First and foremost, we do not condone Will Smith’s physical response to the incredibly insensitive joke targeted at his wife Jada, but while people debate this morning whether or not the slap at last night’s Oscar was real or just a bit, we do know the very real reason behind why Jada wasn’t laughing…
Jada Pinkett Smith has been open about her struggle with Alopecia Areata. A rare and very difficult type of hair loss to treat.
Earlier this year we wrote a blog specifically about Jada’s type of hair loss, if you’d like to understand Alopecia Areata in greater detail please read our earlier post here.
In addition to Alopecia Areata, there are four other types of female hair loss and a wide range of different reasons a woman will begin to experience hair loss but the details of why and how hair loss happens for women are not the important details of this story.
At the root of this very public outburst is a display of the very private emotional toll this experience can have on women.
Multiple studies have shown the profound negative impact that hair loss can have on a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Jada Pinkett Smith has been very open about these negative impacts, explaining the deep fear she had of losing her hair and worry about going bald or the fear of not knowing why she was losing her hair.
According to Jada Pinkett Smith, shaving her head last summer as part of her process of coming to terms with her hair loss. However, the emotional response from her husband made it clear that this has not been an easy journey for her, just as it is not an easy journey for many women experiencing hair loss.
After all, it may be easy for many to downplay female hair loss as nothing more than a vanity concern for two main reasons:
But female hair loss is much more complex than men’s and we know it can be an indicator of other or greater health concerns. Unfortunately, due to the stigma around hair loss, many women don’t seek the treatments available to them.
Let’s hope that the silver lining from this unfortunate incident is greater awareness of female hair loss and insights into the dismissive attitude women often experience in regard to their health.