About Miss Swirl
BOLD ABOUT BEING BALD
Model and image consultant Sara Meucci, from Italy — also known as Miss Swirl on Instagram — lost her hair after she started to suffer from the compulsive hair-pulling disorder called trichotillomania when she was just 12 years old. Sara started by only pulling out an eyelash but her irresistible urge to pluck more hairs from their roots spread to her eyebrows and eventually to the hair on her head.
The activity would leave Sara feeling very relaxed, but she was made to feel uncomfortable by society who didn’t accept her baldness. When out and about people would ask her if she had cancer or alopecia and would be shocked when they heard that Sara’s baldness was a result of her own actions.
But Sara, who started out as a nude model, has embraced her difference and is now using it to inspire others.
For 11 years Sara pulled her hair, and after she stopped she found that her hair didn’t grow back properly so she decided to accept her hair loss as part of her look, shaving her head every couple of days to maintain it, and has since been working to help other women affected by hair loss due to illness or compulsive disorders.
“Trichotillomania is the trigger, but you are the one doing it to yourself and even if you feel you can’t help it, you don’t ever blame the disorder, you always put the blame on yourself,” explains Sara. “It started small, with one eyelash or two and then it got to my eyebrows and spread to my hair. I couldn’t resist the need of pulling and I didn’t try to resist that much, I have to say, but when you repeatedly rip your hair with its bulb, there’s a high chance it won’t grow back.”
She adds, “I am now a grown-up woman and have very little hair left so I do a total shave every two days. Pulling my hair made me feel extremely calm and relaxed. Like any other compulsive disorder, it is triggered by your brain and it’s something that makes you feel really good. Society’s standards about hair, on the contrary, made me feel I was wrong, especially when I was a kid. People are still pretty shocked by bald women or hairless faces in general and I can understand why, I mean, it’s not something you see everyday. But I think we can work on that.
I embraced my bald look as part of my style, the majority of people see what I want them to see. When I stopped feeling sick, when I decided that there wasn’t anything wrong with me, that I could look good anyway and I could find a style to go with it, everything changed, I changed and people around me did too. I think everything really resides in your confidence, in how bold you grow to be.”
Trichotillomania is an impulse-control disorder where a person is unable to stop themselves from pulling their hair, often from their head, eyelashes or eyebrows.
Sara posts pictures on her Instagram page that she thinks will help other women like her and she often receives messages from people affected by hair loss thanking her for sharing her journey. Proud of her own journey, she is currently working on a blog and YouTube channel.
“I am posting a lot of pictures on Instagram that I think could inspire other women like me and it works,” she says. “I am also working on my blog, writing longer articles for people to relate to and I am constantly updating my YouTube channel where I give my opinion on how to behave in certain situations when you are bald, tips on possible looks and whatever comes in mind that can be of any help.”
She adds, “Locally, I am looking for collaborations with event planners that can include a small speech where I work on awareness and I hope I can get a little help from newspapers and other media who are interested in sharing my message. I am an inspiration to myself before I am to others. I have fought so much to grow as the person I am. I have fought against depression and thoughts that were leading me to the wrong perception of myself, against the monsters living in my head, the judgemental words of kids my age, the pity looks of adults who crossed my way that I can now frankly say I am not afraid of being me anymore.”
Sara explains, “My family took a breath of relief – nobody ever understood how to behave around me until I embraced myself enough to be able to just talk about it. My friends hugged me so hard, I still get chills at the thought of it. And who cares if you are bald, overweight, asymmetrical, paranoid, a total mess!
This is a journey every sensible human being has to go through at some point and it is heart-warming and encouraging to know that you are not the only person on the planet who went through all these troubles to find a place of happiness. In the end, your ultimate goal is not to feel beautiful without hair; it is to understand how your smile has far more power than your hair.”
-extract from thedailymail interview
On a personal note…
What I am very good at
♡ Modeling for artistic nude
♡ Teaching and life coaching
♡ Caring and listening to people
♡ Gift strangers and friends with a smile
♡ Acts of kindness, as I don’t understand the value of things unless I share them
♡ Make up, wigs and turbans
♡ Colors, photography and traveling
♡ Manufacturing hats
♡ Dance, most of all embarrassing and “all attention on me” kind of dances
♡ Writing lyrics to songs
♡ Cooking food mixing fruits
♡ Fixing bugs
♡ Acting: the drama chose me, for once I didn’t
♡ Problem solving ideas and loads of patience
♡ Picking right dishes and right restaurants
What I am not very good at
♥ Doing the same sport
♥ Avoiding furniture’s corners with my toes
♥ Saving my money from flights tickets
♥ Tidying up
♥ Keeping my mouth shut in front of things I feel unjust
♥ Keeping my mouth shut in general
♥ Memory, the worst problem of my life, but I do manage perfectly by making technology remind me of everything (hurrah for technology!)
My job: life coach and image consultant for bald women
My dream: empower women who are natural fighters through simple tools that can change their life and the one of the people around them
My personal goal: having enough billions to build the biggest happy family of adopted children ever seen
Honesty, Love and Mindset
are my strongest tools in life