@TheRoot | 536,689 followers
"My twists have become such a synonymous & a conflated part of not only my personal identity & how I show up in the world, but my political brand. And that's why I think it's important that I'm transparent about this new normal & living with alopecia." — @AyannaPressley

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As a Black woman, the personal is political. My hair story is no exception. Sharing a very personal story today to create space for others:
 
Could you imagine losing all your hair on the eve of an enormously public day? And then turning that intensely intimate ordeal to make space for others?

Ayanna, you are a living blessing.

Everyone, please take a moment out of your day to watch @AyannaPressley’s #BlackHairStory.
 
Today, I am sharing my #hairloss journey to create space and to create community for those of us who have had complicated relationships with our hair. This was not easy, but vulnerability rarely is.

Here’s my story #alopecia ➡️ bit.ly/3ailLEw
 
You are stunningly gorgeous and a magnificent black queen.

I know women and young girls around the world will wear their crowns more proudly today because of you.

Your courage is inspiring and I am so proud to be your sister in service!
 
In reply to @TheRoot
Rep. @AyannaPressley reveals beautiful bald head and discusses alopecia for the first time. Read more here about her decision to go public and how alopecia areata affects black women: trib.al/OcnJrHE pic.twitter.com/n4qx80H0QE
 
There is far too much name calling, pettiness, snark cynicism, and cruelty in this world. And then there are moments of grace, poise, and courage. This video of @AyannaPressley is one of those moments. Please find the time to stop, watch, and reflect.
 
I did not expect for tears to flow watching this, but they did. As someone who knows how empowering it is for black girls to see me wearing my big, bold, natural hair, I felt every bit of this. @RepPressley is so incredibly brave. Thank you, @TheRoot for cherishing our blackness.
 
I cried all of the tears. Thank you @AyannaPressley this is a must watch ❤️❤️❤️
 
I didn’t think I could love this woman more. Yet here I find myself in awe. She moves me every time she speaks. We center so much around our hair. It’s freeing & beautiful to center our spirit instead. Also, in a most challenging moment, she still rose to protect democracy ✊🏾🙅🏽‍♀️
 
Watch all 7 and a half minutes of this. It is so powerful, so meaningful, and creates space for so much.

@AyannaPressley, you remain a champion for us and are such a queen, my friend. Absolutely beautiful. I’m a bucket of tears. Thank you for showing us how to be ourselves!
 
In reply to @TheRoot
I wasn’t ready for the power in this look pic.twitter.com/cMwmLaklYL
 
In reply to @TheRoot
I live in the Congresswoman's district and have had the opportunity to meet her and she is every bit as phenomenal as she projects, she is so authentic and I am not surprised that she has taken this approach to Alopecia and chosen to speak out rather than be silent.
 
In reply to @TheRoot
Ayanna, you are a force. I’m happy that if I’m blessed to have a daughter one day, she will have role models like you.
 
In reply to @TheRoot
Love that Rep @AyannaPressley boldly declares "I'm not here just to occupy space, I am here to create it"! We see you, honor you, and follow your BOLD and INSPIRING lead! #CreatingSpace
 
Don’t know much about Pressley apart from “the squad” but this is incredible and brave. I can’t imagine dealing with a condition like this with this kind of powerful outlook and poise.

Deep deep respect.
 
 
So inspired by @RepPressley’s courage. Black women across the country struggle with alopecia everyday, and Rep. Pressley is owning and loving her crown — and so do I. #RespectMyCrown #BlackGirlMagic
 
In reply to @TheRoot
You don't know how many women you just empowered who are identifying with your alopecia journey, I am one of them. Your video made me cry bc I often don't know how to express my feelings abt hair loss. Thank you for sharing and know that you touched millions of your sisters.🎤💯
 
This is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen a politician do.

For women, hair is part of how people define our beauty. We don't often talk about what it means to lose it & in such personal terms.

Kudos, @AyannaPressley. Your light is so bright, it brought me to tears.
 
In reply to @TheRoot
Courage personified in a culture that imposes the beauty standard upon women nonstop. She's beautiful through and through. I love the encouragement this will bring to all women, particularly black women and girls.
 
In reply to @TheRoot
She looks like a Dora Milaje Wakanda warrior! I love her hair or no hair. She's beautiful!
 
Thank you @AyannaPressley for "showing up" and daring courageously to live authentically. I continue to be inspired by you. Love you sis❤️
 
In reply to @TheRoot
We see you and value you the same, if not more. We are blessed by your voice
 
“I’m not here just to occupy space. I’m here to create it.” - @AyannaPressley
 
Wow! I’m overwhelmed with emotion. This video just broke me all the way down. Hair is important to Black woken. I remember how much my mama loved her hair and after chemo it came out and made her very sad. I am so proud of @AyannaPressley.
 
“It’s about self-agency; it’s about power; it’s about acceptance.” Could you be more beautiful and inspiring @AyannaPressley? I salute you.
 
So many of y’all have no concept of the courage on display here. You can hear it in her voice if you listen closely.

@AyannaPressley is extraordinary. Absolutely extraordinary.
 
For Black women, there's often that tug of war between "I am not my hair" & our hair is our crown; so this is an incredibly brave thing for @AyannaPressley to come forward with. Whether she is beautifully bald, rocking braids or a wig, we still see her crown. 👑 #BlackGirlMagic
 
How brave. I feel like weekly I speak about her. But today, whew. I lost all my hair last year and I remember having to sit in the barber's chair as she cut off the rest. It was this time last year. @AyannaPressley, I never have the correct words, but today I say thank you. x
 
Interviewing @AyannaPressley this week was life-changing and life-giving. Speaking with her about her experiences with #alopecia is what encouraged me to go public about my own. Thank you for giving me permission to live my truth.

Read more: theglowup.theroot.com/exclusive-rep-…
 
This is brave and moving, thank you @AyannaPressley for choosing to share
 
This is extraordinary and powerful.
 
This is powerful. Thank you for your courage, Congresswoman.

"I"m not here to take up space, I'm here to create it." — @AyannaPressley
 
As Black women, our hair is always a political statement. It’s embedded within our identities & how we bond with our mothers and sisters and friends. I so admire @AyannaPressley for sharing this. Now other little girls will feel empowered like the ones who were by her twist ☺️
 
.@RepPressley, you continue to be an example of courage, strength and natural beauty. Thank you for sharing your story with the world that is sure to encourage & inspire women and girls everywhere who live with this condition every day.
 
In reply to @TheRoot
Beautiful, strong, authentic, raw and human. That we all may be this. WOW.
 
In reply to @TheRoot
And can I also say one thing while everybody is calling you brave. YOUR HEAD IS CUTE AF!!!!!! Your face is exquisite! Keep stunting on ‘em!!! Be a new woman everyday and confuse them.
 
What a generous, moving and powerful testimony.
Thank you @AyannaPressley.
 
Thank you @AyannaPressley for choosing to share your story. Hair is a political statement. There is power in vulnerability and I felt it in your story. Thank you for never being afraid to be who you are, inside and out.
 
.@AyannaPressley, you’re one of the bravest people I know. Keep shining your light, and showing millions of black women that they can be their truest selves.
 
"I'm not here to occupy space, I'm here to create it."

Oh, I'll be quoting that one.
 
Thank you @AyannaPressley -- so incredibly inspired by you.
 
.@ayannapressley is a role model for all of us in Massachusetts and across the country. She is not afraid to speak out about the very real experiences that Black women face and she does so with bravery and grace. Thank you for this Congresswoman.
 
I lost my hair several times due to chemotherapeutic treatment. This astonishingly brave piece by @AyannaPressley left me sobbing. Hair is so important to us as women--I was synonymous with my long blonde hair for years. What an extraordinary gift this reveal is. Thank you. 💜
 
This is as powerful & moving as you've heard. Don't make the mistake of not watching
 
.@RepPressley is a leader of strength, brilliance and grace.

We are all better because of her courage.
 
I think @realDonaldTrump Trump broke her & it’s making her hair fall out or she’s pulling it.
 
Rep @AyannaPressley I am so moved by your bravery, your honesty, your character. I imagine sharing your story is not the easiest, but it is inspiring to so many. Myself being one of them. You are a badass and I stand with you my fellow alopecian. #beautiful #alopecia
 
In reply to @TheRoot
I hardly thought I could respect Congresswoman Pressley more ---but this act of vulnerability and courage is truly inspiring. Glad to have her in this 116th Congress. This role-model is an American Original. Gratitude.
 
In reply to @TheRoot
Wow. You are so strong 💪 You are also gorgeous...with or without hair. #RoleModel
 
In reply to @TheRoot
Strong, powerful, vulnerable, real, courageous. That is a message every bit as valuable & meaningful as the one communicated by Ayanna's twists. It's about embracing who we are, in all our (as @johnlegend sang) "perfect imperfections." Loving ourselves as much as others love us.
 
I'm sure I don't have the right words for this, but I'm going to try anyway.

@AyannaPressley, you are Amazing. Brave. Strong. Powerful. Inspirational. Transformational. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story. So many people suffer in silence. You spoke for them today.❤️
 
.@AyannaPressley is a powerful, beautiful woman, in twists, in wigs, bald. I’m so glad she made this for black women, and for all women who lose their hair to alopecia, cancer, or age.
 
 
So powerful.
So inspiring.
So beautiful.

Thank you @AyannaPressley for your courage and for sharing your story.
 
This is incredibly powerful.

Thank you for your bravery, honesty and vulnerability @AyannaPressley.
 
This is amazing! I have alopecia nervosa - basically when I’m extremely stressed my hair falls out, leaving dime to quarter-sized bald spots. I’d never even heard of alopecia before it started happening to me at 20, and I was terrified bc my hair was a huge part of my identity.
 
a pause from politics and a human/humane moment.
 
Moments like this really underline how representation matters. A congresswoman who's had Senegalese twists like I have?! Who gets that our hair is personal & political? 🥺

What beautiful vulnerability. Thank you, @AyannaPressley. 🙏🏾
 
Beautiful. We love and support you Ayanna! Thank you for your courage, @AyannaPressley!
 
A brave and powerful interview, on a very personal matter, and another way new representatives are encouraging conversations differently. Must-see 👇
 
In reply to @TheRoot
Sending love and light. Your beautiful queen with and without hair❤️
 
I'm proud to serve with @RepPressley and I'm inspired by her courage in helping others through her own experiences and her willingness to speak out.
 
This is beautiful and brave. Thank you @AyannaPressley for always using your power to make the road kinder and fairer for those that follow your footsteps.
 
In reply to @TheRoot
You are so beautiful! ♥️
 
“I’m not here just to occupy space, I want to create it. And I want to be free.” - @AyannaPressley - Amen and thank you so much for everything.
 
BRAVA! to Congresswoman @AyannaPressley for the interview about her alopecia diagnosis. It takes the bravery of those like her to remind us, “You are not alone. I understand." Let’s help and be there for each other. #WhatYouNeedToKnow ❤️
 
 
Black hair in politics should be a WHOLE series!! Thank you @AyannaPressley for sharing your story! Your continue to show us how beautiful strength looks!
 
Beautiful. Brave. Vulnerable and Human.
So deeply moved when @AyannaPressley says “I am not here to take up space. I’m here to create it” Respect and applause to the Congresswoman and all who produced this powerful video
 
In reply to @TheRoot
You are brave. You are beautiful. You are loved.
 
In reply to @TheRoot
is smart and tenacious. She is also stunningly beautiful. Hair or no hair. Now we can add courageous
 
Hair is political. More than that, stories are political. And stories have power. Grateful to @AyannaPressley for sharing hers. (Also, much love to @angela_rye for stepping in with solidarity and assistance.)
 
In reply to @TheRoot
Thank you Rep. Pressley for showing us all what true strength is. You remind me of the Wakanda warrior women who protected the king and country. Women who are confident, intelligent, talented, beautiful, and grounded in their truth. I could not be more proud to be a black woman. pic.twitter.com/AD8OfeA9cJ
 
⭐️ Take a moment to watch this today. Grateful for the courage Ayanna Pressley has to share her vulnerabilities with all of us. We are all whole people. She is using her position to lift others who do not feel they have the power to share. 
 
 
In reply to @TheRoot
 
"I'm not just here to occupy space, I'm here to create it" Applauding the strength and beauty of @AyannaPressley
 
In reply to @TheRoot
How did you get elected ? Amazing
 
In reply to @TheRoot
I really hope you’ll get official captions for the video because I’d love to watch it. @RepPressley you are gorgeous and such an incredible role model for all little girls and adult women everywhere. Thanks for sharing your story.
 
“I’m not here to occupy space. I’m here to create it.”

“I want to be free.”

We are so blessed to have this powerful queen @AyannaPressley representing us in Congress. She is a light we all must follow.
 
In reply to @TheRoot
this is so so so powerful. I understand what this means, how tough it was, all of it. thank you, from the bottom of my heart. you are amazing. keep going. ❤️
 
In reply to @TheRoot
You are beautiful! You are strong. Thank you for sharing your story❤️ We love you. pic.twitter.com/SMzEn4afiU
 
A beautiful moment of vulnerability and honesty from one of the most powerful and focused Black women I’ve ever shared space with. This truly made my day.
 
“I'm not here just to occupy space. I'm here to create it." - @AyannaPressley

So proud of my congresswoman 🙇🏾‍♀️👑
 
wow. this video. wow.
 
Sometimes we can get so attached to our symbols of identity that we forget what we were looking for: ourselves.

This is a beautiful person.
With hair, with braids, or bald, @AyannaPressley is an absolutely, astoundingly beautiful person.

#NaturalBeauty
 
In reply to @TheRoot
So powerful, beautiful, and inspiring. Thank you @AyannaPressley for your courage in sharing your story.
 
This is incredible, inspirational and amazingly real. Just WOW❤️
 
In reply to @TheRoot
Power. Agency. Ownership. Strength. You are an inspiration. You are beautiful, inside and out. Thank you.
 
That @AyannaPressley understands and feels a responsibility to those little girls who look up to her is why we need her in politics so much. Thank you for sharing.
 
In reply to @TheRoot
you are ABSOLUTELY 😍😍🥰🥰. And thank you for being so brave to help all of us who suffer from alopecia in some form. #beauty
 
In reply to @TheRoot
Thank you for this precious, thought-provoking testimony. You are a Queen and inspiration.
 
Brava.

I frequently have women in my practice who are loosing their hair, and they are fearful of how they will face the world.

@AyannaPressley you have no idea how many women you have helped by doing this.
 
In reply to @TheRoot
my dear. What a moving piece. You are an exemplary woman. Twists or no twists, I am sure you are a model of excellence for young black girls. And girls in general. Just a formidable human being with such a rich soul. Thank you for being a voice for our country!
 
In reply to @TheRoot
I love that you are such a magnificent representation of our community. You give our young queens someone to live up to. I love you story. There are many stories out there and I know your courage gives them the courage to tell theirs. Here is my story youtu.be/SKUm1VMokNE
 
I would like to say that while I like Ayanna Pressley's twists, I also think she looks fucking cool with no hair. And most of us could never say that.
 
So inspired by her words:
“The reality is that I’m Black. And I’m a Black woman. And I’m a Black woman in politics. Everything I do is political... I’m not just here to occupy space; I’m here to create it.” @AyannaPressley
 
In reply to @TheRoot
This was such moving, honest and human statement. I never would have imagined that people would assign a political statement to your hairstyle. But I can see why, after your explanation, it would come to mean so much to you. You look absolutely gorgeous in your skin. MORE.
 
“I am black. I am a black woman. I am a black woman in politics. Everything I do is political.” Ayanna, you are beautiful. We love you. We support you. Thank you for fighting and creating space for us. 💚
 
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