March 28, 2022 – Tonight’s Academy Awards are a major topic of conversation today.
Troy Kotsur became the first deaf person to win an Oscar – and the coveted best supporting actor award.
But what happened next could steal the show.
Viewers and listeners alike watched in shock as actor Will Smith walked on stage and hit the face of gift announcer and performer Chris Rock after his performance. Laughing at Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, for having her head shaved.
Pinkett Smith shared her struggles with alopecia areata, a disease in which your immune system attacks your hair. For many people, it can carry a stigma and can lead to depression or mental illness.
The result of thinning hair can range from quarter-large strands to the loss of all the hair on your scalp or your entire body. About 700,000 people in the U.S. have alopecia areata, according to a 2020 study. Of them, more than half are women, and more than 77% are white. (To learn more about alopecia areata and hair loss, click here.)
The event was well received by the media, and strong comments were heard from people who have been physically affected by alopecia.
The patient does not laugh
Rock’s claim could inspire millions to have thinning hair, said Carolyn Goh, MD, a dermatologist at UCLA Health.
“As an alopecia person myself, I think it’s microaggression,” Goh said. “I know the same words. These things are building up over time and finishing us down. “
An Instagram user in the UK, Kitty Dry, said the words on Pinkett Smith’s face showed the pain felt by many in this way.
“I want to preface this post by saying that I will never condone any kind of abuse, but thank Will Smith,” said Dry, 23, who was diagnosed with alopecia universalis after surgery. she lost all her hair in 12 weeks.
“Every stroke for everyone with alopecia is found to be the result of unwanted teasing, talking or watching,” Dry said.
Some people have commented that it is raising awareness about the tragic death of Rio Allred, a 12 -year -old girl with alopecia who died in a murder last week.
Allred is said to have endured severe bullying at school, with classmates pulling on his wig and slapping his head, according to the Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation.
It’s common for people with thinning hair to feel unpredictable, and sometimes confusing, says Amy McMichael, MD, a professor and chair of the Dermatology Department at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
That’s why it’s important for those people to see a board -certified dermatologist, so they know they’re not alone, he said.
“As dermatologists, we can not only diagnose alopecia, but we can treat it,” McMichael says.
Dermatologists can help connect patients to organizations that address the physical and emotional struggles of people with thinning hair, such as the National Alopecia Areata Foundation and the Scarring Alopecia Foundation, said McMichael.
He hopes tonight’s event will show people with “a lot of hairy eyes” and show that these conditions can be found in people of all ages, races, and men. .
The National Alopecia Areata Foundation called what happened at the Oscars a “learning” time.
“We encourage our community and the general public to learn more about alopecia areata so that we can end the stigma associated with this disease,” the group said in a statement.
Goh said people with hair loss should seek medical advice and, if necessary, seek health care.