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A young woman from Witham in Essex has shaved her head in a campaign film to support her younger sister and other people with alopecia.
Ocean Anderson, 18, was motivated to begin her campaign after witnessing how her sister was treated by others.
She says: “I felt that the treatment Azura, my little sister, got from others was awful.
“She had a number of problems such as bullying or people coming up to ask if she has cancer.
“Alopecia is a disease that means you lose your hair. It is often caused because there are too many white blood cells being produced and they see hair as an illness.
“The effects aren’t just physical. It has mental and social effects as well.
“No child should suffer bullying because of the way they look. I want to change the way young people perceive appearance.”
Ocean produced the film as part of her campaign with Fixers, the charity that gives young people a voice. It features Ocean shaving her head while she discusses the need for others to accept and understand the condition.
Her sister, Azura, appears at the end to make a final appeal to the audience.
Ocean says: “I shaved my head because I wanted to show people that appearance doesn’t matter. It’s their personalities that count.
“People judge on what they see before they get to know something, and this shouldn’t be the case.”
Ocean has aimed the film at people with alopecia who are struggling with their confidence, but hopes to reach a wide audience.
She adds: “I hope as many people see this as possible.
“I would tell people with alopecia to be strong, they aren’t alone. Those with alopecia are some of the bravest people I have ever met.”
Fixers works with young people aged 16-25 across the UK and provides them with resources to help them campaign on issues they feel strongly about.
The charity has helped more than 17,000 youngsters across the UK to have a voice in their community.
Fixers aims to work with more than 70,000 young people by 2020 and to do this needs to raise funds.