The cornerstone of our work at BGDL has always been meet-ups and lunches. After realizing that women had a hard time opening up in formal alopecia support groups, but would feel more comfortable chatting over lunch, Thea sat out on her own tour across the country to meet with women diagnosed with this condition. She did this for years until—you guessed it—the pandemic.
Of course, everyone had to social distance during the pandemic for their own safety. However, because alopecia is an autoimmune condition, our community had to be even more careful.
We slowly resumed meet-ups and lunches in spring 2023 and look forward to bringing you many more events in the future. Please join the email list to be notified. We can’t wait to meet you in person!
What is it like to meet other women with alopecia areata?
Read about Joyce Abate’s experience:
“Bald Girls Do Lunch is an extraordinary program for women who are victims of alopecia in its many forms.
My experience with BGDL is being an attendee at two of these luncheons hosted by its founder, Thea Chassin. These lunches provided me with a positive experience—one that is rich not only in the information they provide to me and others attending, but one that is rich in the social aspects of being in a group of women who all have issues with alopecia.
I don’t have the words to say how despair and sadness take over when a women struggles with this disease. Women love their hair—it is an innate characteristic of each of us. When our hair is taken from us by this disease, the outcome and results to our emotional lives is staggering, we are lost in a world that finds beautiful people important.
We do not feel beautiful for a long time—losing our hair and not being able to have control over the situation promotes many women to lose their identity. Once we were beautiful, and losing our hair sends a message to us and to others that we are not beautiful anymore. We have lost ourselves in the bowels of this disease that we cannot control.
Bald Girls Do Lunch events help us in our quest to find ourselves again. The luncheons redirect us toward the place where we used to be: feeling beautiful and finding that beauty really does not lie in having hair, but is found within our hearts as women. Through these lunches, women come together and find that they all share a commonality, which is loss of self through the loss of their hair. But, most importantly, they discover that they can overcome this loss because they are together within it.
Through these lunches, we are able to move each other to the places in our respective timelines that bring us to the point of acceptance instead of inhibition, of peace instead of despair. We find through sharing our various issues at these lunches that we are pressed on all sides by trouble, but we are not crushed or broken; we are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit; we are hunted by this disease, but not abandoned; and we get knocked down by the erratic behavior of alopecia, but we get up again and are able to keep going.
This is what these lunches provide for me, a haven of sharing and caring with other women who truly understand what I am enduring. The after-effects of these luncheons are that I leave them feeling beautiful because of who I am inside, not because of my hair. I can take my wig off and feel freedom and that feeling is the best feeling in the world.”
Read more of Joyce’s story here on our blog.
A Look Back at Past Events
Our events are a lot of fun and you will feel at ease and surrounded by women who understand your thoughts and feelings. And no—you don’t have to be bald to join us! We accept anyone on their alopecia journey: with hair, without or somewhere in between.