Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., on Friday opened up about her struggle with alopecia, the official medical term for baldness, and revealed her hair loss, in a video interview with The Root.
“I think it’s important that I’m transparent about this new normal,” Pressley said.
The congresswoman first realized her hair was thinning last fall, and eventually lost the last piece of it on the night before the House vote on President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
“Impeachment eve, the last little bit of my hair came out. I was completely bald, and in a matter of hours was going to have to walk into the floor of the House chamber, House of Representatives and cast a vote in support of articles of impeachment,” Pressley said. “I didn’t have the luxury of mourning what felt like a loss of a limb. It was a moment of transformation, not of my choosing.”
The congresswoman, who was accused of having a “militant” look when she wore her hair in twists, said she thought appearing for the vote completely bald would be viewed as a political message, and sought to avoid this by getting a custom wig only hours before the vote.
“When I saw myself in the mirror, he had done a beautiful job, but I did not recognize myself,” she said. “I was wearing this wig, fully clothed. But in that moment, I couldn’t recall the last time I’d ever felt more naked.”
Now, Pressley says she is revealing her hair loss “to be freed from the secret and the shame that that secret carries with it.”
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