What is the worst thing you've been accused of simply based on appearance? I myself have been accused TWICE of being a nazi (intentionally not capitalized). I shave my head because I started to go bald when I was 19! I worked at a shop in South Omaha. There was a black fellow that just started working there. One day at lunch we were the last two in the break room. We got to talking, and he said he thought I was... Another time on FB someone accused me of it because of my profile pic.
On a tangent, when I did security, I put the fear of "god" into people. Sir/Ma'am, I need to check your bag. I was polite, and I'm sure some needed to get new undies!
You can't judge a book by looking at the cover.
What's your story?
Many years ago when I was a washing machine repair man I went to a house where the owner said the next door neighbour would let me in... I turned up at the appointed time to fix said machine. it was in a closet underneath the stairs. The neighbour was a very attractive lady and she let me in, returning to her house. It just so happened that I was dying for a pee. I knew if I went upstairs to the toilet the neighbour would return just as I was upstairs at the toilet and be highly suspicious as to what I was doing up there. In The UK we call that effect Sods Law.
So... after repairing the washing machine I set it to rinse and behind the closet door had a pee in the soap powder drawer which would simply flush the pee out. predictably the neighbour returned just then, when I was in mid-flow and accidentally pushed the door and me with it so that I trapped my member in the closing soap drawer...There was blood and piss all over the place. Thankfully the neighbour saw the funny side of it when I eventually explained. The ER at the hospital saw the funny side as well and could hardly contain their mirth treating my lacerated tallywacker.
As a woman of small stature, there is most often a perception that I am unable to do the job, or am vulnerable, or can be intimidated, or assaulted, or confronted, or frightened, or harassed,or defenseless, or defeated. I am none of these as so many have found out too late for their own good.
"The sheriff is a N _! Ding!" I've been accused of being black. Should we have to wear any etnic labels at all? I've been called many things in many places. Ever forward was my motto. I'm still here standing tall. I made it a point not to justify their fears. Just live.
I am sorry that you are judged like that. I have been pleasantly surprised by how many artists and musicians have gone the bald/tattoo route, making this image less intimidating for "everyday" people...thanks for the reminder not to judge by the cover...
Natural selection provided us with certain heuristics like "snap judgments" as a survival advantage. It's an extension of agency inference basically -- the bushes rustle and we assume it's a predator and run -- any questions are asked later. We in fact develop an aversion to rustling bushes. People who think that it might just be a harmless squirrel or bird have a nonzero change of being surprised by a saber-toothed tiger.
Now we live in a largely urban, technological setting and this mental trick is transferred to assessing whether people attempting to socialize with us might be threats. Oops -- that guy's probably a racist skinhead! And science shows us that once such snap judgments are made, we tend to cling to them even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the "snap judgment" was wrong.
I have always by nature fought against this, but to a fault -- I sometimes don't (or perhaps won't) see perfidy when it's staring me in the face, and seems obvious to others. Clearly, my adherence to rational assessment and a default assumption of innocence is too far the other way.
I remember years ago I used to pump my own gas and then go into the shop to pay. The day I arrived bald, the attendant rushed out to do it and then realised it was me.
Two days ago, I got another bald haircut to cope with the heat. I couldn't get a taxi driver to stop to take me home.
Large, muscular, bald, white guy. I get the "I'm frightened of you look" quite a bit. One reason I try and smile a lot. Also a lot of the assumed racist bullshit too which is frustrating as hell considering how much of an SJW I am. When I was younger I got a lot more of the "he must be gay" because I've never been that butch. Still not that masculine but my appearance leads a lot of people to believe I am.
Pretty much same story as you, only I actually have gotten the accusation of nazism many times. I started my receding hairline at 12. The only reasonable action was to shave my head. Here in San Antonio, I am occasionally mistaken for a racist skinhead, and consequently avoided by some. In Arizona, on the other hand, there were way too many people who just assumed I would appreciate their racist comments and jokes.
First woman promoted into a specific engineering position. Hearing that the rumor was I'd screwed my way into that promotion. I hadn't. That hurt...not thinking that the men said it...but knowing that women had used that damned stereotype relating to me. See...I had long, wavy red hair and a nice figure. So, I couldn't POSSIBLY have had brains.
I use to have really long hair. Like, down to the small of my back long. Long, blond, slightly curly hair, and fair skin.
And a round butt.
So from behind... working in the service industry I'd been confused for a female many times. By men. Who liked my butt.
Heh. I like to think I made several "macho" men question their beliefs on sexuality, but honestly most of them probably just overcompensated.
As for me, I don't identify as hetero (I think I'm omnisexual technically?) so mostly it was either flattering or outright hilarious.
Eventually cut the hair due to the hassle, though I do donate it every few years.