Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Bald, Beautiful and Brave

Today I shaved my head in support of a friend who has lost most of her hair due to an autoimmune disorder. Yesterday, she decided to shave her head, what hair was left there, and it was an emotional thing for her. A few people decided to shave their heads, too, in support of her.

There are actually many illnesses that cause hair loss, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, trichotillomania and eating disorders. I am hoping I can raise a little awareness and also help challenge traditional ideas of what beauty is. 

It's been interesting so far and I'm sure it will become even more interesting.

Many people have told me I am brave.  I have said, repeatedly, I don't think I am that brave.  My friend, the one going through a serious illness, is brave.  It takes a lot more courage to face that than to shave my head, especially when I know my hair will grow back.  My hair has always grown quickly.  

I was thinking about it and I wonder if, were I to tell people I was shaving my head because I had a serious illness that was making me lose my hair, would they still tell me I am brave?  Or would they feel sorry for me?  I bet it would be the latter.  And they might also be a bit afraid that they might catch whatever serious illness was making me lose my hair.

It is brave to do something so unconventional.  It's brave to stand out.  But I don't want everyone telling me I'm brave and wonderful for doing this.  That's not why I did it.  That's not the point.

This was Isaac's first experience at a hair salon, by the way.  He treated it like any other public access situation.  I allowed him to say hi to the woman that shaved my hair, because she really wanted to pet him.  Turns out she had to euthanize her cat last week.  In addition to petting Isaac, she kissed him and nuzzled his face and let him kiss her and nuzzle her neck.  It seemed very important to her to pet him and I was happy to let her.

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