Last week I posted this picture on Instagram.
It received over a hundred and fifty likes and comments in the space of a few days. You can see the post here.
They were messages full of support, encouragement and love.
I was pretty amazed.
It’s the first photo I’ve ever shared on Instagram without wearing a wig and I did so because I was inspired by a young woman called Eve.
Eve was a contestant on Channel 4’s ‘First Dates’, the TV programme that matches up singles looking for love.
Eve has alopecia and made the brave decision to remove her wig on her ‘first date’.
I’m sure we all agree that first dates are scary enough in the first place but to then reveal to the man in question, that you don’t have any hair, is unbelievably brave.
And to do it on national TV is nothing short of heroic!
Eve became a heroine for thousands of people that day, people like me, with alopecia who struggle to be quite so brave.
Eve’s appearance on ‘First Date’s’ caused quite a stir.
The nation applauded her beauty and bravery, sending messages of support via social media and the story was picked up by the national press.
It even managed to reach the USA, with the gorgeous Ashton Kutcher sharing the clip on his Facebook page with the words “love yourself for who you are”.
Eve’s mum shared the post on the Alopecia Facebook page where it received even more love and appreciation.
I have the utmost respect for Eve which is why I was inspired to take off my own wig…and there are many others who have done the same since watching the programme.
When someone is brave enough to step away from the crowd and own up to being different, for having flaws and imperfections….it can have the most amazing effect.
Brave actions reach out, inspire and touch lives.
Most of us are relieved that we’re not alone……because we all have flaws and imperfections but we usually try to hide them to fit in.
As a parent, I’ve told my son from a young age that being ‘different’ is a strength not a weakness but I don’t always practice what I preach.
Unlike the fearless Eve, I have never gone out in public without my hair.
I only take my wig off in front of the people that love me because I know they love me for the person I am, not what I look like.
It’s not that I hide my alopecia, I tell people I have it and I’m proud of the attitude I have towards it. I’m a positive, happy person and I rarely let anything spoil my fun.
But…..I can’t deny that I don’t feel as feminine and attractive without hair and like any woman, I enjoy feeling that way.
The funny thing is……I thought Eve looked absolutely beautiful without her wig.
I’d like to say a big thank you to all the truly gorgeous people who liked and commented on my post. Your kindness was the ultimate gift and made this mama a very happy lady.
A special thanks also goes to my lovely friend Mac who writes an Australian blog and featured my photograph in her #livingfearlesslyauthentic Instagram community round-up which you can read here.
Mac’s blog advocates and celebrates being true to yourself and living ‘fearlessly authentically’…..wise words indeed.
Lastly….thank you to Eve for her bravery, courage and awesomeness which inspired so many others.
Oh…and Ashton Kutcher……..who agrees that to be truly beautiful…..you just need to