“Fashion Victim” by Diane Elayne Dees
My friend is making masks for me. They have colorful, attractive designs, and they will actually fit my head. For even in a public health crisis, the fashion industry dismisses women. The masks are too big for my face. The masks for “smaller faces” cut off my breathing and make me look like an alien. If I tie the loops with garden twine, I can go to the grocery store. But when I get there, some of you with regular, adult-size heads, are not wearing masks. And when I stop at a shelf to look at a can or a box, you push your cart to within inches of me, and I have to haul my body, my cart, my groceries, my mask, my twine,
and my constantly recurring disbelief, six feet away from you. How easy it is to embrace denial, to nurture ignorance, to put me and my little head in danger, while you stand in disbelief because your favorite cereal is no longer on the shelf.
(Originally published by Jerry Jazz Musician)