Teen creates international movement to promote acceptance

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- High school can be a scary place, especially when everyone can see you're different.

"My name is Sanah Jivani. I'm 17 years old and I'm a senior in high school. I have a hair loss condition called alopecia and I'm the founder of a movement called Natural Day."

Sanah lost her hair when she was in seventh grade.

"It was hair all over my pillow," she said. "I had been losing hair a lot that week, and I just didn't want to look in the mirror. I didn't know what I would have to see."

Sanah wore a wig, but her condition was still obvious.

"Everybody would tell me I was fake and they would be like, 'Why do you do all these things for attention?' The bullying just got really, really bad," she explained. "Someone had made a burn page about me, and this was in middle school and it was so scary to be put online like that. The first status was 'Sanah Jivani wears a wig.' It just broke my heart because I was like, 'No, no one can know, this is my big secret.'"

After years of bullying, Sanah made a choice. On the first day of 9th grade, she decided to be herself.
All natural. No wig.

"I remember I wouldn't get out of his car," she said. "I told him that there's no way I'm walking into that school building. I thought everybody is going to stare at me, everybody's going to make fun of me. But after that, it took like 15 seconds of bravery and courage, and just getting through the door."

So, Sanah started Natural Day -- a day where people are encouraged to put it all out there -- no excuses, no masks, no make-up. It's now celebrated in 28 countries.

"Wow, I'm so thankful just to feel beautiful and to feel like myself," she said. "I honestly do feel pretty."

Go to www.internationalnaturalday.com for more information.
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