So Fresh and So Clean: An Empowered Ayanna Pressley Claps Back at Alopecia-Shaming Trolls

Illustration for article titled So Fresh and So Clean: An Empowered Ayanna Pressley Claps Back at Alopecia-Shaming Trolls
Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

It was only last month that Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) revealed her alopecia diagnosis here at The Glow Up, and just last week when she proudly stood on the floor of the House of Representatives with her bald head on display for the first time. For a rising political figure who was already a force in our eyes, Pressley’s most personal disclosure to date has also been her most powerful—and with or without hair, she has continued to stun us with her now-trademark combination of grace, grit, and indomitable wit.


On Thursday, she did it again, this time directly addressing social media trolls who, having no better ammunition than cheap shots and name-calling, had taken to comparing Pressley to cleaning product mascot Mr. Clean. (Really? Do better, y’all. In fact, how ‘bout you “Be Best”?) While online attacks might shake some of us into silence, Pressley, with a portrait of Malcolm X visible over her shoulder, not only acknowledged her detractors but took the eye-roll-inducing moniker, flipped it and reversed it, tweeting:

“Dear Trolls. You really think I look like “Mr. Clean”? Please. He never looked THIS clean. Sorry not sorry my unapologetically rockin’ my crown triggers you. Proud #alopecian

As Pressley reminds us, crowns don’t require hair—and frankly, we think Mr. Clean would stan. Leave it to Pressley to confront her current condition—one that affects millions—head-on (pun absolutely intended) while giving us impossibly chic Dora Milaje realness. (That lipstick, though!) Foolish mortals, who did you think you were fooling with, anyway?

Trolls gonna troll (for lack of anything better to do), but Pressley’s squad is strong—and way bigger than her three fellow freshman congresswomen, though one in particular made sure to voice her support:

“Don’t pay any mind to them sis,” wrote Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D.-N.Y.), adding, “They’re just mad because you pull off any & every look thrown at you, meanwhile they can’t even put on a hat on their head without looking like [a] baby peanut.”


Hmmm...what hats might those be, we wonder? (We’re guessing red...and racist.) Regardless, whether Pressley wants to rock her gorgeous dome, wrap it up in a scarf, get playful with wigs, or tip her own hat to her haters, we’re rocking with her fearlessness.


Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?



I think it was here that someone referred to Pressley as a real life Dora Milaje and now that’s all I see when I look at her. Yibambe!