It has been nearly two years since I’ve cut my hair. It’s twenty-five inches long now. I’ve gone through countless bottles of shampoo, and it’s ridiculous how long it takes my hair to dry. Ponytails give me neck pain because of the weight.
I came to the decision to shave my head after watching a girl my age see her new hair and break down in a salon. “This color is way too dark and I never said I wanted layers,” she complained. “This isn’t how I described it at all.” As she whined on, I thought about how much women devote themselves to their locks. As sign of femininity, hair is one of the many things women pride themselves in. And, although I had always loved my hair, I couldn’t bring myself to sympathize with her vanity.
Many people have asked me why I’m shaving my head. I have never had cancer and no one I know has either. I do it for the children who do not have a voice to whine about their hair anymore. Those who won’t feel their mother’s warm embrace ever again. Those who didn’t win their fight against cancer.
I’m shaving my head to show support for cancer awareness and research.
But, my actions speak a much louder message than just support for cancer research.
My actions are a cry to our society for change. Change to where our morals lie. Which do we see as a priority: our vanity or our character? Why do we invest so much time, effort, and money into making ourselves look physically beautiful when it is our hearts that need our attention?
It is society that morphs us into the selfish, judgmental, materialistic monsters we are. Flashy magazines show us what we need to look like. Sports Illustrated’s 2014 Swimsuit Calendar makes women believe that perfect hair, a perfect body, and perfect make-up are all essential in making men love you. TV shows force us to believe that, if we want to be socially accepted, we must appear a certain way. They set an unrealistic, unattainable standard of beauty. Yet still, we buy into it because our appearance in the eyes of others seems to take precedence over our true character. But who is to say we cannot overcome our inner demons?
Let my bald head be a message to you. To urge you to be an inspiration. To transcend the binds by which society holds you. To act on your own conscience. And to be a voice that is not one with the crowd, but rather one with your heart. Fear not rejection, judgment, disappointment, but rather fear the type of people that we will become if we do not change ourselves. Let my bald head remind you to never believe that you cannot have an impact on our world. Facing adversity and speaking up for what you believe in is our true salvation from the harsh reality of societal standards.