DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — “As far as alopecia is concerned, to me, it doesn’t define me. It is a blessing in a way. Although I know a lot of people might disagree with me,” Dothan Alopecia Advocate, Temi Ayodeji said.

Ayodeji was diagnosed with alopecia when she was 17-years-old and has looked for ways to handle the effects, namely stress, to help keep her condition under control.

Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack hair follicles, causing the hair to fall out. This is mostly due to stress.

“I use my stress-reducing painting to help people understand that stress is the underlying case, mostly, but there are ways you can live through it,” Ayodeji said.

She says the past few days she has spent more time on the social media app clubhouse than ever before, talking with people about alopecia and she equates this to the recent event that took place at the Oscars regarding Jada Pinkett Smith.

But she doesn’t feel the joke Chris Rock said was hurtful.

“I was just watching it and I didn’t see it as an insult, unfortunately, she did,” Ayodeji said. “I actually refer to myself a lot of time as G.I. Jane. I’m tough.”

She continued to say Will Smith’s reaction to the situation might have been over the top, but the joke itself was just that, a joke, and the bigger picture is this is spreading more awareness to a cause she cares so deeply about.

“Unfortunately, the action took place, but it is shedding light on a very important topic that only comes up once a year during alopecia month,” Ayodeji said.

Ayodeji wants to emphasize, whether it is through art or any other means, that controlling your stress is very important.

“Control your stress, manage it effectively,” said Ayodeji. “Because if not, it doesn’t matter what it is you have, it will just get worse.”

If you would like to know more about how Ayodeji controls stress through art, you can go online to