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My Reaction to the Oscars Alopecia Moment

March 28, 2022

Monday Motivation, Inspiration for Women Entrepreneurs, Women with Alopecia, Females in Business

Laying my cold, bald head to sleep after watching only the beginning of the 2022 Oscars felt good. After a day of trying to keep my scalp warm from the early spring snow and cold chill in Syracuse and needing to wear a fluffy hat inside my house all day, it was time to let my pillow maintain my head’s heat through the night.  What I didn’t know as I laid my head down, was the condition that causes my baldness would be making national news while I rested.

Just last Monday, I woke to news that a beautiful 11-year-old girl, took her life because she was bullied over her alopecia. Not confident yet at her tender age, to realize being different can be beautiful in its own way, led her to let other people’s view of her ruin her spirit to live. Most people who don’t deal with the loss of their hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, and self-confidence along with the diagnosis, couldn’t understand the deep pangs of the heart that also accompany it.

Higginbotham Family

How many times have I appeared like Jada Pinkett Smith in front of an audience since being diagnosed with alopecia, hoping I looked good enough? Whether wearing a real-hair wig or hat to cover my “naked” head, I worried inside I didn’t look good enough to be in front of others. Deep down in my private soul only my very close family members understand how tentative I felt being out trying to appear “normal” with no one noticing. I can’t imagine having millions of eyes upon me as a celebrity trying to do the same thing, or a comment bringing attention to my condition.

What most people don’t understand about living a life of alopecia, especially as a female and one who has been in the public eye or continues to be, is how vulnerable we feel trying to “fake it until we make it” internally and accept our physical health condition mentally. There is no excuse for Will Smith hitting Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, but I understand it only from a deeply personal level of a man, who has witnessed his wife’s private struggle to accept her new self-image, just like the men in my life have had to do with me.

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham with Alopecia

I hope the lesson that resonates from this national attention is the sense that people must be more kind to people who appear different. Period. We never know the story underneath what we see with anyone. The only way to uplift people is by being generous with compliments, sweet words, and acts of support. For most of us dealing with alopecia, all we want is to go unnoticed, living the best life we can, with or without hair, and keep our bald heads warm.

To learn more about alopecia, or to donate money for a cure, visit the National Alopecia Foundation.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2022 11:01 am

    Oh Tracy, I thought of you immediately when this happened and I KNEW it would resonate, just as it resonates with anyone coping with alopecia or any other condition that makes them feel “different”. I had a taste of losing my hair when I endured chemo, so I can, on a small level, relate. I also have lived with psoriasis for well over 10 years now. The looks I get about the appearance of my skin can still hurt, no matter how I try. Acceptance and tolerance need to start being the norm, not the exception. But since none of us have any sway over the words and actions of others, I guess we will have to continue to fight the fight and simply be our best selves. I am in your corner!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham permalink
    March 28, 2022 11:11 am

    “Acceptance and tolerance need to start being the norm, not the exception,” is a beautiful, true statement Kimberly. There are so many diseases like psoriasis, alopecia, and more than effect people, not to mention cancers that don’t necessarily show up on the outside of people. We are more alike, than different from others and the sooner everyone realizes that, the better our world will be. I’m sure glad you are in my world, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robin Cortese permalink
    March 29, 2022 8:18 am

    You exemplify strength and embody beauty in all forms. We thank you for your continued shares as you craft these words so eloquently. As always, wishing you all the best each and every day my friend.


    • March 30, 2022 1:13 pm

      You are very kind Robin to say that. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and blog post with others. I appreciate you.


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