Expressing the 'beautiful,' actress May Calamawy opens up, and one way to to #MaskYourFaceNotYourSmile

"Never feel afraid to express the strength that has made you, you.” -Nell Sanders

As some states begin to re-open, please stay safe and healthy if you do choose to go out at all. In this week’s newsletter, you can learn more about one way to support an alopecian entrepreneur who’s making scarf/masks for young people like her.

If you’re new and missed last week’s newsletter, you can catch up here!

xo Traci

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"Never feel afraid to express the strength that has made you, you.” - Nell Sanders (“Beautiful,” 2016)

I love this poem written and performed by Nell Sanders, a youth mentor for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF). It’s so raw and vulnerable, and she expresses a fear that I think is very relatable: “The never-ending questioning, the loss of identities, the back alley bullies. The pressure to hide the disorder that is only seen as a cosmetology issue.”

But, ultimately, “Beautiful” is empowering and her message about learning to “wear your flaws on your sleeve and heart of armor on your chest” is powerful. Nell will be speaking this week at NAAF’s Virtual Conference, which you can still register for here. It’s $75 to register and will take place on Thursday, June 18.


📷: 🧸
August 2, 2019

Around the web…

  • Actress May Calamawy, who stars in the Hulu original series Ramy, opened up to Glamour last week with a personal essay about how sharing her alopecia diagnosis with the world helped her to move beyond others’ expectations for her. It’s an empowering – and touching – essay. (On a side note, Ramy is a wonderful show that I’d highly recommend for older viewers, and Calamawy’s character has an episode devoted to discovering her hair loss. I’ve always found her character to be so compelling, and that storyline drew me in even more.)

  • In Memphis, Tennessee, hairstylist Brianna Davison gave away free wigs to girls experiencing hair loss. It’s the second year she’s done her Kids Wig Tour, though this year she wasn’t able to travel to meet the 10 lucky winners.

  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley joined Full Frontal with Samantha Bee last week to talk about how people can use their privilege to push for change. “No more hashtags. And please, do not create a hashtag for no more hashtags. Let’s just do the work,” Pressley said. You can watch the full interview here.


Today, we had the privilege of donating masks to the brave detectives of the @chicagopolicedepartment Special Investigations Unit!  Thank you to Sgt. Franchini for allowing us to meet these heroes!  Special shoutout to Detective Grube for making this happen! The smiles we made today were very mutual! #smilingwithrosie #maskyourfacenotyoursmile #buyamaskgiveamask #morningboost #somegoodnews
May 21, 2020

In case you missed it…

Looking for some new face masks to help get you through the summer? Coming Up Rosies has you covered: Their #MaskYourFaceNotYourSmile campaign, which encourages you to use one of their headscarves as a non-surgical face mask, makes sure that for every scarf/mask that’s sold, one is donated.

Learn more about Coming Up Rosies in this USA Today feature from December.


Alopecia &… Spotlight: @__ebonyjean

We are Black women! We build...we don’t tear down other BLACK WOMEN. For many years, we have felt the pain of not being seen for our undeniably beautiful skin, instead we are looked down upon. But right now in this moment we will acknowledge each other! We will uplift each other today! We can see how they portray Black women in the media, and what that affect has on our beautiful Black girls. The fighting, the screaming, and the judging has run its course. We are beautifully the same. Upload 1 picture of just you and tag as many beautiful Black Queens as you would like! ✊🏾👑 Please, let’s keep this challenge going! 👸🏾👸🏿👸🏽🖤
June 5, 2020

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