Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do for a living, and what are your hobbies and interest?
My name is Kimberly Carey, I am the owner and makeup artist of Heavenly Reflection Makeup-UAE, and an alopecia model. I am originally from St. Louis, Missouri in the United States, but moved to the UAE 8 years ago from Houston, Texas. I enjoy salsa dancing, working out and shopping.
2. What is Alopecia and who gets it?
Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder that causes one’s hair to fall out in stages. It is a disorder that comes and goes. Anyone can get it and it can happen at any age.
3. How long have you had Alopecia and how has it impacted your life?
I’ve had Alopecia for 20 years. And at first, I saw it as a curse, but after embracing it, I see it is and was a blessing.
4. Have you learnt to embrace it, and if so, how?
I have embraced it, and by letting it go, I’ve prevented it from controlling how I view myself.
5. Do people stare at you on the street? Do you feel like you stand out in a good or bad way?
People do stare quite a lot and it’s fine. I feel as if I’m bringing a new standard of beauty and exposing them to the fact that we are a different and that’s what makes us beautiful.
6. You are really confident. What advice would you give to other people who suffer from Alopecia and who may be afraid of what other people think?
You don’t suffer unless you want to. People are too busy worrying about themselves to be worried about you. Don’t get me wrong — people are cruel! Kids and adults have said things to me that make me mad and even cry. But I’d rather focus on the love and support I have surrounding me. Never forget those who are on your side.
7. If your hair grew back, would you keep the look you currently have, or would you change it?
I honestly don’t know. If it grew normally, I’d probably change it. But I’d rather be the one in control, so I’d probably keep the look.
8. Were you always interested in fashion and makeup?
No. I had no idea I’d be interested. My interest didn’t start until I moved to UAE. God placed me right where he wanted me, so that I could be part of this industry.
9. What’s your personal go-to look?
Makeup: simple foundation and powder routine, no contour or highlighter required. I will have brows, lashes and lips. Those are a must. Fashion: skinny jeans and a t-shirt can take you far, but it’s all in the shoes. I love heels. They can take any outfit, including jeans, to a new level.
10. What advice do you have for someone who really wants to work bald in the business world, but needs that final shot of inspiration?
If you don’t care, they don’t care. But don’t be surprised if they do say something. You are a packaged deal and they should be more concerned with your skill and abilities, instead of focusing on something you can’t control. Rock your bald like they rock their hair.
11. What are some of your achievements since having Alopecia?
- 2015-16: Head of Makeup and Styling for Abu Dhabi Fashion Party
- 2016 : Spokesmodel for Runway Dubai and Tips and Toes Salon and Spa
- 2018 : Spokesmodel for Prestige Style Fashion of Abu Dhabi
12. Tips: When you have Alopecia
- Embrace it when you feel ready. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
- Your comfort is what counts. Take your life back and start living. Don’t let “IT” take you.
- It’s OK to be different and be the only one who’s different.
- Get ready for the negative stares and comments, but never forget the positive compliments and love. These will help you get through tough times.
- You never know who’s watching you or who you will inspire. Alopecia is not just about you. Someone else may be on the verge of losing a personal war with their situation (maybe hair loss or worse), but seeing you inspires them to keep going, change their minds, etc., …