After losing her hair to alopecia, 7-year-old Gianessa Wride regained her confidence when she won her school's 'crazy hair day' contest during spirit week.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on September 14, 2019.
Gianessa Wride from Utah was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease alopecia when she was only 7 years old. She and her family first found out about her illness when clumps of hair fell out of Gianessa's scalp as her mother Daniella brushed it in early 2017. In an interview with PEOPLE Magazine, her mother explained how distressing the ordeal was, especially because she feared that her daughter would be bullied. However, in a heartwarming moment, Gianessa won "crazy hair day" during her school's spirit week when her mother came up with an ingenious idea.
When the unbeatable mother-daughter pair learned about the crazy hair day contest at school, Daniella had an epiphany about how to help the young girl feel more included. Because Gianessa hates wigs and scarves never held quite properly to the little girl's head, the caring mother thought about how her daughter could own the bald and beautiful look. Daniella offered to deck up her daughter's scalp by bedazzling it. After a quick trip to the scrapbooking department at a local discount store, she adorned Gianessa's head with dozens of adhesive jewels. Daniella played around with patterns to form a colorful owl, some fluttering butterflies and a collection of beautiful flowers. And the little one absolutely loved it!
Though Gianessa was slightly nervous on the actual day of the competition, her schoolmates at Salem Elementary were head over heels for her stunning look. Of course, she picked up the first place trophy. Daniella stated, "Putting stick-on jewels on her head really is a good fit for her personality. And it adds some fun to what could be a stressful time for a girl with no hair. It’s my hope that she’ll continue to want to be herself and express herself in any way she feels comfortable, as she grows older."
Gianessa, too, was super excited about her look though she was understandably upset when she lost her hair. "I was sad at first when I lost all my hair," she told PEOPLE Magazine. "But now I love being bald. I can do things to my head that other kids can’t. I’m thinking now it might be fun to decorate my head with some sparkly butterflies and flowers." Her mom even took to Instagram to post a picture of the young girl's look. She wrote: Crazy Head Day 2018. I asked Nessa what she wanted to do this year and she replied, "I want to be covered in diamonds!" Spoken like the true princess she is. Seriously, not sure there is more of a past life Queen than this young lady. Daniella affirmed, "Your hair doesn’t make who you are — it’s what inside that counts. That’s what we tell Gianessa. People feel inspired by her, and that’s wonderful. We’re hopeful that she’ll show other bald kids that they can also embrace their baldness and can rock any look they want, in any way they can."