'Mr. Clean Never Looked This Clean': Ayanna Pressley Delivers The Good Word To Trolls Who Mocked Her After Alopecia Revelation
The congresswoman was bullied last month after announcing she had alopecia.
February 10, 2020 at 2:17 pm
Rep. Ayanna Pressley is always one for a good clapback. This time, it's targeted toward cruel trolls who mocked her new look in the wake of her alopecia diagnosis.
According to CNN, Pressley was being bullied last month because of her alopecia, a disease that causes hair loss.
Massachusetts' first Black congresswoman went to Twitter last week to respond to bullies who were calling her "Mr. Clean."
"Dear Trolls. You really think I look like "Mr. Clean" ? Please. He never looked THIS clean," she tweeted. "Sorry not sorry my unapologetically rockin' my crown triggers you. Proud #alopecian."
Dear Trolls. You really think I look like "Mr. Clean" ? Please. He never looked THIS clean. Sorry not sorry my unapologetically rockin' my crown triggers you. Proud #alopecian
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) February 6, 2020
The 46-year-old told her story in a video published by The Root, describing what it's like to live with alopecia. Although she was mostly recognized for her Senegalese twists, the congresswoman said she has to now become "transparent about this new normal and living with alopecia."
Pressley said she started dreading the mornings when she woke up every day and saw her hair falling out in the sink.
"[There was] an image in the mirror who felt like a stranger to me," she shared.
On the eve of Donald Trump's impeachment, the congresswoman went completely bald.
"In a matter of hours, I was going to have to walk into the floor, the House of Chamber, the House of Representatives and cast a vote in support of articles of impeachment," she said.
With things happening so fast, the congresswoman decided to show up to the impeachment in a wig.
"I didn't have the luxury of mourning what felt like a loss of a limb. It was a moment of transformation, not of my choosing," she said. "But I knew the moment demanded that I stand in it and I lean in. And I exited the floor as soon as I could."
Pressley said she then hid in a bathroom stall and felt "naked, exposed, vulnerable."
"I felt embarrassed, I felt ashamed, I felt betrayed," she said.
The congresswoman also felt she betrayed the little girls who had embraced her twists.
"I felt like I owed those little girls an explanation," she said. "I'm trying to find my way here and I do believe going public will help."
With her decision to go public, the U.S. representative feels that she can "become free from the secret and the shame that that secret carries with it."
"I'm not here to occupy space. I'm here to create it," she said. "I am making peace with having alopecia. I'm very early in my alopecia journey, but I'm making progress every day."
Pressley said she now feels the most unlike herself when she is wearing a wig.
"I think that means I'm on my way," she said.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showed her support for Pressley in a tweet after the congresswoman faced bullies.
"They're just mad because you pull off any & every look thrown at you, meanwhile they can't even put on a hat on their head without looking like baby peanut," Ocasio-Cortez said.
Don’t pay any mind to them sis – They’re just mad because you pull off any & every look thrown at you, meanwhile they can’t even put on a hat on their head without looking like baby peanut ???? ????
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 6, 2020
Alopecia affects more than 6 million people in the U.S., according to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.