living with alopecia

Living with Alopecia in Gifs - The Conversation

“It’s only hair loss" 

At least it’s not cancer"

“At least it’s nothing serious" 

Please stop, y'all. Don’t compare conditions. While it isn’t incorrect to say that it is better to have alopecia areata than cancer, it’s also a stupid thing to say. Not only does in invalidate the feelings of alopecians, and then cause guilt about those feelings, it’s also something that you would never do about other conditions. 
"Oh you have eczema? Well, at least it’s not leprosy”. 


[Four images: 1- a 20 something white woman with alopecia smiles into the camera with lots of trees in the background. 2- same woman and her partner look super cute together. 3- same woman and her friend sit side by side on a grassy hill. 4- same woman on a hike with trees and the ocean in the background.]

Happy International Alopecia Day 2013! I decided to take pictures of bald people (ok, maybe just one person, myself) enjoying life.

1-Me loving Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

2-My partner and I showing that people with alopecia can have loving and meaningful relationships.

3-My wonderful friend and I showing that some people with alopecia look like they have a full head of hair and others don’t!

4-Some people with alopecia go on gorgeous hikes!

To simply exist in a world that wants denies your existence is radical.  There are so many people who can only imagine baldness being a result of chemotherapy, so they assume I have cancer without ever giving me the opportunity to explain my identity.

I envision living in a world where I can choose to explain my identity to others if I desire, and where I do not feel forced to explain it because people make assumptions about my identity based off my appearance. 

my brother’s girlfriend was trying to “relate” the other day. she has long, beautiful brown hair and she was trying to locate a “patch” she has.
she couldn’t find it so she had to get up and go to the bathroom to search in the mirror.
i waited patiently.
she came back with her finger over it. “see?”
i pretended to see a tiny little area that was thinning, most likely because she’s 50 and well, hair thins as you get older.
“you aren’t the only one,” she said triumphantly.
you’re right, bitch. i’m not the only one. my tumblr is filled with heartbreaking stories and images of all ages, ranging from spots to complete baldness all over. let me take a picture of your relatable, dime-sized place that is missing a few hairs that you couldn’t find without a mirror. you’re in the club now.


The next thing I’m working on (and this, I think, will be a continuous project) is to collect anecdotes and the little incidents that happen daily for people living with alopecia. The things people say and do (well intended or not), and the random things you encounter that affect you differently because you have alopecia. 

If you have any of these stories, please send them along! Or submit them!