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At age 18, she was finally free. But not for the reasons you'd think.

This woman with alopecia strips on camera, but it's her story that's truly revealing.

This is fashion designer and Honor NYC co-founder Rachel Fleit.

As part of its "What's Underneath Project," StyleLikeU asked Rachel to share her story of what it was like growing up with alopecia — while simultaneously stripping off layers of clothing.


Rachel addresses the assumptions strangers often make about her, including that she's bald as the result of cancer or that she's chosen to shave her head.

For Rachel, wearing a wig prevented her from truly being herself. She lamented the fact that she didn't have hair, and she beat herself up over this in spite of it being entirely beyond her control.

After confiding in a few friends when she was 16, Rachel finally took the leap, ditching her wig at age 18. It was this act that allowed her to fully accept the person she was.

Rachel's story of self-discovery and self-love is emblematic of the fight so very many of us struggle with throughout our lives.

For Rachel, it was her wig that kept her from accepting herself. For others, maybe it's a personality quirk, height, weight, gender, or skill that holds us back. The first step to self-acceptance is identifying what factors hold us back. It's only after we do this that we're able to thrive as individuals.

Rachel's story is unique, but her goal was not. The most human thing any of us can do is to simply be ourselves.

Watch Rachel's story below:

Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
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Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

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Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

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