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

No eye contact, no problem.

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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.

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.


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

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.


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.

Taylor Miller, Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

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

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.

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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.

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.


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.

Taylor Miller / Via BuzzFeed

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

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.