Hair undoubtedly plays a huge role in our society- Jennifer Aniston was known for her hairstyle as Rachel on Friends; a bad hair day can bring down a girl’s self-esteem; and studies show that the average woman spends $50,000 on her hair over the course of her lifetime.
“So?” you might ask.
When I was in North Carolina, we attended a fundraiser for The St. Baldrick’s
Foundation, which, according to their website, “is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.” They do this by asking individuals to become “shavees.”
Go ahead – throw vanity out the window. We dare you to experience the brilliance of being bald while raising funds for life-saving research. Your fundraising efforts will raise much-needed research support and your bald head will be a display of solidarity with kids who have cancer – most of whom don’t get to choose how to style their hair today. Give them the best chance for a cure! (St. Baldrick’s website)
At the party, we met two girls- Stacey and Morgan- who have made the incredibly daring decision to shave their heads. I was so struck by their audacity- dare I say, especially as two attractive young women with shiny, beautiful hair who have professional careers and are involved in the Raleigh social scene. I respect anyone who participates in this cause, but given their role in the community, I was especially impressed.
One girl said that she was nervous about what guys would think of her bald head, but she was willing to take the risk anyway.
She told my sister that this gesture- both literal and symbolic- became more than just supporting children with cancer. It became about breaking down traditional stereotypes of what constitutes beauty. It became about showing that the clothes- or the hair- don’t make the (wo)man.
So I leave you with this adorably cheesy song: Who Says?