A 17-year-old with alopecia has stuck two fingers up to narrow beauty standards in a captivating photoshoot which sees her display her bald head with pride.
Madisyn Babcock, from Kansas, asked her mum, who is an artist, to paint flowers on her head for the shoot, which she hopes will raise awareness of the condition and “reclaim the beauty that society sometimes takes away from those with hair loss”.
The photos - taken by photographer Chelsea Taylor - are nothing short of stunning.
“I was truly astonished when I saw the results,” Madisyn tells HuffPost UK.
Discussing the striking floral arrangement painted onto her head, she adds: “It wasn’t about filling some kind of void or signifying that there’s something missing from those with hair loss, it was to embrace and embellish it.”
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Madisyn was diagnosed with alopecia areata, a common cause of non-scarring hair loss, earlier this year. To begin with, it affected her confidence massively.
“It’s perfectly natural to be scared and feel less confident,” she reflects. “There’s no right or wrong way to react to losing your hair.
“I think going through a sad stage is needed to come out stronger.”
After she had mourned her hair, Madisyn began to look forward to her senior portraits - a tradition in the US which sees students have photos taken to celebrate an important milestone.
“I’d been seeing other courageous girls with hair loss around the internet and I just got to thinking about how sometimes we are hidden and thought less of than girls who do have hair,” Madisyn explains.
So, she came up with a unique photoshoot opportunity which would see her stand proudly before a camera, with her bald head on show, and challenge the societal beauty standards which had once made her feel small.
“I had been thinking about what I wanted to do to my head for senior portraits for a long time,” she explains.
“I thought it would be really cool to use this opportunity to raise awareness and reclaim the beauty [that] society sometimes takes away from those with hair loss.
“I want those with hair loss to know that you’re beautiful, I love you and you inspire me.”
Madisyn said the act of her mum painting her head was incredibly powerful, as it signified every moment they’d been through together during Madilyn’s high school experience.
In the video below, from Health, she adds: “Losing your hair changes your life. It may seem small, but when it happens to you it’s a whole new perspective on life. Because of this, my biggest advice is to surround yourself [with] people who help you feel beautiful.
“Most importantly, I want those who suffer from hair loss to know that they do have someone to talk to. I know this would have helped me immensely. My DMs are open.”