19 y.o, alopecia
“My first bald patch was discovered when I was five. Gradually, it grew and spread all over my body. It was a long and exhausting struggle that included visits to the doctors and healers, as well as other measures. In the end, however, it resulted in nothing.
“As a child, I obviously was very frustrated about this. The wig felt terribly cumbersome, my head constantly itched, so I used to wear a headscarf and it was impossible not to notice that I had no hair. I was called names, bullied and sneered at. The word ‘bald’ still makes me shiver. It was only in high school that I partly managed to accept myself.
“This experience gave me a valuable lesson: if a change in your appearance brings about a change in other people’s attitude toward you, this simply means that they are not your people. A mentally healthy individual will never react negatively to somebody’s unusual appearance. So this is a good indicator of how mature a person is.
“You can’t even imagine how many women in the world have this problem. There is a whole movement called the Alopecians. You may not even suspect it, but your new friend or colleague with a magnificent head of hair may be wearing a wig and struggle with alopecia.
“I still cannot go outside without a wig—our society is not ready for this. I wish I could live without hiding, be absolutely confident and proudly expose my special feature. Almost all of us are more or less dissatisfied with our appearance. Do not undervalue and overcriticize yourself. Every situation can be improved—first of all, by changing your attitude. Don’t hesitate to laugh at yourself—a joke always makes a problem less significant.
“Each person is beautiful. You should just know how to look.”