Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D) hit back at trolls who had not so nice things to say about her appearance since the congresswoman opened up about her struggle with alopecia.
In a tweet, Pressley rebuked online users who flooded her Twitter page with jokes and insults comparing her to Mr. Clean, the bald mascot of Proctor & Gamble’s line of cleaning products.
The freshman Democrat refused to let the haters get under her skin.
“Dear Trolls. You really think I look like ‘Mr. Clean?’ Please. He could never look THIS clean. Sorry not sorry my [sic] unapologetically rockin’ my crown triggers you. #proudalopecian”
Pressley, who has risen to prominence as a member of “The Squad” of four progressive congresswomen, revealed she had alopecia in an interview with The Root last month. She recalled waking up to clumps of her hair in the sink each morning, describing how her condition got progressively worse.
“I didn’t want to go to sleep because I did not want the morning to come where I would remove this bonnet and my wrap and be met with more hair in the sink and an image in the mirror of a person who increasingly felt like a stranger to me,” she told the outlet.
Pressley said the disease, which can cause significant hair loss, left her feeling “naked,” “vulnerable” and “embarassed.”
Many of the congresswoman’s friends, supporters and constituents rushed to her defense amid the vitriol from online trolls, including fellow “Squad” member and lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“You’re absolutely stunning, ignore the haters!” someone else chimed in.
Another wrote: “Mr. flippin’ Clean? That’s what they got? First off, how is clean an insult? Second, how old are you that you need to make fun but got nothing but this? You’re beautiful and a warrior. Let the children play. “
Even those who don’t agree with the congresswoman’s politics took a moment to blast her “childish” critics: “Congresswoman Pressley – it’s fair to say you and I agree on very little. But having said that, I want you to know how much I appreciate you being open and raising awareness about alopecia. I for one, really kind of dig the look!”
Pressley, 46, said she’s since gotten to a place where she’s “made peace” with her condition but admits there’s still some work to do.
“I’m very early in my alopecia journey. It’s about self agency. It’s about power. It’s about acceptance,” she said.
See more reactions below.