(AFP) – ‘Painful’, ‘dreary’, ‘awkward’: Many Hollywood actresses and celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith have spoken publicly about the difficulty of living with alopecia, a condition that causes severe hair loss.
The 50-year-old actress, who is married to Will Smith, first spoke in 2018 about her diagnosis of alopecia: “It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shivering with fear,” she told Red Table Talk.
The disease became the subject of global debate when Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on the stage of the Academy Awards. The former had just made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s cropped hair, which clearly irritated her husband.
“Let’s talk about what it means to live with vixen,” she tweeted, Democratic Representative-elect Ayanna Pressley, who in 2020 revealed the suffering and discomfort this affection had caused her.
And on Sunday evening, Presley congratulated Will Smith on his Twitter gesture, before deleting his message. “Bravo to all husbands who defend their wives with vixen in the face of ignorance and daily insults,” she wrote.
In recent years, many actresses have spoken out about the impact of their hair loss, whether it’s due to stress, a postpartum condition or Covid-19.
“I’ve had hair loss all my adult life,” actress Ricky Lake wrote on Instagram in 2020, showing off her shaved hair. “It was awkward, painful, frustrating, and lonely,” she added. “There were a few times that I even had suicidal thoughts.”
“It’s not a witch, but it’s true: I have to take a long shower so I can catch the hair falling out and throw it away so it doesn’t clog the bathtub. Why don’t the actresses ever talk about it?” , Selma Blair (“Sexe Intentions”) told People magazine in 2011 after giving birth.
– ‘A disgrace’ –
Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis has revealed that she has struggled with alopecia for most of her life, trying to hide it with a piece of hair. She said, “I had a wig that I would wear at home, one I would wear to occasions, one I would wear to exercise. I never showed my natural hair. I wanted so badly for people to think I was beautiful.”
Recently, actress Alyssa Milano said that she lost her hair after contracting Covid-19. “It’s tough, especially when you’re an actress and a lot of your identity is connected to things like long, silky hair,” she explained.
Vixen is no joke,” the California-based National Vixen Foundation said in a statement Monday. “It is an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss on the scalp, face, and sometimes other parts of the body,” the foundation explains.
She notes that the condition affects about 7 million people in the United States and about 147 million people worldwide.
Nicole Friedland, chair of the group, insists, “It can have a huge emotional, psychosocial and mental impact… So many people are dealing with pain, and the best thing we can do is support them and challenge the stigma and discrimination that still exists.”
Some were surprised on Monday that Chris Rock mocked Jada Pinkett Smith’s short hair at the Oscars, saying he was well aware that this was a sensitive topic.
In 2009, the comedian actually addressed the complex relationship between black women and their hair in a documentary, Good Poetry, which he co-wrote and for which he was the narrator.
Chris Rock explained that the idea for this movie came to him from one of his daughters who asked him why she didn’t have “beautiful hair”.