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I Avoided Everyone In New York By Wearing A Wig And It Was Awesome

No eye contact, no problem.

Taylor Miller, Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

I’m Augusta. Generally I'm a friendly person, but living in New York for seven years has made me completely averse to eye contact — and basically all human contact — with strangers.

Once you've accidentally looked into the eyes of a homeless man pooping in a box, you never want to take a chance on that again.
Taylor Miller, Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

Once you've accidentally looked into the eyes of a homeless man pooping in a box, you never want to take a chance on that again.

It's not about being rude. It's about feeling completely awkward and uncomfortable with the idea of connecting with strangers past a cursory smile.

Universal Pictures / Via vampirecircus.tumblr.com

Above, an actual photo of me at a party IRL. Sort of.

On my normal subway commute, I do the headphones-reading combination to send the right message. But I wanted to see if something more dramatic would be better.

Grace Helbig / Via youtube.com
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So I looked to the real pro: Grammy Award-winning singer Sia, who has completely mastered the art of avoiding eye contact in public.

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images
Getty Images

She uses giant hats and wigs as a way of keeping her anonymity while in public, and I saw this strategy as an opportunity.

I’m not famous, but I do love the idea of not having to look at anyone in public — and getting a free pass for avoiding them by the sheer fact that it would be IMPOSSIBLE to make eye contact. So I got to work.

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

Like any sensible person would, I bought a wig.

A shitty synthetic wig, but a wig nonetheless.
Taylor Miller, Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed / Via BuzzFeed

A shitty synthetic wig, but a wig nonetheless.

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I tucked my hair into a tight AF wig cap and put on the wig, which was essentially a very fancy blindfold because of the bangs.

I'm sorry but this cap made my head look like I had a peen sticking out the back.
Taylor Miller, Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

I'm sorry but this cap made my head look like I had a peen sticking out the back.

The plan was to go to very public spaces to see how effective my disguise would be.
Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

The plan was to go to very public spaces to see how effective my disguise would be.

Sia doesn't ride solo in public, so I asked my very large and very handsome friend Zach to be my bodyguard for the day.

By "bodyguard" I really mean "seeing eye person" because the streets of New York are dangerous when all you can see are your feet.
Taylor Miller / Via BuzzFeed

By "bodyguard" I really mean "seeing eye person" because the streets of New York are dangerous when all you can see are your feet.

Location 1: Home Depot. Because Sia loves a good chandelier.

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The first person to come over was a salesperson who asked if we needed any help picking out a lighting fixture.

BuzzFeed
BuzzFeed

I worked in retail for years and understand that salespeople are there to help, but I still get nervous hives when anyone who works in a store talks to me.

Once Zach said we were just looking she went back to the rest of her co-workers, where they collectively tried to figure out why a woman in a ridiculous wig would be shopping in their store.

Hal Horer / Via BuzzFeed

When a group of people is staring at me, I usually turn an embarrassingly deep shade of red in about two seconds. But do you know what happens when you can't see people looking at you? FREEDOM.

Location 2: Bed Bath and Beyond.

Go Big or Go Beyond, yanno?
Taylor Miller / Via BuzzFeed

Go Big or Go Beyond, yanno?

Unsurprisingly, cardboard people give me no anxiety whatsoever.

Taylor Miller / Via BuzzFeed
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But I did feel at home hiding from other people behind two sets of curtains: One over my eyes, and one over the rest of my body.

Taylor Miller / Via BuzzFeed

Location 3: Starbucks.

Taylor Miller, Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

...where the barista spelled my name as "Ceea."

It's not like they've ever gotten the name "Augusta" right, either, so I'm glad to know that at the very least, they're consistent.
Taylor Miller, Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

It's not like they've ever gotten the name "Augusta" right, either, so I'm glad to know that at the very least, they're consistent.

Location 4: The Streets. In the park, people completely cleared out of the way wherever we walked.

Taylor Miller / Via BuzzFeed
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If at some point in your life you can walk down the street with a bodyguard pretending to listen to a fake Bluetooth earpiece, I highly recommend it.

Mostly because you both look like a couple of douchebags. But also because the people around you definitely think you're more important than you actually are.
Taylor Miller / Via BuzzFeed

Mostly because you both look like a couple of douchebags. But also because the people around you definitely think you're more important than you actually are.

Walking up the steps to Lincoln Center felt like parting the Red Sea. People completely cleared out, which may or may not have been due to Zach needing to adjust my wig after a gust of wind.

Taylor Miller / Via BuzzFeed

Location 5: The subway, my nemesis.

No headphones, no book, just wig.
Taylor Miller / Via BuzzFeed

No headphones, no book, just wig.

There, I got to ignore the fuck out of people in what can only be described as the Most Pleasant Subway Ride I've Ever Taken.

During the 15 minute ride, no one even acknowledged my presence. CAN I GET AN AMEN?!
Taylor Miller / Via BuzzFeed

During the 15 minute ride, no one even acknowledged my presence. CAN I GET AN AMEN?!

1. I put way too much pressure on interactions with strangers. Most of the time, people didn't seem to care whether or not I talked to them. I don't need to wear a wig to avoid people; I just need to care less. 2. But just because you're purposely not talking to people doesn't mean you have to be an asshole. You can be polite without getting into a huge conversation with someone. It's about balance. 3. I thought people would judge me hard for wearing a straight up disguise in the street. But people are so worried about themselves that you can literally wear a crazy wig in public and no one will give a shit. So do whatever you want to do, guys.
Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

1. I put way too much pressure on interactions with strangers. Most of the time, people didn't seem to care whether or not I talked to them. I don't need to wear a wig to avoid people; I just need to care less.

2. But just because you're purposely not talking to people doesn't mean you have to be an asshole. You can be polite without getting into a huge conversation with someone. It's about balance.

3. I thought people would judge me hard for wearing a straight up disguise in the street. But people are so worried about themselves that you can literally wear a crazy wig in public and no one will give a shit. So do whatever you want to do, guys.

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