This 4-Year-Old with Alopecia’s Reaction to Seeing a Model with a Bald Head Shows Just How Important Representation Can Be

Iylah Hanley is just 4-years-old, but she never expected to see a bald model that looked like her. But when she and her mother went into a MAC store in New Zealand, she was in for a sweet surprise.

After Iylah, who has alopecia which is an autoimmune skin disease that causes hair loss, saw MAC’s campaign with model Parris Goebel, she was floored by her buzzed head.

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Monday moods w mum ❤️❤️

A post shared by Iylah Hanley (@iylahpecia) on

After asking her mom if Parris also had alopecia, she stood beaming in front of the campaign ad while her mom snapped a photo.

The Instagram caption read:

“She goes (with soooo much excitement in her voice) ‘mum! Does she have Alopecia like me?’ I said I believe she chooses to have short hair as I wasn’t 100% sure if the hairstyle was by choice or not. Iylah pauses and I watched her as she thought about what I just said. She said ‘wait, so she chooses to wear her hair short? She then lit up and asked to take a photo with her.”

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But the story gets even better!

Parris saw the Instagram post and decided to set something up for Iylah and herself.

The two ended up shutting down the MAC store, made cards, danced, and even had their own makeup playdate.

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Parris wrote, “Iylah started losing her hair at 2 yrs old so it meant so much to her to see a bald girl rocking it. I had to meet this beautiful girl, so we shut down the M.A.C store and had our own little make up date!”

Parris continued, adding: “What touched me the most is although she has been through so much at such a young age, over time she has gained the confidence to ignore what people think and walk out into the world and show everyone how beautiful she is.

“Thank you Iylah for inspiring myself and people all over the world…together we are bald and BEAUTIFUL”

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