Strength of Nature
an artwork by Megha Thyagarajan
This piece is dedicated to the strength of finding who I am as a woman of color who has Alopecia. I lost my hair when I was 6-years-old; as a child, all I remember is the fear of looking at my reflection. When I entered a women's restroom, people would scream at me, saying that boys aren't allowed in the girl's bathroom. When I would order food, people would yell, "Sir, your order is ready." When I walked my sister into the mall, people would say that I looked like a wonderful brother. Everywhere I looked, my femininity was erased from me solely due to a lack of hair. When I was not misidentified as a boy, I was ridiculed and ostracized due to my appearance and outspoken nature. Although, I had to work to find my self-love, to see that just because I was bereft of a societal standard did not mean I was not beautiful. My name Megha in Hindi means clouds. I see clouds as a symbol of both potential and strength which is what inspired this piece. This piece is purposefully unfinished, for the potential I and everyone else have is limitless; societal standards do not define us.
Megha is a 17-year-old first-generation Indian American girl. For the past year, Megha has used art as an outlet to express herself and her journey with Alopecia. She wants to battle against the stigma of hair-loss by showing the beauty of being unconventionally yourself. Megha has applied herself in the public speaking realm by conducting motivational speeches about self-love and actively fighting for human rights.