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Model Shares the Surprising Way She Learned to Embrace Her Alopecia

Brenda Finn’s confidence was shattered when her peers tormented her as a teen, but after an unexpected career twist, she’s gained a completely different outlook on life with alopecia.

Alopecia is an autoimmune skin disease that results in the loss of hair on the scalp and body, according to information on the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) website. There are several kinds of alopecia, and Finn told the Daily Mail she has alopecia areata universalis, the rarest form of the disease. While those diagnosed with alopecia areata totalis and alopecia areata patchy lose hair on their scalp, those living with alopecia areata universalis lose hair on their entire body.

Finn lost all of her hair at the age of 14, and shortly thereafter she opted to be homeschooled, according to Metro UK. “I was bullied at school for being bald – having my wig pulled off and flushed down the toilet,” she told the news outlet.

By the time she was 17, she started working at a daycare facility, and after spending hours interacting with young kids, she began to feel accepted once again.

Working with children was a great tonic for me because they are so accepting and didn't care a jot that I was bald,” she told The Daily Mail. “In fact they loved playing with my wigs. It did wonders for my confidence.”

Just when she thought she’d solidified a career working with children, a post on social media caught her eye.

Finn saw a casting call on Twitter from Models of Diversity looking for individuals to model in a “unique” show.  She figured she had nothing to lose, so she replied — and was stunned by what happened next.

The event, called “Confidence – The Secret” took place on March 20 at the Ideal Home Show, and it was put on by the Katie Piper Foundation, according to UK news outlet Reveal. Piper personally selected Finn to participate in the event, and after the show, various model agencies approached her. Finn then signed with Ugly/Rage Models, an alternative modeling agency.

“I never thought that I would go from being a complete recluse to being so open about my hair loss, working with it on such a scale,” Finn told Metro UK. “I live by the affirmation ‘We were born to be real, not to be perfect.'”

In addition to pursuing her modeling career, Finn recently worked on an episode of the ITV charity show “Fixers UK,” where she helped teenagers spread awareness for alopecia. Click the video below to watch Finn share her story with others.

“My sister started losing her hair around the age of two”

Posted by FixersUK on Sunday, June 7, 2015