Miss Delaware Lives With Baldness, Competes Wearing WigsS

Despite baldness from alopecia, Kayla Martell has won Miss Delaware — and is planning to compete in this year's Miss America pageant. "You can be bald and be beautiful," she declares.

Miss Delaware Lives With Baldness, Competes Wearing Wigs

Although she wears a wig to compete (and will bring four to Vegas) Kayla does not, day to day. And she wants it understood that this doesn't indicate any shame on her part. Her rationale?

Miss America, she needs to be relatable to all people, but she also must be approachable...Oftentimes when people see me, at first glance, they assume that I'm either very, very sick or that I'm going through chemotherapy," said said. The wig gives me an opportunity to meet them and have that initial moment where they're not worried about me. ... Then I get to bring up my alopecia areata on my own terms.

Besides, it's not like fake hair's such a novelty on the pageant circuit. "Half of them here are wearing hair extensions. Some of them are wearing fake eyelashes. I mean, my hairpiece just happens to be a little bit thicker and a little bit heavier."

The Conversation: Bald And Beautiful Miss Delaware
[ABC]