before i shaved my head, i honestly thought that it might help me stop caring so much about what people think of me, and how they identify me. sure, i knew that with a shaved head, i’d be mistaken for a male sometimes, if not frequently- but i already am mistaken for a male, often enough that you would think it would have stopped bothering me a long time ago.
but since i’ve shaved my head, i have been mistaken for a male so many times that i am now paranoid about it. no matter how i’m dressed or how much i raise my voice, it still happens. i was at a family dinner recently, eating at a local italian restaurant, so i dressed nicely. wearing a female-styled tank top with a headband and dangly earrings, nail polish and makeup to boot, i was caught off-guard when the waiter asked me, “and what can i get for you, sir?”
i was shocked. i laughed, embarrassed in front of the table [although i would have been embarrassed had i been alone, too], and gave him my order. WINE, PLEASE!!
i always wonder why i’m mistaken for a male- and my family and friends don’t get it, either- but what’s worse, i get SO humiliated by it. i do extra things to try to avoid it, although obviously, i can’t stop it altogether.
my brother made a comment that night at the restaurant, about a woman at a table in front “who also had really short hair- she probably has cancer, though”–and i couldn’t believe it. one of the reasons i shaved my head was to help break the stereotype of a woman with a shaved head. that’s a man, right? or she must be butch. or wow, i bet she is sick/ diseased/ has cancer.
i set out trying to help break these stereotypes, yet i feel like i am actually now seeing them more than ever!
why is it that i am always somehow drawn to things that are “different”, yet get so insecure when others don’t “get it”? why is it that the length of our hair still matters so much? why is it that a shaved head makes me feel so feminine when i look in the mirror, yet immediately transforms me into a man as soon as i walk out the door and in front of the public eye?