Speed Reads

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Rep. Ayanna Pressley shares she's bald as a result of alopecia in a moving new video

2019 was a huge year for Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) for reasons both personal and political.

Pressley became New England's first black member of Congress last year, quickly becoming a leading progressive voice among the freshman Democratic caucus and the House as a whole. She also learned last year that she has alopecia, and revealed that she's now bald in a video for The Root posted Thursday.

Before she got into politics, Pressley describes doing "everything" with her hair: "Wigs," "extensions," you name it. But it was when she got Senegalese twists that she "met myself fully for the first time," Pressley said. She was always "aware" the style "would be interpreted as a political statement," but later gained a "glorious gift and blessing" of "acceptance" and "community" as well.

Yet "in the fall, when I was getting my hair retwisted, is the first time that I was made aware that I had some patches," Pressley said. "From there, it accelerated very quickly," and Pressley found herself "waking up every morning to sink-fulls of hair." And on "impeachment eve, the last little bit of my hair came out," she said. "I didn't have the luxury of mourning what felt like the loss of a limb. It was a moment of transformation not of my choosing," she continued.

Watch Pressley's whole video below to hear how she's "making peace with alopecia." Kathryn Krawczyk