Every woman at some point has wrestled with impossible beauty standards set by society. And it was that struggle that eventually led Ketki Jani to spiral into depression when she found out she had a disorder that led to extreme hair loss.
In a moving post published by Humans of Amdavad, Ketki opens up about how at 40 she found a bald spot in her head. To her horror, within weeks she lost nearly all her hair having been diagnosed with Alopecia. For three years after that, she notes, she felt so ashamed of public reaction that she simply refused to leave her house.
Until one fateful day when her daughter, having watched her struggle, approached her to talk. Wise beyond her years, she asked her mother to embrace her life and her beauty.
It was the advice that Ketki needed. Soon, she was not only stepping out to enjoy her life but she also participated in Mrs India Worldwide Contest. In the post she eloquently notes, “Over the years my attitude has changed from ‘Why me?’ to ‘Why not me?’ From being in acute depression for three years and not stepping out of the house to being the top 15 finalists of Mrs India Worldwide and facing the entire world, this is my story and I am proud of it.”
She also disparages ageism and the associated taboo, and has a simple message to the world – “A woman is much more than her outer appearance.”
Story of the day: Ketki Jani
“One fine day I was stroking my hair when I realized there wasn’t any hair to be stroked…
Read the full post here:
“One fine day I was stroking my hair when I realized there wasn’t any hair to be stroked in that patch and there was only scalp. I immediately went to my friend and she said that it looks like there is a slight hair thinning patch on my scalp. We visited a doctor only to discover that I was suffering from Alopecia and within one and a half month I had lost almost all of my hair. It was like the end of the world for me and I felt as if at the age of 40 my life was over. I decided to never step out of my house and cut myself from the outer world and went into acute depression for almost 3 years. I didn’t want anybody to know about my condition so I would simply sit at home doing nothing and would keep on crying. In these three years I tried different oils, hair treatments and visited number of doctors but there wasn’t any solution to this disease. I even tried taking steroids but it had a negative effect on my kidneys so my daughter and husband asked me to stop taking them anymore. After seeing me struggle, one fine day my daughter decided to break her silence and help me get through this ordeal. She sat with me and said that you have your whole life waiting in front of you and stop thinking about what the world thinks about you. Just step outside and embrace your beauty. You are bald yet beautiful. That really was a turning point of my life and I decided to be my own self. When a woman comes out with a bald head you can imagine the kind of reactions one gets, there were people who teased me and bullied me. Every face had a question to ask. There were people who thought that I had cancer or I had just visited Tirupati temple but I ignored every question with a smile. I also got myself tattooed on head as I always had a desire to get tattooed, and I thought well if God’s given me a canvas than why not use it? A year ago I just came across Mrs India Worldwide Contest and I applied for it. There were three rounds to clear for the contest and fortunately I cleared all rounds and I was selected as top 15 finalists for Miss India Worldwide beating 3000 candidates. Over the years my attitude has changed from Why me? to Why not me? From being in acute depression for three years and not stepping out of the house to being the top 15 finalist of Mrs India Worldwide and facing the entire world, this is my story and I am proud of it.
Any Message ?
I have seen women not stepping out of house for fifty years and young teenage girls committing suicide just due to Alopecia. Every time a girl fears to step out of house or tries to commit suicide due to this disease, it makes me realize that as a society we have failed. We are in 21st century and still we are unable to accept such issues. I feel ashamed to be a part of such a society where our daughters with bald heads are seen as a mode of entertainment. A woman is much more than her outer appearance.”