We had a chat with Kayleigh Winter who is appearing in a TV dating show designed for those who struggle with looking different. Kayleigh is 27 years old and has had alopecia areata since the age of 11.
Why get involved with the show?
I've been a fan of 'Too Ugly for Love?' since Series 1 (supporting Alopecia UK's Jen throughout her journey) and I loved the tone of the show. There is no sarcastic undertone to the narration, it's a show with heart. I have found that my alopecia can present challenges when it comes to dating and the show is designed to give confidence to those who sometimes struggle with having a visible difference. I'm someone who likes to throw myself into different things so thought I'd see what filming for a TV show was all about!
How was filming?
Some days of filming were upsetting and emotionally draining. I would be exhausted by the end of a filming day. As part of showing my 'back story' we went over events in the past that i'd put to the back of my mind. This wasn't pleasant but hopefully it has helped me in the long run. It wasn't all doom and gloom though! I mean, I got to eat lots of free food on my dates! What's not to love about that?! Some of my Alopecia UK buddies even made an brief appearance as camera crews joined us for the Total Warrior event last August.
What are your thoughts on the title of the show?
The title of the show isn't great. I get that. However it's titled in such a way for a reason - to get people talking and tuning in and it's working! The show's title is not saying anyone is too ugly for love. That question mark in the title is VERY important. It is raising a question and the overwhelming answer in all cases is absolutely not!! I don't think ANYONE is too ugly for love. Although I think the title actually acknowledges that many of us who have a visible difference have sometimes felt this way. I know that I, particularly in my teenage years, have felt unattractive because of my alopecia. We need to concentrate on the content of the show and what it's trying to put across rather than the controversial title.
Has the show changed how I feel about alopecia/dating?
I feel that I handle my alopecia quite well. I'm comfortable in myself most days and i've accepted this is how I am and probably will be forever. Taking part in the show and going over the past was quite cathartic though, it helped me even more. Before the show I also hadn't been on a date for around a year and I was so scared to put myself out there! Doing it in this setting was a huge step but it's made me realise that dating isn't scary, men aren't scary! We're all just trying to enjoy ourselves, meet new people and perhaps find 'the one'.
Did you find love?
A lady never kisses and tells! You'll have to tune into my episodes to find out!
Kayleigh appears in episodes 4, 6, 7 and 8 of Season 3 of Too Ugly for Love? with episode 4 being aired on Wednesday 16th November at 9pm on TLC