Plain and simple: Hair is just hair. No matter how many bad hair cuts we get or shaving mishaps we endure, hair will never be the end-all be-all mark of true beauty. And that's exactly what a young girl named Riley learned in a video posted to the Love What Matters' Facebook page this week. Riley has Alopecia, an auto-immune disease that causes hair loss in people of all ages and genders. But, as she came to discover in this video, her hair loss should not (and does not) define her beauty.
Chelsea Sylvaria, Riley's mother, recorded and submitted the video to Love What Matters. In the caption, Sylvaria wrote, "Yesterday, I was joking around with Riley and telling her everyone I love ... Riley then looked at me and went, 'Do you love yourself?' I immediately said, 'Of course I do! ... Do you love yourself?' Riley responded very softly, 'No.' I was a bit taken aback and said, 'What do you mean you don’t love yourself?' To which she uttered my worst fear, 'I don’t love myself because I don’t have hair.'"
The video shows Riley and her father later that day as he tries to console her. "It doesn't matter if you're bald or you have hair. It doesn't make a difference," he tells her. Then, without hesitating, Riley's father offers to shave his head that day over the bathroom sink. He even lets her help shave a few pieces, as she giggles and shrieks in glee.
With over 700,000 views and counting, this video is inspiring many, including those who have taken to the comments section to share their own pictures and stories of Alopecia as well as messages of support. "Riley is PERFECT just the way she is!! I'm shaving my head in about 10 minutes in her honor...... I'm going to call the haircut 'The Riley,'" one user commented.
At the end of a rough year, this video is a shining beacon of hope. No matter how hard things get, there's always a little good in the world. And for one little girl, good comes in the form of her loving father and his willingness to do prove to her that hair is just hair.
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