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'The Baldness In You' Encourages People to Stop Bullying

'The Baldness In You' Encourages People to Stop Bullying

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and people of all ages are doing what they can to encourage people to stop bullying. 

Jakina Dortch has been bald since she was 11 years old, and is working on an anti-bullying campaign called, "The Baldness in You," according to her LinkedIn page. 

"The Baldness in You is a campaign using the platform of art to bring awareness to the consequences of bullying, promote tolerance and provide a space where love and respect is encouraged," said Dortch. In her series of YouTube videos explaining her initiative, Dortch shares her story and invites others to join her cause. 

"When I was nine years old, I was diagnosed with alopecia areata, and by the age of eleven, I was completely bald," she said. "From the age of 11 to 18 I wore wigs. On May 2, 2009, I decided that it was time for me to stop hiding behind the wigs. It was time for me to be free."

Dortch owned 150 wigs and even learned how to make her own, said an article on Dortch, the article said, would spend time before class figuring which wig to wear at the University of Chicago.

The article on looked at "How to Get Away With Murder" actress Viola Davis and her act of pulling off her wig, and addressed a broader picture, a situation where Dortch can relate. 

"I felt like I was allowing wigs and weaves to define my beauty,” Dortch said in the article. “I didn’t want to be captivated by that anymore. So I was like, ‘I’m done.’"

Dortch said she grew up in a town where hair was "considered a 'nacessory' instead of an 'accessory,'" the article said. In her YouTube video Dortch said she was harassed and made fun of for her wigs.

"I was a girl, and I wanted to be a girl, and I wanted to express my girlyness,” Dortch said. “The harassment, the things people said to me, I wouldn’t have wished that on my worst enemy.”

Throughout her YouTube video, Dortch invites other to share their experiences with bullying and how they overcame those obstacles.

"I knew that I was different, I was fine with being a bald woman, and nothing could stop me," she said. "The Baldness in You documents other people's version of baldness. It highlights their story of bullying and how they have overcome their struggles."

See the video below:

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor 

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