Thoughts on being a bald science fiction icon at Comic-Con

I want to share my thoughts about wearing my Ilia costume at Comic-Con. Attached is a photo of the original character, played by Persis Khambatta in 1979's Star Trek - The Movie.

For my two days in the costume, when people looked at me, they DIDN'T see a woman with cancer, or a masculine-looking female. They saw me as normal and healthy - more than that, they saw me as beautiful and sexy! (I apologize if this sounds boastful, but the character is much-loved and I nailed the costume.)

For two days, I was stopped repeatedly and asked to pose for photos. Young, nice-looking men wanted to have their picture taken with me. Countless people told me how awesome I looked. Best of all, NO ONE thought I was sick or unusual because of my bald head! I was "normal". (I think most assumed I had shaved. I was asked how long it would take my hair to grow back, and complimented for my commitment to the character for shaving my head.)

As I drove home and back to real life as a bald woman, I felt sad in the same way I felt sad after my first NAAF conference last year when I walked around on the streets of St. Louis with lots of other bald women: sad because I was going back to being the ONLY bald woman, and therefore back to being seen as ill, or strange, or unfeminine by many people.

I hope that those of you who feel more comfortable in a wig understand that I completely respect your choice and that I want everyone to do what feels best for them. I am NOT anti-wig; unfortunately, they just didn't work out for me. But, for those of you who are "on the fence" or who have considered going "out" bald for whatever reason, I urge you to give it a try. Take baby steps and you may find, as I did, that it just gets easier and becomes who you are.

I urge this because I dream of the day when all bald women, myself included, could feel just as normal, unremarkable, and beautiful as I felt in my Ilia costume at Comic-Con. I firmly believe that this day will come, but only after there are many more bald women seen in public. The only way that will happen is if we do it. 

Views: 1561

Comment by Georgia Gardner on July 28, 2014 at 11:39pm

I am a massive trekkie and so jealous right now that you got to go to the Con. Glad you had such a wonderful time and would love to see one of your cosplay photos :)

Comment by Mary on July 29, 2014 at 12:51am

Comment by Mary on July 29, 2014 at 12:52am

I've got to go to the big ST Con in Vegas.  Have you ever been, Georgia?  Maybe next year.

Comment by youarebeautiful on July 29, 2014 at 1:02am

I love your confidence!  You did it!

Comment by Georgia Gardner on July 29, 2014 at 1:42am

Omg you look amazing!! Did you make it yourself or buy it? It's perfect. And no, unfortunately they don't have enough con's down here in Aus. One day I will be at SDCC. One day.

Comment by Mary on July 29, 2014 at 2:29am
I made it, using photos online, and two versions in cheap fabric. I'm pretty happy with it. Capezio dance tights are an essential element!
Comment by Mary on July 29, 2014 at 2:30am
Are you going to any International Alopecia Day events in Australia?
Comment by Susan McAdams on July 29, 2014 at 2:39am
That is just awesome!
Comment by Georgia Gardner on July 29, 2014 at 5:10am

We're doing awareness week in November with various events in most of the major cities. Biggest events are happening in Sydney this year (They've been in Melbourne the last few).

Comment by Squirrel on July 29, 2014 at 8:08am
That's so awesome.

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