Massachusetts congresswoman, Ayanna Pressley, has opened up about her condition of alopecia, the autoimmune disease which causes hair loss.
The first-time lawmaker revealed in a video interview with The Root that she had been battling the condition for years.
The Senegalese twist hair-do she has been known to wear for about four years was apparently a transitioning style that became her signature style. But even with that, Pressley feared what the world might think of her.
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“I was very aware this hairstyle (Senegalese twists) could be… would be filtered and interpreted by some as a political statement that was militant or people would think you are angry.”
Pressley added that even though she coped as much as she could with her hair falling out, she felt “most unlike myself when wearing a wig”.
The last of her hair fell out was on the eve of the impeachment of Donald Trump.
“I was completely bald and in a matter of hours was going to have to walk into the floor — the House chamber, the House of Representatives — and cast a vote in support of articles of impeachment. And so I didn’t have the luxury of mourning what felt like the loss of a limb, it was a moment of transformation not of my choosing,” Pressley said.
She has been leading efforts along with Reps. Cedric Richmond, Marcia Fudge, and others, to get empower young Black girls.
Together, they introduced the Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act (CROWN Act) in Congress.