Why? What inspired this?
I know I will be asked by many, and the answer is far from concise.
The desire started many years ago. I was in middle school when the bug first bit me, seventh grade to be exact. My best friend Marykate and I rented Empire Records from Blockbuster, because the cover looked cool. And so ensued many weekend sleepovers filled with movies and candy (an epic friendship meant for another post). If you’ve seen Empire Records, maybe you are familiar with the iconic scene where Debra (played by Robin Tunney) storms into the record store, heads straight to the bathroom and shaves her head after a bad break up.
I knew from that moment, that I wanted to shave my head.
One day. Maybe. If only I could muster up enough courage.
When I was in high school I finally chopped my hair, but only so far as to resemble Natalie Imbruglia’s pixie cut.
Anyway, my parents and private school certainly wouldn’t approve.
I stashed it away on my Bucket List, wondering if I would ever be allowed to do it.
Over a decade later, my best friend Marykate was diagnosed with an inoperable grade 2 astrocytoma (brain tumor). She started radiation treatment. Due to it’s impact on her body, she began losing her hair and decided to shave her head. I was compelled to shave my head along side her, in solidarity (although 2,000 miles away). Ultimately, I wimped out. I was in a relationship at the time where I believed I would not be accepted if I had.
I did not feel I had permission to do so.
And for some reason, I believed that if I shaved my head, my acting career would be over. The (on-camera) acting career that did not even really exist. I make a living in voiceovers mind you, it doesn’t matter what I look like!
I was influenced by sheer vanity.
Sheer vanity. Ironically, often times the veil of vanity is so dark we cannot clearly see through it.
I have a beautiful friend Elizabeth, who is co-writer of a blog, Beauty Coup. I have been reading the Beauty Coup posts for quite some time now. They have served as a source of inspiration and empowerment. How we define beauty and femininity in this culture is such a farce. Recently, I have begun to question many of these societal norms.
In the past, if anyone was to ever ask me what part of my body I liked the LEAST, I would’ve stated, “My face.” I never felt pretty growing up, however people complimented my hair often. So I thought, “Well, at least I have good hair.” I used my hair as a way to hide my face. I knew if I was to shave my head, there would be no more hiding.
Not until recently was I finally ready to fully expose myself, and live out a life-long dream – ALLOWING MYSELF to fully accept and love the face that God gave me: pimples, squinty eyes and unsymmetrical features included.
This past summer I ended a relationship of almost 7 years. It was the hardest thing I have ever done – to lose a best friend, after the tragic loss of my life-long best friend Marykate 6 months prior.
Since my relationship’s demise, I have gone back to The Bucket List.
Fear has dictated many of the decisions I have made in my life. I now have a new found determination to do the things I am most afraid of. I am no longer allowing myself to run away from fear, especially when they are things I truly want to do!
I only want to surround myself with people who are going to love me for the me that is inside, not my human shell. And it starts first with me accepting and loving myself.
Shaving my head serves as a lasting reminder of the new woman I want to be, unabashedly free.
As a wise and beautiful man once said,
“It’ll grow back. And in the meantime, you’ll be growing in all sorts of other ways.”