Beauty is from within, not what is on the outside. This is a valuable lesson that my 10-year-old sister Victoria taught me. My sister Victoria is an outgoing, confident, and kind human being. She is always there for others and has a lot of empathy. Victoria has an autoimmune disease called Alopecia. Alopecia is a disease that causes hair loss. When Victoria was little, my parents discovered that she had Alopecia, and the doctors said that she would outgrow it, and that it is common. But as she began to grow older, her Alopecia worsened, and Victoria began losing more hair. She has seen many doctors, tried many remedies, and my parents even purchased her a wig.
As a little girl, who is beginning to mature and soon to become a teenager, understandably Victoria’s appearance starts to matter to her more and more.
There were a few kids at school who would question the bald spots on her head, and some even would make fun, as little kids tend to do. There were days when Victoria would come home crying and be upset about being teased. But I have seen Victoria grow from her autoimmune disease, each and every day. She has been more confident in her own skin, and in who she is, and who she is becoming. In short, Victoria has made a conscious choice to find the strength to not hide her difference. Actually, I have even seen her show them off. For example, Victoria wears her hair down, or in braids, or in any style, and does not wear her wig, no matter if her bald spots show. Victoria has also realized that she has the opportunity to use her life experience to educate others, viewing it as a platform. She informs kids that are curious about the disease and she flaunts who she is. Beyond strangers, Victoria teaches me, the rest of our family and her friends to be confident. We have learned from Victoria that most of all, real beauty is on the inside.
I am proud to be the older sister to such a beautiful and wise girl. And I am beyond grateful for the lessons that she teaches me on a daily basis. I cannot wait to see her grow into the strong woman I know is her destiny.
To see Victoria’s own Kids Flaunt art about having alopecia, please click here.