She knew that she was beautiful inside and out
Senior year of high school can be difficult for any kid. You’re starting to think about entering a new chapter in your life full of possibilities and responsibilities. You’re worrying about whether you should go to college or if you should start a career. While these thoughts can be all-consuming, most high school students don’t have to deal with the added stress of losing their hair.
Madisyn Babcock’s life changed when her hair started falling out early in 2017. The 17-year-old high school senior learned that she suffered from alopecia — an auto-immune disease that causes patches of hair to fall out. She lost all of her hair within a matter of months.
Madisyn needed to take her high school senior pictures, and she came up with a great plan to show that she wouldn’t let some hair loss get in the way of her life.
Madisyn found it hard to adjust to hair loss at first. She told Yahoo Lifestyle that she “usually wear[s] head covers due to the bald spots” and showing her bald head was a new thing for her!
She could conceal her condition most of the time, but Madisyn knew that her senior photos needed to be taken soon. She could have covered her newly-bald head with a wig, but she opted to make her pictures more special and representative of that time in her life.
Madisyn enlisted the help of photographer Chelsea Taylor in creating her unique pictures with a purpose. They’d worked together before Madisyn lost her hair, and Madisyn knew that she would be the one who would do these photos justice. Chelsea explained, “Madisyn has never once let any of this affect the way she sees herself — if anything I think she is stronger, braver and more confident than the day I met her.”
Madisyn and Chelsea found a gorgeous outdoor area that would be perfect to showcase her “natural beauty.” Madisyn took off her head covering to reveal her hairless head in all its glory. Madisyn’s mother painted a bouquet of flowers around her scalp that looked like a floral crown. She was now ready to take her senior pictures.
As Madisyn posed proudly for Taylor in the field. “When I think of myself, I think of flowers. When I think of my transformation from freshman year to senior year, I see flowers. I’ve blossomed into someone I never thought I would be, but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” the teen said.
She wanted to use these photos not just to commemorate the ending of her school years, but to raise awareness about alopecia and how no one should be ashamed of their condition.
It wasn’t all that easy for her at first. She told TODAY Style, “I felt kind of vulnerable being shot on camera while I was completely bald for the first time.”
Madisyn quickly remembered why she was doing this, and how her entire experience with alopecia made her a stronger, more confident person.
“I’ve learned so much about myself since I lost my hair. I’ve grown a new sense of empathy and self-love. Losing my hair made me feel vulnerable, which made me dig down deep into my personality and do some self-finding. I look at world in a much more positive and beautiful way … I learned that true beauty really does come from the inside.”
The good news for Madisyn is that her hair will most likely grow back at some point. Only 10% of alopecia sufferers have permanent hair loss. Even id she does regrow her hair, she doesn’t need it any more. The teen has clearly learned that she is beautiful inside and out regardless of whether she’s got hair or not!
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