In her first appearance in the House since announcing that she has alopecia, Ayanna Pressley is bald and beautiful
There’s not a whole lot of transparency in politics these days, which might be why we so appreciate the radical, brave honesty coming from Ayanna Pressley. The freshman Massachusetts representative revealed in a powerful video earlier this month that she suffers from alopecia and has been gradually losing her hair for months, and now, she’s made her first appearance on the House floor without a wig, letting her beautiful, bald head show for all of us to see.
Pressley’s first public appearance on the House floor since her reveal video was to present the Comprehensive Credit Act, a bill that’s designed to protect consumers from punitive credit reporting (something we should all get behind, no matter our party affiliation). She wore her trademark red lip, but for the first time, didn’t don a wig to wear to work, instead letting her newly bald head be on full display. And we absolutely stan it.
In her reveal video, Pressley talked about the stigma attached to everything she does as a black woman in American politics — and why that stigma played a role in her decision to share her alopecia diagnosis with the public.
“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. “So I’m trying to find my way here. And I do believe going public will help.”
But by publicly revealing her hair loss herself, Pressley was able to take full control of the narrative surrounding her disease and her appearance, and it was a truly powerful move.
“This is my official public revealing,” she said at the time. “I am ready now because I want to be freed from the secret and the shame that that secret carries with it, and because I’m not here just to occupy space. I’m here to create it. I am making peace with having alopecia. I have not arrived there; I am very early in my alopecia journey. But I’m making progress every day. It’s about self-agency, it’s about power, it’s about self-acceptance.”
If our politics could just contain more of this level of radical honesty, transparency, and female power, things might turn out OK after all.