Wednesday, March 25, 2009

shaving the head

today i posted on facebook that i was "seriously contemplating shaving my head again this spring/summer" and oh the comments that followed.

some people know that in May of '96 i was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma...i fought it, beat it and am living. i'm still battling in my own way...the side effects of chemo...the mental/emotional side effects of having to suck it up and be strong...that's the hardest part. i never processed my "wall" out but i'm working on it.

the comments ranged from the positive "DO IT!" to "you can work it girl!" to the sexist "i haven't seen you in a decade and i shouldn't have more hair than you..." to the joking kinda insulting, "Maybe we can all paint and use your head as our canvas!" to the questioning my motives, "so what's up? what's with the publicity?" to the "likes"...you know, the thumbs up feature.

i was 1) shocked to have 20+ comments on this one little thought; 2) amazed at what was coming out of people (sexism, shallowness, pettiness) and 3) disappointed that some of the people who know me and my history just didn't get it...i wasn't expecting praise but i was definitely not prepared for others' negative reactions to my desire to once again shave my head.

"why are you shaving your head?"

why? because it's time. in may it'll be three years since last i did it.

shaving my head is a way of reminding myself...to not take things/people/experiences for granted. to love what i am living...with or without hair. i am more than what sits on my head. i am more than "publicity" or "making a statement" and i am definitely not interested in your petty thoughts/feelings about how my self-empowering actions negatively affect you.

4 comments:

joana Smith said...

I got you girl. I see the symbolism. People are funny when it comes to something a little out of the ordinary, but if dreamers stopped acting on their visions, we'd die and the world would have no color. "Vive la Vie"

Simon said...

from my perspective, i'd do anything to erase the images of sickness and death and i don't know how i'd react to that kinda re-creation

thekitchenboy said...

i hear you, although,
i've learned that sometimes
redefinition of images can be healing
like taking songs that are attached to specific memories
and attaching them to new ones

shaving my head may have been one of the most liberating and lonely and enlightening things i ever did

and in a way i didn't realize until later, i think it did redefine an image for me

kudos for following your impulse

stephen said...

Whenever I shave my head after a long period of growing hair, people are always 50/50 about it. I guess after a while, I just learned to tune them out. Hair's one of those things that can speak louder than the substance it actually contains--like a radio pundit or a televangelist.

Anyway. You don't need affirmation from us, I'm sure. But from one naked scalp to another, I feel ya. Do what your spirit demands.

If nothing else, this whole event should convince you to deactivate your Facebook account. :)