UPDATE: This is the first week that Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley wore her bald head on Capital Hill and we love it!
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Black women have always been brave. Whether they were born with it or had events in life where they had to be it, Black women have always shown braveness no matter what it is.
Ayanna Pressley, the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts, proudly wore Senegalese twists as she took the oath of office. They were long, rich, and seemed to frame her face perfectly. Her wearing her hair like this was a brave moment, especially during a time when so many Black women were being criticized for their hair in the workplace. So much so that Black hair became a political statement–again. Pressley, along with millions of women around the world continued to show the diversity and breadth of black beauty, setting examples for many young black girls.
States across the country are now finally passing legislation to prevent employers from discriminating against black women who wear natural hairstyles. Black beauty queens around the world are wearing their unprocessed curls on the competition stage.
In a recent video in TheRoot.com, Pressley reveals she has alopecia and is now completely bald. It’s a bold act of bravery, especially given that Pressley, like many other black women, has had a complicated relationship to her hair. When Pressley first wore her Senegalese twists, she explains, she felt as if she “met herself fully for the first time, and it felt good.”
She said what started off as just a hairstyle became a political statement. From the letters from little Black girls to tons of support on social media Black hair enthusiasts, Pressley didn’t want to let them down.
Over the past several months, Pressley began to lose her hair. On the eve of her vote to impeach President Donald Trump, she says, “the last little bit of my hair came out.”
In the video, Pressley is raw and honest as she shares her emotions processing the loss of her hair. She says she is still coming to terms with it, the way someone might come to terms with losing a limb. “People have been reminding me of the India.Arie song ‘I Am Not My Hair,’ ” Pressley says. “You are not your hair. And that’s true. But I still want it.”
Alopecia areata is a condition that causes hair to fall out in small patches, which can initially be…