WOMEN

7 Stunning Portraits Of Women With Alopecia Redefine Femininity

06/30/2015 12:11 pm ET | Updated Jul 01, 2015

With stark and stripped down images that demonstrate the power of portraiture, one Icelandic photographer has captured the beauty of bald women.

"Baldvin" is a new series by photographer Sigga Ella, featuring portraits of women of all ages who have alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that results in unpredictable hair loss. In some cases, the disorder can lead to complete hair loss on the scalp and body.

The project was done in collaboration with the Baldvin (which means strength) association in Iceland, in effort to spread awareness about alopecia and "open up the discussion and work against these gender stereotypes," according to Ella's artist's statement.

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Ella says the photo series presented the opportunity to push against the stereotype that women can only be beautiful if they have long hair. "All of the women [in the series] wanted people to get to know more about their condition, and so it was important for the photos to show them just as they are," she told The Huffington Post by email.

Highlighting the beauty of underrepresented people is an ongoing theme in Ella's work. In April, she launched an exhibition called "First and Foremost I Am," a portrait series featuring people with Down Syndrome from ages 9 months to 60 years old.

The entire "Baldvin" series can be viewed on Ella's website.

Scroll below to see more photos from the series.

  • IMP Features/Sigga Ella
  • IMP Features/Sigga Ella
  • IMP Features/Sigga Ella
  • IMP Features/Sigga Ella
  • IMP Features/Sigga Ella
  • IMP Features/Sigga Ella
  • IMP Features/Sigga Ella

Also on HuffPost:

  • Model: Maygan S.; Design: Henna Vibes; Henna: Olivia Darwin; Photography: Katerina Shaverova; Make-up: Christopher Mooyer; Styling: The Eye of Faith
  • Model: Jennica G.; Design: Biljana Kroll; Henna: Kyla Austin; Photography: Katerina Shaverova; Make-up: Christopher Mooyer; Styling: The Eye of Fait
    "I've met women who didn't know they had alopecia, until suddenly they lost all their hair in a matter of weeks," said Darwin. "It can be a traumatic experience, and these women are bald for years, or perhaps for the rest of their lives, and often undergo painful treatments (injections in their skull, for example) before they start to accept their situation, and themselves."
  • Model: Diana C.; Design: Hennafication; Henna: Joanne Rumstein-Ellis; Photography: Katerina Shaverova; Make-up: Christopher Mooyer; Styling: The Eye of Faith
  • Model: Ashlyn M.; Design: Dana Webb; Henna: Noofa Hannan; Photography: Katerina Shaverova; Make-up: Christopher Mooyer; Styling: The Eye of Faith
    "In my line of work I’ve spoken with several women with this condition who are constantly assumed to have cancer (if they choose to walk around without a hair piece, that is)," said Darwin. "It’s difficult to constantly deal with the stares, pity, and even good intentioned comments of people saying 'you're going to be alright'. Alopecia is not life threatening."
  • Model: Ana-Laura G.; Design: Sara's Henna; Henna: Tarquin Singh; Photography: Katerina Shaverova; Make-up: Christopher Mooyer; Styling: The Eye of Faith
  • Model: Karen M.; Design: Henna Planet; Henna: Tarquin Singh of Henna Heals; Photography: Katerina Shaverova; Make-up: Christopher Mooyer; Styling: The Eye of Faith
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