What do people think?

I met a man who had a weeping birthmark covering half his head. He told me that as he passed two teenage girls in the street, they stared at him, then one turned to the other and said, “Yeughh”. Appearance matters.

Then again, what is my reaction, to, say, a woman who has lost her hair through recent chemotherapy? I am trying to cut down on pity, and replace it with respect and equality: pity looks down on someone, takes control, and says I want to help in my way, now, where in my own loss I want only the help I want, whether it be listening, practical help, or a distraction. I seek to show respect and hope my first impression can take in more than hair loss.

I think this respect reaction is commoner than the judging reaction. What do people think? They do not look down on me, not usually. Perhaps they take me at my own estimation.

As you know, we are “brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous” (this attribution informs me the quote has nothing to do with Nelson Mandela). I feel that if I can walk in my own dignity, my carriage showing that dignity, then I can go with my head bare. And, in public, I cannot, yet, not without a hat at least, usually a wig. I need the prop. I will still be afraid when I see the son of the living one. I still have something to hide.

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