“Who needs hair with these cheekbones?” -Ayanna Pressley, AKA the queen, 2020
We all know Ayanna Pressley. She’s progressive, a feminist, a badass leader, a member of The Squad. She’s known for standing up for all her constituents, like when she took on Betsy DeVos in a blistering letter about reopening schools during a deadly pandemic. And in case you didn’t know, she also has alopecia.
But the Massachusetts Representative isn’t letting that hold her back or slow her down. She just shared a selfie on Twitter that has the internet buzzing and it’s easy to see why.
Let me drop an alopecia selfie flex. Ya'll stay mad on my timeline. I get it. Who needs hair with these cheekbones? Folks want to know which bathroom I use. Obviously, the one where royalty enters. S/O to my Alopecia Squad, 7million strong. #alopeciaawarenessmonth pic.twitter.com/2jrvAJsRXd
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) September 2, 2020
“Let me drop an alopecia selfie flex,” Pressley wrote in the caption. “Ya’ll stay mad on my timeline. I get it. Who needs hair with these cheekbones? Folks want to know which bathroom I use. Obviously, the one where royalty enters. S/O to my Alopecia Squad, 7million strong.”
Excuse me while I just immortalize that quote real quick: “Who needs hair with these cheekbones?” -Ayanna Pressley, 2020.
I mean, for real though, who gave her the right to look this good? What. A. Queen. And the people in her mentions? They are not hating. At least, most of them aren’t. Pressley’s selfie has the entire alopecia community — 6.8 million people in the U.S. alone — showing up in her mentions.
I have had breast cancer 3 times, each time I lost my hair from the chemo treatments. The last treatment cycle lasted a year. The permanent loss of my beautiful thick black hair has changed my outlook on what defines me. I AM BEAUTIFUL and I AM ALIVE... I AM NOT MY HAIR! pic.twitter.com/qSsA23gzL0— Kellee Brown (@MsKelleeBrown) September 3, 2020
At first I thought it was an odd tweet for a congresswoman but I never thought about the lack of people in the public eye representing alopecia and how it may have a positive impact on kids with alopecia. After seeing your tweet Im glad she did, tell your niece to stay awesome!— T&J (@313Romans) September 3, 2020
You own it! Besides, you are absolutely correct about the cheekbones. Why hide them! pic.twitter.com/nUR1mVcnsC— TraceNee,RMA🆘🕊🛡🌊💙🐰 (@tracenee75) September 3, 2020
You know I'm always here for your Alopecia comments and you know it was coming...lol!! We have your back! Teaching her at the age of 3 that people are cruel, but hair does not define her...she knows she's Beautiful! pic.twitter.com/vIzLljxiGa— Veronica Ross (@AirForcewife08) September 3, 2020
Alopecia strong! My beautiful girl. Although, she has hair now after 8 years of being beautifully bald. What a great role model you are for all of these young women! pic.twitter.com/2WR0lL6qpe— Jennifer Palumbo (@jgmp1971) September 2, 2020
FLEX sis!! I'm right there with you! pic.twitter.com/r3XeBaEqhO— Stacey Michelle (@plainjanestace) September 2, 2020
You see all those women? No matter what any hater might say, Rep. Pressley has inspired all those women (and more) to be themselves and to share their stories, and that’s a great thing.
In case you somehow missed it, Pressley announced in January that she had alopecia. She shared the revelation in an emotional, powerful video for The Root, in which she talked about how her alopecia advanced extremely rapidly, and during that time, she struggled to hide the condition from her colleagues in Congress.
“The reality is that I’m black. And I’m a black woman. And I’m a black woman in politics. Everything I do is political,” she said at the time. “So I’m trying to find my way here. And I do believe going public will help.”
Not long after going public in that video, Pressley appeared on the Congress floor without a wig, and she looked stunning. Still in her trademark red lip, it was her first time going to work publicly without her head covered, and we were here for it.
Pressley is leading the way into a kind of politics that might just make the world a better place: Where women are seen for the absolute power they have, and they can use it to make positive change.