It's become something sexy for man-shapes to shave their heads, to rock the bald look, but people still do a double-take when it's a lady-shape doing the same; bald womxn just aren't commonly represented in photos, movies, magazines... I got to work with Erika last week, who told me she gets mistaken for someone diagnosed with cancer because of her alopecia.
"People ask me if I'm sick a lot, make rude comments. It depends how I feel that day whether or not I'm bothered by it. Some days it doesn't bother me at all, other days I take it in and want to cry."
Erika doesn't see many other womxn like her, womxn choosing to skip the wig and go as they are. Diagnosed with Alopecia Areata ten years ago, wigs weren't easy to find and were pretty expensive, so Erika just didn't wear one. It's become a habit now, and she finds them too uncomfortable.
"They're sweaty and give me a headache. I rarely wear them... I don't want to hide. And that's why I wanted to do boudoir, with that too, you're not hiding behind anything."
"I was nervous before [my shoot with Mitzie] but I hoped the more we talked and got to know each other, it would get easier... and I was able to relax and be myself! I liked that there was a wardrobe to choose from; it can be a struggle to know what to wear and that made it easier. And having [Mitzie] show me a pose first and adjust where needed was good too."
"I felt so good after the shoot, and when I saw the finished photos a week later, I was so excited!... it's worth it in the end; if you can go in with an open mind and relax, your results will be that much better.
I made a comment about not having a boyfriend to show these to, and Mitzie right away told me it's not for anyone else but me. So yes, do it for yourself not anyone else - you'll get such a confidence boost. And for people who aren't represented it' s that much more important to feel empowered."
Erika runs an Alopecia Facebook group & local meetups in Calgary AB Canada, and is a brand ambassador for Just Strong, a lifestyle brand out of the UK. ____________________ Inspired by Erika and want more info on having your own session? CLICK HERE for the Nitty Gritty Guide.