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Bonding in Baldness: The Beauty of Friendship

From the Show: HER
Summary: What is the most challenging thing about not having hair?
Air Date: 9/10/15
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Helen Phillips, Author
Helen PhillipsHelen Phillips is the author of the novel, The Beautiful Bureaucrat (Henry Holt, August 2015). Her collection, And Yet They Were Happy (Leapfrog Press, 2011) was named a notable collection by The Story Prize.

She is also the author of the children's adventure book, Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green (Delacorte Press, 2012; published internationally as Upside Down in the Jungle). Helen has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award, the Italo Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction, The Iowa Review Nonfiction Award, the DIAGRAM Innovative Fiction Award, the Meridian Editors' Prize, and a Ucross Foundation residency. Her work has been featured on PRI's Selected Shorts, at the Brooklyn Museum, and in Tin House, the New York Times, Electric Literature, New York Magazine, and BOMB, among others.

A graduate of Yale and the Brooklyn College MFA program, she is an assistant professor of creative writing at Brooklyn College. Born and raised in Colorado, Helen lives in Brooklyn with her husband, artist Adam Douglas Thompson, and their two children. Her new collection, Some Possible Solutions, is forthcoming from Henry Holt in 2016.
Bonding in Baldness: The Beauty of Friendship
Alopecia is a medical term for baldness, which has several types.

For example, Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease where a person's immune system attacks the hair follicles and causes hair loss.

In Helen Phillips' case, she has been bald for 18 years.

In her article, "Four Women Bond Over the Beauty of Baldness," she shares her journey of having an immediate bond with women that are bald just like her.

Even though many strangers on the street will give compliments to bald women, some people may immediately think a bald woman is ill and act overly sympathetic.

What advice does Phillips have for others struggling to adjust to alopecia?

She joins HER Radio to discuss the piece she wrote in the New York Times, and she describes her journey living with alopecia and not covering up her bald head.

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