Makenzee Meaux has spent years hiding her alopecia by wearing a wig. But now, she’s inspiring millions of other people by embracing her condition and showing that “hair is not what makes you beautiful.”
In a breathtaking engagement photoshoot that has gone viral, Meaux can be seen posing with her fiancé Bryan Ballard; except halfway through the shoot, the bride-to-be whips off her wig and shows off her natural beauty – alopecia and all.
The 21-year-old college student from Crosby, Texas was first diagnosed with alopecia when she was 8 years old.
Meaux says: “It is a disease where all of your hair follicles suddenly stop growing and the doctors can not figure out why or what will bring it back. They call it the mystery disease. Nothing else is wrong with the body other than hair will not grow, which – as you can imagine for a young girl – is a huge confidence killer.”
“I experienced lots of bullying in the early years and along the way I lost all hope that I could ever feel beautiful again.”
Meaux says that she was so self-conscious about her condition, it took her two and a half months to tell Ballard about her baldness.
But after they got engaged five and half years later in May, Meaux says that she has never felt more confident than when she is supported by Ballard.
“He has helped me be brave and realize that hair is not what makes you beautiful and is not what makes people love you, it is truly all about what’s on the inside,” writes Meaux. “He has shown me that the people who love you do not care whether or not you have hair and the ones who do are not worth your time or your love. So this is me, the true me.”
The photoshoot, which was captured by The Frost Collective, has spurred dozens of other people with alopecia to reach out to Meaux and express their gratitude over her courageous statement.
Meaux even met up with a 3-year-old girl with alopecia in her city because she was so inspired by the college student’s photos.
“I never expected it to grow this large,” Meaux said. “It’s been amazing.”