Imagine waking up in the seventh grade to find all of your hair on your pillow. You feel lost, alone, and afraid. You soon get diagnosed with a condition called Alopecia Universalis, and your life is changed forever.
This was my reality. With every strand of hair, I lost a bit of my confidence, until I was left with nothing. I felt completely empty on the inside. I couldn’t even look in the mirror.
The bullying I faced was endless- I received everything from gum in my wig to a mean note in my locker titled “50 Ways to Go Kill Yourself,” to a Facebook page created to make fun of me. However, I noticed something: People said mean things to me, but the things I said to myself were much worse.
I knew something had to change. Just like I taught myself to hate who I am, I had to teach myself to love who I am. I worked to slowly change the language in my head.
It started with simple things; when I woke up and looked in the mirror, instead of saying “you are ugly,” I had to say “you are beautiful,” even though I didn’t believe it at the time.
Eventually, I found the courage to go without my wig. For the first time, I felt free. In August of 2011, I developed the concept of The Love Your Natural Self Foundation. I wanted others to find the same freedom I found.
I made an organization to change the lives of others, but everyday more and more, it changes my life. I am grateful for the work I do, and hope to create a world with more self love and self-acceptance.