PODCAST: Going more than skin deep with BC MLA who lost her hair then took off her wig
Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna Rae Leonard is used to the highlight in her prolonged political profession, however a current analysis initially discovered her pulling away from the general public eye.
About 10 years in the past, she seen hair loss round her scalp line and her hair receding from her brow. She was identified with frontal fibrosing alopecia — a type of scarring hair loss, which suggests hair is not going to develop again.
“I misplaced my eyebrows and all of the hair on my legs and arms … and it was not a superb factor,” she says as the subsequent visitor on The Document’s Off The Web page podcast, set to be launched July 20.
“You begin to ask why? And there was no specific motive — it’s a brand new type of alopecia. So it’s not one thing that I inherited from any person else. (My physician) additionally instructed me that an increasing number of girls are beginning to current with this sample of baldness.”
Balancing public life and the lack of her hair, Leonard skilled a mess of feelings from frustration, anger and grief.
She understood the social stigmas of girls and hair and felt added strain being a public determine. She frightened about her wig falling off and exposing her scalp and what folks would affiliate together with her hair loss.
“(The) different piece of it’s folks will take a look at you and suppose that you simply’re not properly — (however) I’m completely properly; I couldn’t be more healthy. Sadly, due to the function of hair in our society, it’s extra than simply pores and skin deep.”
In June at a gathering with the NDP caucus, Leonard made the choice to take away her wig for the primary time in entrance of her colleagues. It was in entrance of what she refers to as a ‘protected viewers’ and was nervous, however notes she knew there was an even bigger image to her resolution — being within the public and reaching out to others in an identical scenario to point out assist and solidarity.
“I believed that I’d do it whereas I used to be in Victoria earlier than the top of session, however I simply didn’t have the braveness to do it. And it actually took that backing to know that these folks could be there for me. And it actually demonstrated to me what the phrase inspired means: it’s folks that offer you braveness.”
As soon as the wig got here off, she acquired a kiss on the top from Premier John Horgan and posted a sequence of pictures on Twitter displaying her resolution to take away her wig.
“I’ve heard from the opposition in addition to my very own colleagues and from strangers to applaud what I’ve accomplished. And individuals who have alopecia have shared that data and talked about what their experiences are — it’s simply so necessary.”
As for a way the expertise has modified her perspective on girls’s hair and its function in society, you’ll should hearken to the podcast to seek out out.
To hearken to the complete episode, obtain Off The Web page on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and in all places podcasts are heard, or go to omny.fm/shows/off-the-page. New episodes of Off The Web page drop each Wednesday.
To submit podcast matters or visitor concepts, electronic mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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