interviews

the bold girls guide

Swirl is an advocate model, spreading awareness about mental health, body diversity and positivity. Her lack of hair derives from trichotillomania, a widespread and yet still stigmatized form of BFRB (body-focused repetitive behavior). 

She has been pulling her hair since she was 11, causing large patches on her head and face. Most of her hair hasn’t grown back, so she is often seen as having alopecia. During her first long period of distress, she has worked with a business-oriented therapist and coach (CBT), going through a journey of acceptance, awareness, and self-confidence that has seen her embrace her difference.

Now she is using this energy to inspire others to do the same, writing a guide from a woman happy with her baldness to other people on their journey to get there.

“Bald and bold are just two sides of the same coin.”

If you have a question regarding her guide, pop her a message using this box.

HAIR PULLING & OTHER BFRBs

What is trichotillomania? It’s a BFRB.

Also called hair-pulling disorder, trich is part of body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs). Some self-grooming repetitive behaviors have been recently classified under this category that also includes nail and cheek biting, skin picking, and a few others.

How many people are affected? If not yourself, many people that you know!

It is estimated that 1 or 2 people out of 50 experience a form of trichotillomania during their lifetime. It is usually developed at an early age and it tends to be a chronic condition, meaning that you can experience it throughout your life.

Can you treat it? Possibly.

The best results have been seen with CBT which it’s one of the most used types of therapy right now that focuses on identifying thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are problematic and teaches individuals how to change these elements to lead to reduced stress and more productive functioning.

Where to find more information? TLC foundation.

TLC BFRB is the foundation that globally provides support for people affected with BFRBs. There are a number of support groups for the adults directly involved, but you can also find support for children, teeneagers, and their parents.

An new Italian support group for people with BFRBs is available every Sunday.
If you are interested, you can find this and more information on www.bfrb.org

Swirl’s personal note:

"I developed trich at 11 yo. It has extremely impacted my life, my family, and my friends, especially when I was a teenager. Even though I was personally never able to get rid of the symptom, today I am perfectly comfortable around it, and I feel happy in my body. Surprisingly, the fact that I was problematic with my hair, or that my hair wasn't perfect, or that I am bald right now, has never changed the way people have been attracted to me. Instead, being hurt, depressed, insecure, and lacking self-love has led to many dysfunctions within my relationships. It wasn't the hair. A lot of people think they would be ugly without their hair. They think their head is too big, too small, or bumpy or weird. I have heard every sort of excuse made to seem like hair is indispensable for their beauty. But, if there is one thing that I have learned, is that hair is not as important as one might think. Because when you lose your hair you don't lose your identity. Actually, you discover more about your identity. You find out who you really are without the safety of the confidence your hair gives you. You come to understand hair is a side of beauty, but it's not indispensable. And believe me, you find that same confidence in something else. I heard most say, you find it in your smile."

Swirl

about

Swirl is an advocate model signed @Brother Models.

She advocates for mental health, BFRBs in particular, and she has spent her career pushing traditional industries into a more diverse and inclusive approach. Mainly smiling.

She has been featured by a number of online magazines and prints, while her story made the Daily Mail and Huff Post. She often joins talks, interviews, and podcasts to spread positive awareness and engage in deep-layered conversations touching topics such as overcoming depression, learning to feel confident in our human body, and nudity.

She is the owner of the trademark name “advocate model” that represents those models challenging old stereotypes of the fashion industry with their body, their words, and their actions.

Artisan and former milliner (hat maker) born and trained in Florence, IT, she has also worked as an event manager, tour manager, and art director in the fashion and music industries.

Swirl likes cooking vegetables with anything she eats. She treats food as a religion.

Other registered appetites may be nature, music, board games, theatre, traveling, singing and dancing.

  • Favorite movies: Cabaret, AmĂ©lie Poulain, The legend of the pianist on the ocean.
  • Favorite song: “I am what I am” – Gloria Gaynor
  • Favorite quote: “If you were waiting for a sign, this is it.”

contact

Links

Brother Models
Portfolio | Measurements
Bookings: Isobelle – Email: info@brothermodels.com

Female Narratives
narrative-led and female made agency

TLC foundation for people with BFRBs
Italian support group info: italia@bfrb.org

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