A new campaign #AlopeciaIsFashion aims to make hair loss more acceptable in the fashion industry and within society as a whole. Hair tends to be a celebrated feature in female models; seen as a sign of femininity and beauty.
The deduction, therefore, is that baldness is somehow unattractive. While this message may not be explicit, it is what is implied with there being little or no representation of women without hair in the fashion industry.
The #AlopeciaIsFashion movement is intent on changing perceptions around hair loss and normalising it within society through increased visibility. There is currently a lot of stigma around the condition and women especially can feel worthless and ugly if they lose their hair.
"Alopecia affects an estimated 8 million women in the UK" (NHS England, 2017)
By showcasing women with alopecia in the fashion industry, it sends out a strong message that your hair is not the substance of your femininity, or a measure of your beauty. You can be a gorgeous, fashionable, desirable female with or without hair on your head.
Models Eve and Nichola, who both have alpecia are fronting the campaign. They have firsthand experience of how certain people react to the condition, especially potential dates. There can be a feeling of "repulsion", due to a lack of representation within industries that typically set the beauty ideals within society. By increasing visibility with #AlopeciaIsFashion, the movement aims to challenge these perceptions.
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