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Thursday, April 21, 2022

Hair Loss, Spiritual Gain: New Film Captures Black Woman’s Alopecia Struggle And Journey of Self-Love

Candace Cristina

Nationwide — Mere hours after violence erupted on stage at the 2022 Oscars ceremony – veteran actor Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock over a joke Rock had made about Smith’s wife rocking a shaved head – Candace Christina found herself flooded with emotions. And it had nothing to do with two rich celebrities butting heads in front of the world. The verbal jab in question was close to her. It was personal.

You see, barely a couple of hours before, Christina had boldly, unapologetically, and with royal fanfare unveiled her own bald head for the first time ever to her dearest friends and closest family members at an exclusive, invitation-only affair that she’d planned in her hometown of Atlanta. Like Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, Christina had recently learned that she too suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss, with it often falling out in large clumps. Only in Christina’s case, a dermatologist suggested that hers was brought on by about with Covid-19 that landed her in the hospital in the summer of 2021.

Coming to terms with losing her “crown and glory” and a lifelong source of pride for her as an African American woman, was initially emotionally debilitating for Christina. After lots of snotty-nosed, puffy-eyed cry sessions, she slowly began channeling her despair and deep sorrow into a purposeful journey that she eventually decided would include revealing her new look to the world at a swanky celebration that she would plan herself.

The formal affair, dubbed the “The Queen’s Feast: REBIRTH-day Party,” was capped off with Christina sauntering out before the crowd in a one-of-a-kind floor-length cream-colored gown and faux fur cape both with metallic and jeweled accents designed by up-and-coming Atlanta fashion designer London Couture, who consulted directly with Oscar-winning Black Panther costume designer Ruth Carter. Pictures displayed at the posh event also featured a second look, for which Carter also provided input, featuring a beautiful, bald Christina posing dramatically in a striking fitted Black lace and feather encrusted gown.

“I said to myself that I wanted to look like a bad you-know-what – like Angela Bassett in Black Panther – and as God would have it, I met Ruth at an Atlanta restaurant three days later; it was nothing short of divine intervention,” gushes Christina, 42, a married mother of two sons and the founder of Favor Friday, a nonprofit that gifts people in need with desired and needed personal items.

It seems that the so-called “slap heard all around the world” at the Oscars in many ways, has evolved into a blessing of sorts for Christina, allowing her to raise awareness about the medical condition that she endures along with legions of others around the world. Most importantly, however, it helped solidify and affirm her very personal spiritual journey that she has chronicled in “The Queen’s Journey,” a documentary short that debuted on CandaceChristina.com just hours before the Oscars controversy set off a media frenzy. Deciding to do the film all started with a life-changing trip to Jamaica with friends and family in November of 2021.

Christina says she found herself intoxicated by the natural beauty of the Caribbean island, which led to an intensive deep meditation session wherein she was shown a vivid vision of a beautiful bodacious, Black and bald queen. She would later come to realize the unknown woman she had seen was actually herself in the future. She says that reality slowly but surely became clearer to her once she returned from the trip and her hair abruptly began falling out in patches in the fall of 2021. The film opens with that tearful realization and the emotional ups and downs she has navigated during her alopecia struggle.

In losing her hair, Christina says she gained a deep sense of clarity about her purpose. She ultimately hopes to dedicate her life to helping show others, both men and women, that they too can overcome the heartbreak of alopecia and any other obstacles they face in life, all while learning some critical life lessons in the process.

She hopes the film will become a teaching tool, a source of hope, and long-term she aspires to guide others through similar healing spiritual awakenings. “I am typically a very private person, so opening up in such a vulnerable and transparent way during one of the darkest periods of my life was a real challenge,” recalls Christina. “However, it also turned into an opportunity for me to dig deep, work harder at letting go of my insecurities and focus on telling my story in a way that would have the most impact on the lives of others. Seeing the impact that it is having makes my heart smile. I know in my heart that it has all been worth it.” Adds Christina: “In the midst of this spiritual journey I truly know, like singer India.Arie famously sang; “I am not my hair. I am so much more than that!”

Learn more about Candace and her film at CandaceChristina.com

For press inquiries or to arrange an interview, please contact Media Maven LLC at 404-832-5302 or mediamavenllc@gmail.com