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 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.
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