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Representative Ayanna Pressley, Democrat of Massachusetts, revealed on Thursday that she has been silently struggling with a condition that disproportionally affects Black women and as many as 6.8 million people in the United States: alopecia areata.
The autoimmune disease causes hair loss throughout various regions of the body, and in many cases, leads to baldness. And while more than 147 million people around the world are living with the skin condition, Pressley revealed to The Root, that it hasn’t been easy being one of them.
For Pressley, the onset of the condition came with shame and a loss of her identity, but in a heart-touching video, the congresswoman says she is finally ready to make peace. “I’m trying to find my way here. And I do believe going public will help,” said Pressley.
“This is my official public revealing. I’m ready now because I want to be freed from the secret and the shame that that secret carries with it,” she shared. “I am making peace with having alopecia. I have not arrived there. I’m very early in my alopecia journey. But I am making progress every day, and that’s why I am doing this today.”
Pressley has received an outpouring of support for her bold beauty move and praise for her beautiful bald head.
“Stunning. Courageous. A beacon for little Black girls everywhere living with alopecia who don’t see themselves reflected in the world. Bravo,” reads one comment under a new Instagram photo that shows off Pressley’s glorious crown.
Pressley captioned the post “However you show up in the world, you are beautiful, and you are enough,” and we couldn’t agree more.
With or without hair, Pressley is a beauty.