Senior photos are a big deal for most students, signaling the end of high school and providing an opportunity to showcase individuality. But for this 17-year-old with alopecia, her senior photos were more about spreading awareness about her illness and reclaiming her sense of beauty than they were about her years as a student at the school.
Madisyn Babcock is no stranger to the camera, having been the subject of prior photoshoots with local photographer Chelsea Taylor. However, when it came to taking her senior photos, Babcock was nervous to get in front of the lens. As her first shoot with her newly bare head, she wasn’t sure how the photos would turn out. Calling upon her artist mother, though, she came up with a way to make herself more comfortable.
“I usually wear head covers due to the bald spots, so going entirely bald and exposing my head was new for me,” Babcock tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I decided to paint my head to raise awareness and to promote natural beauty. My mom, an artist, was the perfect candidate for my head masterpiece.”
Taylor, who took the beautiful pictures, also shared some thoughts with Yahoo Lifestyle. “We had worked together previously this spring, and I have been there through the process of her losing her hair,” she shares. “Madisyn has never once let any of this affect the way she sees herself — if anything I think she is stronger, braver, and more confident than the day I met her.”
The setting of the photos is another way that Babcock chose to express something about herself. Her photos were taken outdoors in a gorgeous natural setting, and she says Taylor always calls her an “earth child.” Babcock says her connection with the earth has only strengthened since the beginning of her struggle with alopecia — a sentiment further illustrated with the designs painted onto her head.
“I chose flowers because they fit me as a person,” Babcock explains. “I feel I’ve really blossomed into the person I’m supposed to be.”
“I was so glad when she decided to show off her head for her senior session and even more excited when she shared her idea to turn it into a work of art!” Taylor says. “Madisyn’s mom spent hours drawing out the design and painting it on the morning of her shoot — it turned out beautifully, and her images are a direct reflection of her spirit!”
The teen, whose photos are now going viral, couldn’t agree more.
“I fell in love with the way my pictures portrayed myself and my personality.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- This little girl is making a difference by embracing her 3-fingered hand
- Women with alopecia share powerful photos and stories of hair loss
- Winnie Harlow shares revealing selfie to celebrate unique beauty