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Meet First Bald Sports Illustrated Model Who Ripped Her Wig Off On Runway To Normalize Baldness In Women


Meet First Bald Sports Illustrated Model Who Ripped Her Wig Off On Runway To Normalize Baldness In Women

“Everyone deserves to feel like they’re enough and they’re beautiful.”

Since being diagnosed with alopecia in 2016, Christie Valdiserri dealt with self-doubt and shame but not until she was met with an empowering moment, becoming Sports Illustrated’s first bald model and one of the six chosen to be in the brand’s 2020 centerfold. 

Her hair loss had been alarming, but it didn’t disrupt her relocation to NYC to pursue a career as a dancer. 


After the diagnosis, Christie worked tirelessly to stop the hair loss and cover it up. She underwent steroid injections, which helped a bit, used hairpieces, and learned how to part the hair in ways that would cover the bald patches. It was pretty frustrating, overwhelming, and upsetting, especially as a dancer in the entertainment industry; 99% of it is what you look like. 

But thankfully, Christie waked the runway for Sports illustrated in Miami Swim Week in July 2019. 

And just as she made it down, the model took her wig off in front of the crowd and showed her baldness. 

Speaking of the moment with FORBES, she said: “It was the most liberating moment of my life. I thought I’m taking power back. I am controlling what beauty means to me, and I’m showing it to the world.” Aside from walking on their runway, the brand also used Christie’s photos in the magazine.


She added: “It was a life-changing moment for me.”

Notably, the model shot for the magazine in February 2020, and then the COVID-19 pandemic shut activities worldwide. After that, Christie started teaching dance classes online and noticed several bald young girls signed up for her class. With this turn of events, she realized there was no space for bald women and girls to come together and then made it her mission to create that community.

Yes! Christie has launched Baldtourage, a community with thousands of women and girls working hard to redefine baldness as bold and beautiful. 

The group has monthly meetings, wine nights for the adults, and support sessions. It’s presently worldwide, with members living in America, England, and Italy. “My hope is for everyone that has hair loss to feel beautiful and worthy and for them to have confidence and power to embrace it and not carry shame with them. Everyone deserves to feel like they’re enough and they’re beautiful.”

Interestingly, Christie has no family members with alopecia, and when her hair started falling out a month after graduating college, she had dismissed it as stress. 


Her hair kept falling out in chunks while she was sleeping, in the shower, and throughout the day. She expressed how she felt during this time, saying: “When you’re losing your hair as a woman at whatever age, you have so much shame because the world and the beauty standards make you feel like you need to have hair to be beautiful.” 

Christie has accepted her condition as a good fate, and she’s reaching out to those still struggling with it. 

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