Since the beginning of her time in the public eye, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley has been associated with her signature hair style: Senegalese Twists.
She even went so far as to tell The Root:
"My twists had become such a synonymous and conflated part of not only my personal identity and how I show up in the world, but my political brand."
Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s signature Senegalese and bomb twists have made her a hero to little black girls across the c… https://t.co/SZcCo7mZWu— LX (@LX) 1579303807.0
Pressley's hair and her role as a woman of color have both been incredibly important to her identity in Congress, which is why she felt it was important that she share the news that she had alopecia, a rare hair-loss condition.
"That's why I think it's important that I'm transparent about this new normal, and living with alopecia."
"My twists have become such a synonymous & a conflated part of not only my personal identity & how I show up in the… https://t.co/piXfWkNC82— The Root (@The Root) 1579195153.0
Many of Pressley's allies in politics, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, offered their support on Twitter.
Could you imagine losing all your hair on the eve of an enormously public day? And then turning that intensely inti… https://t.co/ztCdxQiJ50— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1579205372.0
Many trolls online began attacking Pressley for her new look, comparing her to Mr. Clean, the famously bald cleaning product mascot.
Pressley herself responded to the trolls with a pointed message:
Dear Trolls. You really think I look like "Mr. Clean" ? Please. He never looked THIS clean. Sorry not sorry my unap… https://t.co/aveD27DQqw— Ayanna Pressley (@Ayanna Pressley) 1581015318.0
Twitter also quickly leapt to Pressley's side.
@AyannaPressley Don’t pay any mind to them sis - They’re just mad because you pull off any & every look thrown at y… https://t.co/6Rw8fJ2VrV— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1581023450.0
As someone who struggled with severe alopecia as a teenager, I wish there had been more people who were in the publ… https://t.co/IG9awdvSfS— Adele-Momoko Fraser (@Adele-Momoko Fraser) 1581071149.0
@AyannaPressley @IlhanMN I don’t agree with you politically even remotely, but making fun of you for having alopeci… https://t.co/06n5csuet0— Freckled Liberty 🇺🇸 (@Freckled Liberty 🇺🇸) 1581019806.0
Someone's hair (or lack of it) doesn't define them.
Ayanna Presley is a truly magnificent quality human being. #amjoy #reiders https://t.co/gEBRsJZPP3— JeepVotes (@JeepVotes) 1580662698.0
@AyanaPressley... Wow!!!! What a beautiful black lady!!! Haters will always hate, but that’s all they can do... K… https://t.co/DAe5PW0L1m— K.R. Kouassi (@K.R. Kouassi) 1581268431.0
You are truly beautiful!!! with or without hair!! https://t.co/69gQyFRn4J— DO'Dea (@DO'Dea) 1581260860.0
Hordes of people wanted to let Pressley know she was still beautiful.
@RepPressley you’re #Beautiful & #Stunning https://t.co/SvXSw9d0Uk— Jarber (@Jarber) 1581283145.0
I really don’t understand how being compared to Mr. Clean is supposed to be an insult. I think he is kinda hot. Lik… https://t.co/gBVVDfZDTA— Sin Nomine (@Sin Nomine) 1581101321.0
@AyannaPressley trolls are just mad that they have to live their lives as trolls while you get to be your amazing s… https://t.co/Z3J11N35tq— marisa kabas (@marisa kabas) 1581015968.0
Trolls will have to come back another day if they want to hurt Ayanna Pressley's feelings.
@AyannaPressley Most people with hair don't look as good— Matthew Kai-Uve (@Matthew Kai-Uve) 1581015444.0
@AyannaPressley The ignorance in this country is just astounding. From one Baystater to another, you're beautiful!— Cindy (@Cindy) 1581040560.0
Ayanna Pressley has always ruled, but it turns out her hair had very little to do with it.
In 2018, Pressley became the first Black woman to represent the state of Massachusetts in Congress.