This year's Ideal Home Show launched at London's Olympia on Friday with the UK's first diversity catwalk show, featuring models from all walks of life, including one woman with alopecia.
The fashion event, which premiered at the opening of the Ideal Home Show and will continue to run at various times throughout the week-long show, is named 'Confidence - The Secret'.
It is hosted by the inspirational acid-attack survivor, Katie Piper, who also modelled in the show, who told the Mail Online, 'I am working with The Ideal Home Show as a fashion and beauty ambassador to launch a bespoke show with alternative catwalk models chosen from my foundation, the Katie Piper Foundation, and Models of Diversity. It's all incredibly exciting.'
The catwalk featured 'alternative' models including women who had experienced life changing injuries, undergone serious medical procedures, such as open heart surgery, or were born with a condition that changed their appearance. Despite the show being a collaboration with a hair extension company, one of these models was bald beauty, Brenda Finn, a 29 year old children's entertainer with Alopecia Universalis. Story continues below.
This unique catwalk show, a partnership with Models of Diversity, was designed to show people that it doesn't matter what you look like, it's about being confident in yourself as an individual.
As Katie Piper explains, "...confidence is something you can use to express yourself and convey yourself and it's something I've used through several periods of my life. It's not about trying to look and be perfect, it's about a positive mindset and being the best version of yourself that you can possibly be."
Echoing this sentiment, Brenda, who lost her hair and eyebrows aged 14, explained in a recent interview with My Bald Is Beautiful: "When I became a children's entertainer I met a lot of diverse people who helped me accept that we all have something unique that makes us stand out and mine just happened to be alopecia". She also credits the charity Alopecia UK with helping her to come to terms with her hair loss condition by providing the specialist information and support she needs, in addition to the backing of her partner, family and friends.
The positive step of including a bald woman in this high profile event is the latest boost for alopecia awareness in the UK. It follows Alopecia UK charity manager, Jen Chambers appearing on TV dating show 'Too Ugly For Love?' and the Pretty Bald calendar campaign getting a host of nationwide media coverage, including a solo photoshoot and feature for one of the campaigners in Cosmopolitan magazine, pictured right.
Alopecia is an autoimmune condition which can present in both men and women, and is said to affect around 1.7% of the population.
Whilst there are treatments for Alopecia Areata, which causes total hair loss from the scalp, that can produce significant regrowth results, the treatment options are currently somewhat limited and generally far less successful for Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis which cause complete hair loss of the head and body, respectively. However, there are a number of potentially promising treatments for Alopecia Totalis and Universalis undergoing clinical trials at the moment, although none have been approved just yet.
The Ideal Home Show runs until 6th April and you can purchase tickets for the next 'Confidence - The Secret' fashion shows in advance from See Tickets.
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