Shanelle Amor is a choreographer, creative director, artist developer, dance teacher, and educator. She is currently working bi-coastal in the entertainment industry (LA & ATL) and is constantly looking to hire or collobarate with other talented artists that are passionate about achieving their career goals. If you would like to connect, book, and or collobarate with her please be sure to follow her on all social media platforms @shanelleamor and email her at email@example.com.
Basking In My Baldness: How I Discovered Self-Love After Hair Loss
If I knew what the price of my "YES" looked like before submitting to God's will for my life, I would have said it over and over again even if "NO" was in the equation.
As life went on, I soon realized that the price of my "yes" was expensive as hell.
I remember asking God what our original conversation was like in heaven and what did I agree to before I was sent to this earth? I tell you one thing, we as willing vessels must remember that our "YES" never started here on earth, but our commitment begin when we said "YES" in heaven.
Defining My Beauty Outwardly
Growing up, I had long, thick, wooly hair that touched the middle of my back. I would get bullied not only about my big lips, nose, and eyes, but also because of my beautiful hair. I would often hide my lips and keep quiet in school because I didn't want my peers to remind me of what others had already consistently made fun of me about.
All these insecurities manifested in my early childhood and translated into adulthood. Many of us, including myself, spend our adult life recovering from our childhood and it can cost you in so many ways if you are not willing to step outside yourself to heal and/or get help.
On my journey to self-love, I found my voice through the art of dance, which provided me with an opportunity to understand the power of self-investment. At an early age, I believed in investing in my personal interests, my character, and my spiritual development because I wanted to be the best that I could be. When your life lacks structure and has no previous blueprint, you must create it so that it makes sense to you and how you choose to live your life abundantly.
We must remember to take time for the things that matter the most, invest in ourselves, apply what will work, and never get so high in life that we can't listen to anyone or learn anything new.
Les Brown said it best, "You are never too old to learn and you're never too young to teach."
Discovering My Beauty Inwardly
I was 18 years old when I started to lose my long hair, and the balding drastically permeated throughout my entire scalp, causing me to lose 70% of my hair. From hot-comb sessions, perms, braids, and other hair styles, the damage was slowly beginning.
Life without hair took me to some extreme places, such as dealing with dark depression, anxiety, insecurities, as well as an autoimmune disorder.
For years, I hid behind wigs, scarves, head wraps, and hats because I was so insecure about my condition. I even learned how to use tricks to make it appear like I had a head full of hair using keratin protein hair fibers. On Tuesday, June 19, 2018, I finally got down to the bottom of my condition and was diagnosed with CCCA, which stands for Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia. To add to that, some of my scalp was also covered with folliculitis, which is inflammation of the hair follicles.
What most people don't know is that my condition affected my personal and professional life as an artist, causing me to lose interest in dance because I felt exposed and embarrassed, especially in an entertainment industry where image perception means everything.
Learning To Reveal So We Can Heal
After 8 ½ years of research and no final solutions for my hair condition, I looked in the mirror on Saturday June 23, 2018. That day, God wanted me to show Him/Her how beautiful I was regardless of my hair condition. So, I went to the mirror, grabbed my clippers, and went to shaving my hair again. Moreover, I did it because I had found the courage and GOD-fidence to see what God saw.
I embraced my condition, took some time off social media, and put my needs first. I listened to my body and kept in mind that what's happening externally is happening internally, and what's happening in the physical realm first manifests itself in the spiritual realm.
Thank you, God, for taking away my hair because it meant that I needed to get closer to you, to understand what true love is, and to not depend on it to validate my beauty. I can now say that my glory is not found in my crown (hair), but is embedded in the makeup of me.
The price of our "YES' can be expensive as hell, I tell you. The things we go through aren't about us, and instead make us stronger to then help others. I want to encourage anyone that battles with the silent unforbidden wars of extreme hair loss.Let us bow our heads in honor of acknowledging the loss but let us raise our heads to gain our self-esteem back and fix our tilted crowns.
As Iyanla Vanzant says, "We can't heal what we don't reveal."
Don't mind me, I'm just basking in my baldness!
Featured image by Shanelle Amor