Welcome To Plathville daughter Moriah Plath was a bit of a black sheep in the Plath family. There has always seemed to be a bit of a distance between her and her siblings, and Moriah’s rebellious nature (and clothing choices) only amplified that distance.
In a preview clip for tonight’s episode of Welcome To Plathville, Moriah opens up with her dad, Barry Plath, about where her feelings of alienation originated.
“When I was a little girl, when I was three years old, I lost all my hair for several years,” she reveals at the beginning of the video. “Like, completely — not even eyebrows or eyelashes. It was just, it was completely bald.”
Barry and Kim took Moriah to a doctor, and they were told the very sudden loss of all of Moriah’s hair was due to a rare form of alopecia. Moriah’s hair would eventually grow back, but the years in between were extremely difficult for her.
“Everywhere I went, I was made fun of by kids my age — church, my siblings — and that’s when I really started to see myself as different.”
At this point, the video shifts from Moriah’s confessional on her couch to her sitting with her dad, Barry Plath. “I’ve never even really talked about that with any of my family members because, once I got my hair back, it was just, like, ‘OK, that’s not me anymore. Let’s forget about that.’ I asked everybody to just not talk about it.”
“Right,” Barry says. “But now it’s okay to talk about it.”
Moriah talks more about how she tried to erase the experience in her memory, as well as the memory of those around her, in another confessional clip. “I made sure every single one of my family members knew never to show a picture of me when I was younger to anybody,” she says. “And never to tell anybody, because I just wanted to completely block that as something that happened to me.”
The scene cuts back to Moriah and Barry, and she admits that the experience losing all of her hair is what made her feel different from a very early age.
“Did I treat you different?” Barry sincerely asks.
“I mean, I was different. You didn’t treat me different,” Moriah assures him. “In fact, you and mom were really the only ones that actually told me I was beautiful.”
Barry seems a little relieved. “You remember that, right? you remember us trying to sew that into you?”
“Oh, I do,” Moriah says, before revealing that her anger with her parents was for something beyond their control. Actually, her anger was because things were beyond their control.
“For a while, I was angry. I was angry because you guys couldn’t fix it. And you were my parents — you were supposed to fix it. But you couldn’t. The doctors said you couldn’t. They didn’t know what to do, and that’s not your fault.”
“We were all helpless,” Barry says. “I’m just sorry that, you know, sometimes children being cruel children did what they did.”
Moriah then reveals that trying to mitigate the ridicule and hurtful comments resulted in her relationship with fashion as a coping mechanism — a relationship that still exists today.
I would look myself in the mirror and I would say, ‘You are ugly, nobody will ever love you.’ That was the hardest thing I struggled with, with how I saw myself. But if I had the right hat, the right dress, if I had the right like clothes on that made me look cuter, then I wouldn’t be teased as much. And people would treat me differently, or they treat me normally — what I thought was normally.
Since then, I’ve always been like that. I’ve always been like, ‘Well, you know, today’s a bad day. I’m gonna go change my outfit.’ Like, it’s always been like that. And outfits have changed my life. If you have the right outfit on, you’re gonna have a good day.
To see the full scene with Moriah and Barry, be sure to tune in for the new episode of Welcome To Plathville airing tonight at 10/9c on TLC.