I am worthy because I have alopecia. Alopecia causes me to lose a lot of hair from my head very quickly. I am worthy because alopecia is not who I am. It’s a condition I have.
Alopecia defines me as much as the color of your house’s roof defines you. In short, it doesn’t. Alopecia is a condition which is surprisingly common, but is treated with a tremendous amount of internalised and externalised gender bias.
Androgenic alopecia is normalised, but feminine alopecia is not. A man can walk into an office without a strand of hair on his head, but if a woman were to do the same, she would be faced with questions and comments. Why the double standards and hypocrisy?
I’ve found that in many, many cases of gender bias towards alopecia, the woman is usually a target of questions about her health. Whereas a man is usually accepted for having alopecia, regardless of the severity, despite there being an almost equal impact of it on men as it does on women physically.
The worst part of the gender bias is the normalisation of the consequences of alopecia, and the demonisation of the consequences of alopecia for men and women respectively. Men are told that they can still have careers, relationships and active lifestyles despite their symptoms or the severity of their alopecia. Women are made to believe that their ability to seek a career, build relationships and have an active lifestyle is restricted because of their alopecia.
In understanding the gender bias between men and women, we begin to see where the roots of the stigma of alopecia truly come from. It’s hardly the condition itself which is creating such a struggle for sufferers, but the biased and often misogynistic myths surrounding it, which generate far more distress than the symptoms themselves at times.
This is why I choose myself and my worth over a false narrative. I am worthy despite my alopecia and because of it, because I am not deserving of any contempt for having alopecia symptoms. If anything, it is a sign that alopecia itself is something that our society needs to work on either accepting or curing completely, instead of condemning persons with symptoms.
I am worthy and I have alopecia. I am building the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment. #AlopeciaAreata #Alopecia #PostchemotherapyAlopecia