This true story is about a women and her struggles with alopecia and how she embraced her new image, essentially it made her stronger and more confident than ever.
I was privileged to take Pascale’s boudoir photos during a fun and playful photo session just a couple of weeks ago. I had asked her if she would be a model for me, when I saw her “coming out” post on Facebook. She had been a Facebook friend of mine for years and I always admired her fun selfie photos (with her long blonde hair) in midst of large gatherings.
When I saw her post with a bald head for the world to see, keeping her chin up high with confidence, going on with her life, I felt goose bumps running down my arms. I kind of fell in love with her strength and wanted to share her story with other women.
She exclaimed in her amazingly sexy French accent, that the timing was right, that only a month earlier she had not been ready for the world to see her bald head and had still been attempting to cover up her hair loss. At the time she was very unhappy and only a few of her closest friends knew about her affliction.
Nothing happens by accident, she said. Not only was I asking her to take photos, but specifically boudoir photos, which would put her in an intimate setting with very little clothing to hide behind, and no hair! This was a true challenge, but she was ready for it.
The renowned rebel author Sabine Reichel published Pascale’s inspirational story on her bold and witty blog on Huffington Post, called ‘Gray In L.A.’
(click below for original Huffington Post article).
“Bald, Bold and Beautiful – Being Yourself is all there is
When Pascale B. walks down the street or goes into a store, she gets smiles, surprised looks and lots of thumbs up from men and women. They wonder, is she a model or maybe just ill? because Pascale is bald and beautiful.
Sometimes it’s the unhappy events that turn out to be the best stylists and life changers. This 46-year-old native French mother, wife, hobby-runner and -dancer was leading a happy life in Los Angeles with her 2 beautiful kids, a nice husband and nothing to worry about. Then her hair fell out in large bushels leaving naked patches on her head. Maybe it was just stress, or early menopause, she was hoping. But the doctor’s diagnosis was devastating: Alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. Pascale, who loved her long blonde hair was in shock and prayed that her hair would grow back real fast. But she kept loosing even bigger patches of hair – finding them on her clothes, on her pillow, in the car – and was freaking out. She was convinced people were feeling sorry for her sparse mousy hair, probably thinking that she was terminally ill. She started wearing scarves and hats – even a wig, out of desperation. But it was even worse, the fake hair looked fake, everybody could see it, and she didn’t feel like herself anymore. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alopecia_areata
Something had to be done! First she got herself a pixie cut which looked quite cool, but it didn’t last. The hair kept falling out while the stress as well as bad luck kept piling up, as it often happens when it feels as if the sky is falling down – crisis everywhere! Adding to the upheaval was the move to a new house. This couldn’t go on! Enough of this hiding and hanging onto her hair just for keeping up false appearances!
Pascale got all her courage together and asked a hair dresser friend to help her with the most radical decision of her life. To shave off her hair and becoming a bald woman who couldn’t hide behind her locks anymore! The shock was overwhelming but there was something not just bald, but also bold about that new, true look that seemed to bring out not just the beauty of the face much more but also turned out to boost her self-confidence. The kids got used to their bald Mom real fast, in fact, they love it now and her young daughter is her biggest cheerleader – the husband took longer to adjust to a wife who shaves her head (typical man, isn’t it? But he’s fine now).
It didn’t take long for Pascale to feel like celebrating her private victory, so she recently “came out” on Facebook showing off her new beauty with sexy boudoir photos and re-introduced herself proudly with “This is who I am!” Her post went through the roof and other women confessed their own stories about their struggles. They thanked her for giving them the strength and the courage with her daring example. More than anything, though, they applaud her guts to throw traditional “femininity” overboard and simply risk to embrace and love yourself just the way you are.