When Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass, opened up about her experience living with alopecia and bared her bald head for the first time last month, her words and reveal led many on social media to cheer for her.
After all, such candor from a female public figure about the condition is rare.
But the cheers weren’t universal. In the weeks since then, the congresswoman has read cruel reactions on Twitter, and on Thursday, she had something to say to unkind critics who’ve compared her to famously bald brand mascot Mr. Clean.
“Dear Trolls. You really think I look like "Mr. Clean" ? Please,” the politician wrote alongside a selfie. “He never looked THIS clean.”
Other comments also included suggestions that she wear a wig to cover her lack of hair. However, the rest of her tweet made it clear that she had no intention of doing that.
“Sorry not sorry my unapologetically rockin' my crown triggers you,” she continued. “Proud #alopecian.”
As Pressley explained in an interview with The Root in January, she doesn’t see hairpieces as the answer for the hair loss she’s endured while living with alopecia.
“It's about self-agency,” she said at the time. “It's about power. It's about acceptance. Right now on this journey, when I feel the most unlike myself is when I am wearing a wig. So I think that means I'm on my way.”
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The National Alopecia Areata Foundation describes alopecia as an autoimmune skin disease, causing hair loss on the scalp, face and other areas. The organization says it affects as many as 6.8 million people in the United States alone.
After her tweet Thursday, a new round of applause for Pressley hit Twitter, with her fellow congresswoman, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, writing that the haters are “just mad because you pull off any & every look thrown at you.”
And other supporters dubbed Pressley “Ms. Queen,” as opposed to “Mr. Clean,” for the way she’s handled it all.