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Caitlin on Self Image: or wigging out

10 August, 2011

2:03 pm
Alexandria, Virginia

I am in flux again as to whether I should wear a wig. Sometimes I feel better wearing it. Other times I feel like I am a fraud. The advantage to wearing the wig is it gives people an additional tip off as to my gender identity, not that they should need it, after all breasts and a skirt should be more than enough. It also adds to the first impression phenomenon in which people see what they think they see. Does this make me safer in public? I honestly don’t know.

As for reasons to not wear it there are the standard concerns: Does it look real? Is it on straight? Is is it placed properly? Is the hair net showing? These all serve to make me self conscious. Others pick up on that self conscious feeling and that makes them less comfortable around me. Couple that with it being hot and concern for my hair underneath it and you have some solid reasons not to wear it.

So the whole thing seems like a wash. That being the case what then, as Sarah asked me, is my hangup about wearing a wig? What inside me is rebelling against it? I think I finally figured that out and it has nothing to do with the wig itself, but the reason for wearing it: to make others more comfortable.

Wearing a wig has become another aspect of altering myself to please society and fit into their mold of what a man or a woman is. It is putting on another disguise because it’s wrong to present the way I am. The whole purpose of this transition was to become me, but how am I becoming me if I have to go through an elaborate, daily, disguising ritual to do so? How am I becoming me if I have to cover up my appearance with artificiality. Yes, we all do certain aspects of that every day, but just how much can you do before you’re a false presentation?

Maybe, I’m just vain, but I happen to like MY hair and though it is not perfect it is part of me, why should I be ashamed of it? If I wear a wig it should be because I want to, not because I have to, or because other people will think less of me if I don’t. Changing who I am to make others comfortable and happy is what caused me so much pain to begin with; why should I repeat that error in my new life?

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