It’s not just their scalps that are bare.
A group of feisty British women have posed in nude-but-printable photos for a 2015 calendar aimed at focusing attention on alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss. As reported (and shown!) on the Web site of Women’s Health magazine, the calendar is being released now by a nonprofit called Pretty Bald because the National Alopecia Areata Foundation has declared September to be Alopecia Awareness Month.
So here’s a little help on the awareness front. Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss, used as shorthand for a range of conditions. Alopecia areata is often called spot baldness, because hair falls out in patches. It affects about 2 percent of Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health, and while it can create lifestyle problems, it is neither painful nor life-threatening. In extreme cases it can progress to total loss of hair on the scalp (alopecia areata totalis) or complete loss of hair on the scalp, face, and body (alopecia areata universalis).
The pictures are cheerful, with poses in a bubble bath, in a convertible, etc., all photographed at a Downton-worthy manor in the Cotswolds. The calendar costs about $16, with proceeds going to support the charity Alopecia UK, and is available at prettybald.co.uk. And by the way, despite the online headline on the magazine’s Web site, there are actually only 11 bald ladies in the calendar. One of the models, Miss October, doesn’t have alopecia; in fact, she has a head of shiny blond hair. The twin of Miss December, she joined the nude modeling team to support her sister — “the strongest person I know.”