Suffering from the same disease: It is a major overreaction

Since Sunday’s Oscars, Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, have been on everyone’s lips.

In the middle of the show, the actor got up and gave comedian Chris Rock a flat.

It happened after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith and the fact that she has no hair on her head.

The fact that Pinkett Smith is bald is due to the disease alopecia (also called baldness, ed.) – a disease that causes you to lose all or part of your hair.

The 47-year-old consultation nurse Henriette Wulff Riedl is one of the Danes suffering from the disease, and she has followed the entire scene intensely since it was shown on television.

– I would not have taken it badly myself, and I would probably just laugh at it if someone made such a joke with me. I would not be able to get upset about that. I do not think at all the joke was as brutal as it is being made to be. But I also think it depends on how far you are in the process and how clear you are with your illness, she says to Ekstra Bladet and continues:

– For example, if you have just lost your hair, it can be difficult for someone to choose to joke with it. I have not even had my hair in nine years and I would take it with a smile. But my experience is that it is very different how to deal with the disease. For many, losing their hair can be very taboo, and people wear hats or wigs to hide their illness, and in those cases, such a joke can probably hurt quite a bit.

Can get into it
However, she says that at some points she can understand Will Smith well.

– I think it’s a big overreaction and I think it’s a bad signal to send to his fans. No matter what, violence can not be justified, she says and continues:

– I do not like at all that he beats, but I can understand how hard it can be as a relative, and how powerless you can feel. For example, I have cried so much that I have lost my hair. It is a huge grief and one’s relatives are completely powerless. There is nothing they can do, for there is no treatment, and I think it is the powerlessness that may have overpowered him at the moment (Will Smith, ed.).

  • Blemish baldness (alopecia areata) is a sudden onset of hair loss in the scalp in demarcated areas
  • May occur in the eyebrows, beard region or in the body hair
  • In more than 80%, the hair returns spontaneously within 1-2 years


Jada has previously spoken openly about her illness. Photo: Angela Weiss / Ritzau Scanpix
Jada has previously spoken openly about her illness. Photo: Angela Weiss / Ritzau Scanpix

Henriette Wulff Riedl says that she is happy, however, that there has now been a focus on the disease in the media, even though it has to that extent been with Will Smith in focus.

– However, I think it’s mega fat that there is a focus on it. And I just think that the more focus that comes on it, the better. So I clapped my little hands when I saw that it got so much publicity.

According to Henriette Wilff Riedl, the disease can have many psychological followers, which you struggle with in secret.

– It is also a serious disease, because you do not fail as such, and many say: ‘It’s just hair.’ But it’s not just that. There is so much signal value and significance in one’s year and it is a great sorrow to lose it. After all, hair is also associated with sexuality for many, and therefore it is a horror scenario for many to lose their hair. I have been able to feel that myself. Before, I had long hair, blonde hair and lashes, but I feel like I have lost some of my femininity by losing my hair, she says, adding:

– I have experienced that I have been shouted at on the street, and small children stare completely unrestrained. There are also many who come and ask if I have cancer, and when they then find out that I do not have it, then they are like: ‘Thank God. It’s just hair. ‘ It gets neglected, but hair just really means a lot.

By Editor

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