‘Alopalien’ Marina Zolotova
About how challenges help people find themselves
According to statistics from the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, about 146 million people worldwide suffer from alopecia. This is an autoimmune disorder that is characterised by partial or full hair loss. It can happen to any individual at any age. Marina Zolotova faced this disease in her childhood. However, she considers all challenges she has to deal with not as problems but as opportunities. The disease helped Ms. Zolotova find herself and completely change her life. Today, Marina Zolotova is a role model, the source of support and inspiration for 2 million women suffering from alopecia.
Marina Zolotova - coach, author of the ‘Alopalien’ project helping women with alopecia
Ms. Zolotova was ashamed of her appearance for a long time. She wore a wig when going outdoors, to work, and to any public place. This caused much inconvenience and discomfort and gave birth to her complexes. For the first time, she decided to accept herself and come out without a wig at the age of 35. Since then, her life has greatly changed.
Over time, she came to an idea to launch a social project titled ‘Alopalien’. The project’s goal is to help women with alopecia overcome their inner fears and start living a full life.
Alopecia can bring no physical pain to the person who suffers from it but strongly affects his or her psychological state. In such situations, women are most vulnerable to depression. They worry that they can lose their friends, close people, and favourite job and become rejected by the society due to their informal appearance.
“Many of us are strongly influenced by stereotypes. It seems that the way how the life will go depends on our appearance. That’s not how it actually works”, believes Marina Zolotova. She is a bright example of that.
Having learned to accept herself for who she is, Ms. Zolotova achieved success in implementation of the project and surrounded herself with interesting and reliable people. She loves and she is loved. Today, Marina Zolotova has an opportunity to help many women suffering from the same disease to become happy.
Participants of the project who are women with alopecia inspire people around with their beauty. They love themselves and thanks to that become really happy. Their looking like romantic aliens from a fantastic world resulted in ‘Alopalien’ as the name of the project.
Within the framework of the project, a special chat where women can receive online psychological assistance was created. Meetings and flash mobs including those participated by partner companies are regularly held in different cities of Russia. Women with alopecia share their advice, feelings and emotions with one another. They inspire one another to carry out large-scale projects in most different fields of activity and unite to work jointly. Many women take off their wigs for the first time at such meetings. It is a significant event for them, after which they start feeling free and their lives change completely.
“People can create only when they are spiritually free, are in a calm state, aren’t bound by fears, worries, and complexes. Our project’s goal is to put the energy of women into the proper direction, teach people not to be trapped in sufferings, and turn problems into resources”, explains Marina Zolotova.
Over the time of the project’s existence, it became possible to form a large and friendly community. There are a number of talented professionals from most different fields of activity among women with alopecia. They successfully fulfil their potential, make progress in career, willingly share their experience with people around, and help in development of the project.
Marina Zolotova was educated as a journalist. That is why the ‘Alopalien’ project’s website looks like an electronic media publishing inspiring and touching stories from women’s lives. Ms. Zolotova not only prepares articles for the publication but also helps other participants of the community learn to write interesting texts, shares her professional secrets and advice.
She pays much attention to spiritual practices. Ms. Zolotova believes that all situations happening to us have a meaning. Especially, bad situations.
“Every person has a certain mission in the world. Sometimes we lose ourselves. Challenges and obstacles in our way help us find our vocation”, believes Marina Zolotova. If a person faces problems, then there is potential for growth.
The hashtag of the ‘Alopalien’ project is #BeYourself. That is the main piece of advice that Marina Zolotova always shares with people around.
She is convinced that any person is unique. You should never compare yourself with anyone or try to copy his or her behaviour, manners, and appearance. “We are all wonderful the way we are. It is important to always remember that there are people in the world who love us with all our qualities, achievements, and drawbacks. If we hide our essence and feel ashamed to show our real face, we risk to lose ourselves”, believes Marina Zolotova.
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Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov