A Shaved Head… For the Children.

I suppose I should point out a few things right off the bat: I’m not usually a very altruistic person. And I don’t really like children.

There, I said it. At the risk of sounding like Scrooge McScroogeypants, it can fairly be said that I am typically focused on my own survival, and that I find children to be strange, alien organisms who exist in a world that is beyond the scope of my understanding. That’s not to say that I won’t help a friend in need or that I wander the streets looking for children to terrorize, but I’m not usually big on things like contributing to fundraisers or, for instance, babysitting. (Woe betide the person who thinks I should look after their children. Seriously.) So it’s a bit out of character for me to be doing what I’m doing: participating in a fundraiser for childhood cancer research. By shaving my head.

If you'd like to sponsor my new Sinead O'Connor look, please click on the image above to go to my participant page at St. Baldrick's!

As fundraisers go, shaving one’s head strikes me as particularly punk-rock, and since I occasionally experience a strong urge to shave my head anyway, it kind of seemed like the universe was sending me a message when I saw that my local Irish pub was holding a St. Baldrick’s fundraiser, and that they were looking for volunteers to have their heads shaved to raise money for charity. I dithered a bit, but the idea had snared me. My little niece has been in hospital getting a tumor removed and I’ve been waiting to hear whether she’s going to need chemotherapy, unable to really do anything to help from halfway across the country. At least this way I could do something to feel like I was contributing, like I was standing with my family and all of the people who have to deal with this. I consulted a few friends to make sure I hadn’t gone crazy, and then I signed up. On September 17th, I’ll be headed to The Irish Embassy Pub to have my hair shorn right off, and I’ll also be donating my hair to an organization that uses it to make real-hair wigs for those who need them.

Quite a few people have already told me I’m brave to do it. I don’t really see it that way, though I can see how it would be a big sacrifice for most people. (And I expect it really won’t help my odds with dating. :D) But I figure it will grow back, and I’ve never been all that attached to it. For most of my childhood and young adulthood, I had very short hair, to the point where when I told hairdressers how short I wanted it, they typically insisted on checking with my mum first to make sure I wasn’t going off the reservation. Long hair isn’t generally a good idea for me — it brings out my compulsive, hair-twisting, ends-chewing side — but I grew it out essentially so that people would stop calling me “sir” or asking me whether I was a girl or a boy. (I am not even kidding you right now. Apparently I’m super-butch. Maybe one of these days I’ll write a blog about my gender-related traumas.) I’ve never really known what to do with it — being a girl isn’t my strongest skill — and it’s never really felt like something that I did for myself.

I guess that’s what really appeals to me — aside from the obvious helping-kids-with-cancer part — about actually shaving it all off. I have grown attached to it, and consider it my best feature (it’s so luxurious and curly and curly and luxurious!), and when it all grows back again (we can rebuild it! Better! Stronger! Longer!), this time it will be entirely my idea. It will be because I want it back, not because I feel like I ought to grow it out to make my life easier. And while I’m working on that — and all my self-esteem issues, I imagine — I plan to indulge myself with sweet hats for the bald phase, and sweet new hair accessories for when it gets longer again.

I’ll post again with some photos of my bald cranium when the deed is done, and together we can point and laugh heartily, as I suspect I’m going to turn out to be one of those people who looks truly ridiculous when bald. Until then, if you’d like to make a contribution to help fight childhood cancer and you want to sponsor having me shorn like a recalcitrant sheep (this is an Irish-themed event, after all :D), please make a donation to help me reach my $1000 fundraising goal!


17 thoughts on “A Shaved Head… For the Children.

  1. Excellent idea!! I shall be adding to your fundraising as soon as I get paid! The donation of your hair is a bonus! You Rock!!

  2. Great idea! Just sent a small donation to help the cause.

  3. I “Like” this, but I LOVE you! I’ll be reblogging this over the weekend, you antithesis to Scrooge McScroogeypants, you.

  4. I share your views on having children. When I was quite young (a few decades ago) people would tell me that if I only would have children I would change my mind. Nah….

    Anyhow, I’m quite familiar with St. Baldrick’s and it’s great that you are participating! When I worked at Fox (local station, not network thank god) one of the reporters was a St. Baldrick’s booster and would do feature stories on it (some of which I got to edit) for weeks leading up to the actual event. He even got his own head shaved, which is pretty incredible for a TV personality–we know how much they value their good looks! Another gal I worked with at Big 10 Network also shaved her head. It’s a great way to call attention to a good cause–so I’ll be sending you a little something to help you reach your goal.

    • Thank you Alli! I hadn’t ever heard of this sort of thing until I saw it on the pub’s website, so it’ll be a first for me, but I’ve been hearing from a lot of people who’ve either shaved their hair or cut off a great length to donate to Locks of Love. The coolest thing about this so far is that when you tell people what you’re doing, they share their own stories with you.

      (And when I’ve told people I don’t ever intend to have kids, I often get, “Oh, you’ll change your mind when you’re older.” But I so won’t. ;D I’m growing to like kids more as I get more experience with them, but it’s simply not in my personality to want to have one.)

  5. We’ll be making a donation on payday.

    I think this is a fabulous idea. So much so that when you first mentioned it, I went to see if there was an event happening here. Since I’m not working, and probably won’t be for a while, this is one of the rare points in my life when being bald wouldn’t really have any negative consequences for me, and it seems like it would be great to start over with my hair from scratch, and not feel like I’m just trying to undo the damage I’ve done to it over the years.

    • Thanks sis! I kind of imagine having it shaved is going to be a relief… or at very least a change, and you know how I like to change things at random to keep myself sane. :D It did occur to me that it could be a little awkward if I found myself trying to score a date or land a new job, but neither is very likely at this particular point in time, so what the hell. :D Did you find any events in your area? Maybe you could talk to a local Irish pub about doing one… that seems to be the traditional venue.

  6. Its a wonderful thing to do! very brave and hair always grows back. Just think of all the styling possibilities you get to play with as it grows out :)

  7. Awesome thing to do, and may your help, in your way; help to soothe you as you and your family travel the long road ahead; I pray your neice has a full recovery.

    • Thanks, Jessica. :) I heard from my sister-in-law that after the surgery to remove the tumor, they’re calling my niece cancer-free for now. They’ll have to keep a careful eye on things but she didn’t have to go through chemo, which is a huge relief.

  8. Pingback: A Shaved Head… For the Children. (via Red Roan Chronicles) « The Monster in Your Closet

  9. Bless your friend for her generous heart and selfless spirit. To give up what you think is special to you is not easy but she went pass that and now courageously will give up her hair for the cancer victims. And you’d been a true BFF for her for paying a tribute to her and for raising fund for a noble cause. May this post touch a lot of hearts. Thanks for sharing. It gives hope to a lot of people out there.

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