To Wig or Not to Wig??? That is the Question


So after all the trouble I went through to find and purchase this wig, part of me wishes I didn't have to wear it, in fact, all of me wishes that. Don't get me wrong, the wig fits nicely, it has these nice combs in it with elastic so it fits nice and snug and secure. However, I feel stifled, physically and mentally. The wig is a constant reminder that the playing field isn't even, people like me with golden brown natural hair don't belong in medicine. It's reserved for people with "normal" hair. I think this became an issue when I met up with the girls I interviewed with at my first interview. It was on the fly, last minute and totally worth it. After our interview, we flocked to each other, as black people often do. We tried to be discrete about it, but it eventually became so obvious that we just stopped caring. We exchanged numbers and headed over to the train station together, discussing our feelings about the program and other programs that peaked our interest. My wig was killing me and I had to confess that I couldn't wait to remove it. They were confused initially as to how it could possibly be a wig and as to why I was wearing one. Both girls were natural themselves, one who had decided to straighten her hair for the interview season, the other who had sister locks and didn't really have other options. I explained to them the complexity of my hair, how it was shaved and colored and spunky and I love it and proudly showed them a picture of my lustrous curls. They agreed, they were poppin, and they were sad they couldn't see it in person, until we met up for dinner. We met up for dinner after my MPH class. I was super excited and wanted to make a good first impression being that this was the first time we would be hanging out together. So I went to the library to waste time until dinner. I checked the train times in advance and according to google maps it was an easy straight shot. But google maps lied, and I realized that after being stuck on the N train for over an hr! What were they gonna think of me now? Was I gonna be labeled the flaky one!? Were they going to create a bond over how flaky I was!? Was I gonna be known as Tasha Late Ramsey!? I was so concerned, and ecstatic when I got a inkling of phone service I shot them a text message in our group chat. Luckily, Jasmine, one of the girls, was stuck on the train too! I looked around frantically to see if she was on my train and felt so relieved that we were both late. Poor Gabby, the other girl, lived close to the restaurant and had already had two martinis. So when we got there it was time to play catch up.

When I finally arrived at the restaurant, I wore my hair high and proud, and they loved it. "Your hair is beautiful, what a shame you can't wear it at your interviews." Gabby commented. She understood my plight. Jasmine agreed, and that kicked off our conversation about being black women trying to navigate this system that wasn't created for us. Ironically as heavy as that might sound, it was a pretty entertaining and hilarious conversation. We created scenarios about what a state like Montana would have to offer in order for us to even consider working there to fill the gap in primary care.

Lamborghinis, free rent, free groceries, live in cook, live in maid, free college for our kids, all holidays off, unlimited vacation time, moving our entire black community and friends to the neighborhood, the list continued to grow! And this was all just to CONSIDER taking a position. Needless to say those things would never happen, including any of us moving to Montana. It was such a great conversation. We vowed to keep in touch and look out for each other and hopefully party together soon and ultimately match at the same program! But we once again seriously joked, some programs have a limit on how many black folks they take, so our desires could remain just that. So when it came time for my second interview, I had an internal dilemma. Do I not wear my wig and say fuck the system, embrace my curls and make waves, or do I wear my wig and play it safe? I chose to wear it.


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