It’s been a week and a day since I got my head shaved. Whether people took it positively or negatively, it did not leave anyone indifferent.
I was recently asked about my take in shaving and wearing a wig afterward. Well, let me clear things out. This is how I envision the situation:
- The battle against cancer: Sick people tend to give up on themselves. Having a wig to care for is really important in making an effort which will make them feel a bit better.
Women’s connection to their hair is so emotional making the hair loss experience really traumatizing.
For a 14 years old girl with cancer, whose perception about her transforming body is altered, going out head shaved is really not easy.
- Privacy: Some women do not feel comfortable letting everyone around them know that they have cancer. Others do not wish to worry their family or to be tagged as “sick”. Many just don’t feel like spending their day explaining their situation. I think it’s legitimate.
- Suitability: Head shaving does not suit all head shapes for many reasons. Therefore having a wig is a good backup.
- On the job: I work in the HR Department of a company. This includes making interviews which means putting candidates at ease to get as much information as possible and make the right decision at the end. My purpose is not to see how they would react seeing me. Work and my intent have nothing to do together. I am neither a freelancer nor a company owner and I understand the needs of my job.
- Extreme styling opportunities: I can go out with or without hair depending on my mood. It takes 1 second!
From the minute I got my head shaved I had a lot of reactions. People would come give me their opinion, ask me questions, call me and send me messages. When you live in Lebanon, where beauty reaches ridiculously superficial standards, where it’s OK to undergo life-threatening operations to become as “good looking” as the local singers or the girls who appear on the covers of the magazines they read (No offense to anyone), all of this is expected.
- What have you done to your hair? ~ Isn’t it obvious that I got my head shaved? I wondered.
- Did you get married? ~ How is that relevant? I Thought.
- Is this the new trend? ~ “Yes, it is!” I proudly answered.
- Are you sick? ~ Due to social pressure and discomfort, sick people avoid going out bare headed…which is not my case!
- How did your family react? ~ They were prepared and they just love it!
- What did you boyfriend say? ~ He said it’s hot and sexy!
- If I cut 2cm from my hair, my boyfriend would kill me. ~ Don’t let me get started on this one! Too bad for you both!
- I always wanted/dreamed to shave my head, but I don’t dare to do it/it doesn’t suit me. ~ It’s easier to have tattoos and piercings? It’s easier to have plastic surgery? But it’s not easy to have JUST really short hair? Hair GROWS! It’s reversible! Wigs can be used for backup! Why don’t you try my standards for a change?
- You have a lot of courage/guts/”balls” to do something like that! ~ Maybe. All I know is that I really WANTED it.
- You don’t look like a “normal” girl nor the way a girl “should” look. You don’t look “conventional”. ~ When I look into the mirror, I feel great, liberated from all the “social handcuffs” and stereotypes.
- Heads turn when I walk in public.
- People stare and pinch the person next to them to look too.
- A guy in a mall fell from the stair.
- A relative was so shocked she could not talk.
- Salespeople in boutiques talk to me in English (I could not be Lebanese, could I?)
Perception needs to change. If cancer is to be defeated, it should not be feared nor tabooed. Cancer or not, trend or not, if you want to have your head shaved, just step up and do it!
The way I see it: Fear is the worst cancer.