Christa, 42

I wore a wig from when my hair fell out aged seven to when I was 25. I didn’t feel beautiful at all growing up. When you’re a kid you just want to be like every other kid. Being different was not something that I was interested in at all. I wanted to be like everyone else.


"I lost my hair at age seven. I wore a wig every day - I was hiding myself - and when I stopped I could finally see that there is more than one kind of beauty. I had been uncomfortable in my body for so many years. I'm a better photographer for my experience which has given me a great sense of empathy and connection with people. This empathy and my ability to easily relate helps me capture something unique and beautiful about the person in that moment between us." - Christa, 42

I was hiding and that wig was my disguise. I was afraid of what people would say about me if I took it off. But I felt more ugly with it on than I did without it. When I wore it I would avoid looking at my reflection, because I didn’t like how I looked. I felt really fake. But when I was home, I would put a scarf or a beanie hat on and look at myself in the mirror and think: ‘Wow, you actually look nice like that.’ 

I went travelling in Venezuela with some friends when I was 22 and had a turning point. We’d been on this really long road trip and got to a beautiful place by the ocean where we were going to camp and everyone wanted to go skinny-dipping. In that moment I just decided: ‘I’m gonna do this. I’m just gonna take my wig off.’ I felt the most free I’ve ever felt. 

When I got back to the US, I kept wearing the wig for a couple more years until I moved to Chicago at 25. And once I did, I started being like: ‘Actually, you are good looking.’ And when I felt beautiful, other people started to notice… and I started getting a lot of dates. All that stuff started happening once I decided for myself I was beautiful.