Local Woman Talks About Struggle With Alopecia Amid Oscars Controversy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Charlotte woman is speaking about her struggle with alopecia.

Lindsay Walter says it took years to fully embrace her baldness and she understands the stigma and emotional toll that comes with the condition.

Walter says the look on Jada Pinkett Smith’s face said it all at the Oscars on Sunday night.

“She was humiliated. And to be humiliated on that kind of like, platform, and people laughing at you at your expense, it’s not funny and it’s not OK,” Walter says.

The Dilworth resident has dealt with alopecia, an auto immune condition that causes hair loss, since the age of 2.

“And it was gut-wrenching, because I know that exact feeling and I just think like, it’s never OK to make fun of someone for something that they can’t help,” Walter says.

Walter thinks Chris Rock was wrong for making the joke, but also thinks Will Smith was wrong too for confronting Rock on stage.

“Obviously, Will Smith’s reaction as far as slapping him was absolutely uncalled for and wasn’t the right reaction at all,” she says.

Walter says over the years, she’s come to embrace her condition and now she’s reaching out and helping others who are dealing with the same thing.”

“It’s not just hair. And it’s not just a joke. Because until you’ve lost your hair, you have no idea the emotions that come with it,” she says.

Walter now runs a pen pal group for kids and teens with the condition, in hopes they’ll have the confidence she didn’t have until she got older.

“It took me many, many years because I was always just so fearful of people rejecting me or being mean,” she says.

And despite the high-profile incident, she hopes what happened will create more awareness of the condition.

“And just knowing how she wasn’t OK with that and she has struggled so much with it, it was hard to watch her face, because I felt that to my core, I know what it’s like to be bullied for something you can’t help,” Walter says.