Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts) shared her first bald selfie, just days after revealing she has alopecia.

Pressley opened up about her condition for the first time Thursday, in an interview with The Root, beginning wearing a wig, and then with a bald head for the first time.

“My twists have become such a synonymous and a conflated part of not only my personal identity and how I show up in the world, but my political brand,” Pressley said. “And that’s why I think it’s important that I’m transparent about this new normal & living with alopecia.”

On Sunday, she tweeted out her first bald selfie. She included hashtags saying “bald squad,” “bald is beautiful,” and “hair loss crew.”

In an interview Sunday on MSNBC, Pressley noted that hair is often intertwined with politics, especially as a black woman.

“As a woman and a woman in politics, and certainly as a black woman, everything is political,” Pressley said. “This is not shocking. I mean, I’ve introduced legislation to guard against the fact that black girls are pushed out of the classroom for how they wear their hair. I have colleagues who have been pressured by supporters and donors alike not to allow their hair to go gray, colleagues who have been told that they should straighten their hair and not wear it curly. And so hair is political.”


Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack hair follicles, stimulating hair loss on the scalp and other parts of the body. According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, it affects as many as 6.8 million people in the U.S. and often first appears during childhood.

Pressley’s fellow congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), complimented her new look on Twitter.

“You keep taking my breath away,” Ocasio-Cortez told Pressley. “Can we talk about this hat? I can’t get over it. Likely will never get over it. And with the matching lipstick? You have won 2020.”

On Sunday, she thanked her “bald nation” and “fellow alopecians” for the support she has received since her announcement.

“I am grateful that I have a platform to shine a light on this issue,” she said.

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