Spoken truthfully from their innocent hearts, their stories are sensitive and genuine. These children are speaking out against their biggest enemy and its immeasurable forces.
A young, bald boy, who has obviously been forced to grow up too fast, explains, “When I lost my hair, people made jokes about me. They used to call me ‘bald-headed Blake.’ I don’t like that.”
“When I went to school, people came to me and asked why I was bald and they said I looked like a boy, which I don’t like,” says a bald girl wearing a purple flower headband, holding tears behind a surgical mask.
From February 15-17th, over 15,000 Penn State students will participate in the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, affectionately known as THON. The mission of THON is to provide financial and emotional support to pediatric cancer patients, benefiting the Four Diamonds Fund. To a Four Diamonds Kid, THON is 46 hours in which they can put their worries and fears aside to just be a kid.
Hair loss is a cancer-fighting battle sign. Compared to cancer’s multitude of outcomes, however, losing one’s hair is nearly unbearable. For children especially, it has a devastating effect on what should be their childhood. No child deserves to fight this battle and no child deserves to sacrifice their hair.
Bald pediatric cancer patients are innocently the victims of stolen identities.
On Pinterest, we repin hundreds of long, luscious hairstyles from celebrities and models. Before we visit the salon, we carefully plan the cut, the color, the style of desired hair. We can barely tolerate facing the public on a bad hair day.
But truthfully, our hair is nothing but dead. Hair isn’t a necessity of life; it’s not an organ. In her lifetime, a woman will spend months of time and thousands of dollars styling, caring and maintaining something that is lifeless.
If we only had to the courage, confidence and true conception of beauty to shave our heads bald, hours spent on something dead could be spent on a child’s life.
When given the opportunity to shave your hair, could you do it?
What’s holding us back? Our society believes that hair is a defining feature of the beauty we see in ourselves and the beauty we perceive in others. It’s not hair, but what’s within, that makes a person truly beautiful.
Bald isn’t easy, it’s real. With anything out of the ordinary, a bald experience in the social world will be nothing but a challenge. This challenge, however, is insignificant compared to the challenge your that bald head will represent.
By empowering the look with confidence and shining in the beauty of bald, you’ll instill a true depiction of beauty to the Four Diamonds Kids THON weekend. This message, and the physical evidence that they are not alone in their fight, is the most influential difference to be made in the life of a child.
Join the first “No Hair, Don’t Care” united effort on Monday, February 11th at Evolve Studio. From 3-7pm, shave your head for $10 towards THON’s total. Donors will receive a free “No Hair, Don’t Care” headband to wear THON weekend. To participate, contact NoHairDontCare@psu.edu with your name, phone number and PSU email.
Photography by Tyler Hankins