did you shave your head?
While working, a few customers came in (never children that said this) and I got a few:

"hahaha! Looks like you lost a bet!"

or

"Wild lawn mower, huh?"

Especially in the guest-service industry and in uniforms, despite the makeup and dangling earrings that i hoped would help, I did get a few "sirs" and mistaken for a man.

And I also feel somehow hurt that everyone assumes that I have cancer - not that I don't respect and pray for the people that actually do, but I almost feel that it is their way of under estimating my real power by assuming my weakness...
I think i get acllaed sir at least once a week. I actauly had one of my best friends parent tell me that I have a great personaltiy and the only reason i am single is because i wont wear a wig when I go out. My fav is the "oh I'm sorry i thought you were a man" This is while i am wearing a dress and heels. I know i am tall but i am pretty sure i have a bust.
I just had to include one I have heard several times......
" If you would stand with your head down the blood flow might help"
Working with the public/customer service, I really have caused confusion for a lot of my customers...when one day they saw me with a red bob and the next week a blonde frost style and then I really did a shocker and stop wearing my wigs reviling my beautiful baldness...

Some of the comments I got were: (and some of my reactions to them were...)
1. Wow, are you ok?... it's not cancer is it? (With a shocking look at them; "What?, what do you see?")
2. That's a new look, when did you do it? (With a straight face; "Oh this morning I just took off my wig.")
3. I don't think I could do what you did... (With a questioning look; "What did I do?")
4. I like your hair! (With a shocked look, I said; "Do you see hair?")
5. That's a bold look... (And I answer that one with; "I didn't have a choice!")

For the most part, I don't mind when people do say silly things, because I laugh to ease their shock to my reaction and it gives me an opportunity to pass on one of my alopecia awareness cards and suggest they go learn more about this condition.

Oh this list could go on and on for DAYS!! I've had, the following so far: "do you have cancer?" "are you going through chemotherapy?" "Are you going to keep your hair short?" "Oh it'll grow back" "You look like 8-mile (enimem)"

I've also had a few people tell me that I'm not beautiful because of my hair or lack there of but for some reason, I don't believe them... I don't believe society can rule out a woman's beauty because of baldness. I feel overlooked a lot now, don't have or wear a wig, just hats for the time being. I haven't been called sir even though I wear man clothes at work (a uniform) but the day is not far off I'm sure. Get all kinds off looks going into the woman's bathroom... ha! Anyway, I try so hard to not let it get me down, or to be mean back to the person who so ignorantly blabed the question or statement in the first place. Love to all of you, this isn't easy. -Sarah

I genuinely dont mind when people ask a question. Ive had a few women who Ive met who have been through chemo ask me and a few new friends I make along the way who I know soooo want to ask but wait until I mention something and then take the opportunity to pounce and ask lots of questions lol

I dont like the 'suggestions'. No shit sherlock Id never thought of that one - thank you for pointing it out to me (dream bubble slap) or the adults that just starreeee. I mean seriously f-off did you ever get any manners??

The kids - who can hate the kids :) And i mean the little random ones - not the gobby little bleeps who need to stop thinking they are important.

I do have to stifle a smile when the adults are being ever so polite as you walk past and pretending to not even notice and the kid shouts out THAT WOMANS GOT NO HAIR or just stare at you with their jaws by their knees.

I tend to shout back I KNOW ISNT IT FABULOUS!! is a very enthusastic voice shooting a smile. The kid warms, everyone else around you smiles and you can see almost hear the parents sigh of relief LOL

Sad one the other day thatll stick with me though. I heard a kid say to its (not very healthy looking) mother as I was walking by 'Mummy that womans got cancer too' :o(

I find it interesting that so many people feel the need to comment at all. The majority of comments I get are cancer related....most times I just smile and nod...some days I feel the need to explain about the alopecia....but most days I would rather people just kept their comments to themselves. Being bald is a bit like being pregnant,..people who don't know you at all feel like they have a right to comment about your baldness...and assume a familiarity with you that they would never do with any other complete stranger.

Oh thank god it's only seven....

1. Do you have cancer?/Is it luekemia? (Seriously had someone narrow it down to a strain right to my face at the Mall of America for f*cks sake I hadn't even been in the place for an hour and got halted by a guy who wanted to knw)/Are you going through chemo? Basically the cancer questions....

2. You're a boy not a girl! (dumb kids...I once told a gaggle of boys making fun of me and refusing stop following me around the park asking: "Then if I'm a boy I have a penis and you all have vagina's!" Silence through out the whole park.)

3. Look mommy she has no hair! *eager dumb kid pointing and laughing whilst I fight the urge to make that mother do her job and shut it up*

4. Ew you look so weird... (ex BFF and my own cousins at one point....)

6. Why don't you have any hair? (number six because the last time I got asked was by my little cousins and I didn't mind their curiosity. All their lives they've only known me with my full bald head and nothing else. I was glad to tell them and explain it to them since they're old enough to understand.)

7. (The doozy) "Can't you find a better hair product?" (Some smartass thought he was being funny and he and his friends all got offended when I told him to (beep) himself....Dude had been harassing me and refusing to get out of my way unless I answered his questions. He stood infront of the swingset so if we didn't wanna hit him we'd have to sit there and take it.)

Whew....Glad to get that all off my chest....And sorry for the rants inbetween....

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