If there is one belief that I would really like to see us alopecian challenge, is when we start referring to our inner beauty as if our outer beauty couldn’t exist anymore.

I think that the thing that brings me the most joy is when an alopecian can truly start to see their beauty again. But, over and over again, I see us making comments like, “it’s our inner beauty, not our outer beauty that counts”, as if we have forfeit our rights to be beautiful the moment we lost our hair.

I understand that when we lose our hair it is devastating, I can clearly recall that time in my life. But how do we change our perspective and broaden our views on what beauty is?

I realize that this can be a controversial discussion, so I ask that we please share our true feelings but also be respectful to each other and differing opinions.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” - James Baldwin

Cheryl Carvery-Jones
Co-Founder
www.AlopeciaWorld.com

Views: 604

Comment by Tallgirl on October 5, 2011 at 7:32am
I had felt unnoticed for years in ill-fitting brunette/auburn wigs, so I got bold on myself and started buying blond wigs in 2008, when I started a new college program (and when I was tired of dying my alopecia-white sideburns dark every month). Because many employers and others turn heads or remember blond women, I have finally been noticed. Also, I get a mall cosmetic make-over (free) before big events or on birthdays, and use THOSE photos on websites (take a camera along!). I look for nicer clothes at second-hand shops and yard sales, and am hoping to lose weight this year. Just because I lost my hair, it doesn't mean I can't still try to look professional or dressed-up for outings. Recently, I have tested out the shaved, wigless look when with good friends...with my decent make-up and earrings on, of course...and have actually received compliments. So...now I have more confidence either way.
Comment by Amy on October 5, 2011 at 8:57am
I agree eith Cheryl. No, we don't have the hair we used to have, but we still have the same face!
Comment by Cheryl, Co-founder on October 5, 2011 at 10:27am
I understand that many alopecians choose to wear hairpieces. But in all reality if a relationship turns serious, there are going to be sometimes that a mate will see us without one. Be it bedtime, showering or god forbid we are sick, the last think we may want to deal with is a wig.
Comment by Cheryl, Co-founder on October 5, 2011 at 10:29am
Amy I agree with you. The features remain and in may cases may appear stronger.
Comment by Cheryl, Co-founder on October 5, 2011 at 10:34am
Tallgirl, I felt unnoticed for years too. My husband assured me that I was anything but unnoticed. More that I didn't notice what was going on around me.

I just fear that using the "It's the inner beauty that counts" does us a disservice. Even if we may not believe it ourselves I think we should be aware of the messages we are telling others about ourselves.
Comment by Cheryl, Co-founder on October 5, 2011 at 10:44am
@Stephanie, a mate may still look at a blond or anything else. I believe that rj chose me because he didn't see my baldness as a deterrent. But it may not be his unique preference. Meaning that just because he is now dating me that he only sees beauty in bald woman. I see beautiful, blondes, brunettes, red heads and bald women/men. I guess my point is that whether rj shaves the hair off his face or not, I may have a preference, but I don't lose my attraction to him. I have seen very few people who have changed hairstyles and all of a sudden their "beauty" vanished.
Comment by Mary on October 5, 2011 at 11:31am
Lily, I felt so washed out and "not me" when I lost my lashes and brows...I had very dark natural eye hair. I got eyeliner and brow tattoos within a month of losing it all, and felt much better. The tattoos aren't perfect, but I wake up and can do exercise without feeling blank.

I tried the bald look in public in small steps...and slowly it just didn't feel unusual to me. I found that if I acted as is there was NOTHING unusual about me, other people tended to act the same way....no big deal. (Aside from the cancer questions which I don't mind anymore.)

Another thing that's helped me is having some nice photos that I like of me bald. When I'm feeling ugly, I look at one. Here's my favorite:

http://www.alopeciaworld.com/photo/hawaiian-black-sand-beach?contex...
Comment by Lili on October 5, 2011 at 1:57pm
Thanks for your post, it really struck a chord in me. Since joining this site I've seen so many who are beautiful inside AND outside. It's been a huge breakthrough for me and I'm also stunned by the amount of people I see who are strong, confident and self assured- it's just so amazing. Losing my hair to FPB, my biggest worry is that I'm no longer attractive, that I can't be confident. There's nothing more beautiful than being unique and holding your head up high... plus, a little glamour! Lots of glamorous ladies here, their beauty is definitely sparkling on the outside too. Since I started losing my hair, I started paying attention to details of my appearance that I never had before. If/when I shave my head, I don't think I'll be wearing a wig everyday, as I like my head to breathe and have a sensitive scalp. But when I do wear one (just got my first) I feel like a showgirl. :) My boyfriend also has MPB. When we met years ago, I had a full head of hair and still always thought he was the hottest guy in the room.
Comment by AJ on October 5, 2011 at 3:14pm
That's such a good point Cheryl.
I think it's really important that everybody values 'inner beauty', as we never know what's going to happen in life - you could, God forbid, be in a fire or an accident that leaves you badly scarred, or anything. We could all lose our looks, so it's important that all our self-worth isn't solely dependant on how we look.
But that aside, I do still think it is important to value your looks to a healthy degree - it's healthy for self-esteem.
And of course, losing your hair does not mean you no longer have 'outer beauty'. You only have to look at people's photos here to see that!!

For me, I feel that's really important - if I'm totally honest, I do feel so much less attractive now. And in a way, like I've lost some of my identity in that sense. But losing your hair shouldn't mean you are no longer attractive! Just as tons of bald men are very handsome, women can still be beautiful, rock a gorgeous dress, or take pride in putting their make-up on!
And what we feel inside and portray, is often how others will see us too.
Comment by Amy on October 5, 2011 at 5:37pm
Can I just say.... I love this support group! It is so helpful knowing that we are all in the same boat and we are all feeling many of the same things! Even when I had hair, I had self esteem issues! Now I just have to work even harder to keep my head up! Just reading thru these posts helps so much!

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