Everyone already knows beauty comes from within, beauty is not all appearance because there is so much more to it. Beauty is all about perspective, and not one version of beauty is the same as the next. I can go on and on and on as to what beauty really means and how it differs with each viewpoint. Before I get carried away, let me just start from the beginning of our beautiful journey.
The day we had news of Meg’s cancer, the first thoughts out of her mouth were concerning the loss of her hair. Sure everyone’s reaction to this is “it’s just hair…” In actuality, it is so much more than just hair. I understand some people do not know how to respond to this news, and try to use that line in a comforting way, but hair to a woman carries a lot more value than what it actually is. We all knew, including Meg, that the chemotherapy would be taking away her hair temporarily of course.. instead of letting Meghan watch her long, beautiful strands of hair fall out one by one, we decided to take action and not let Cancer take anything away from her.. so we shaved her head (like Britney Spears circa 2007). This wasn’t meant to be scary, sad, or even daunting.. this was just a simple way of dealing with a shitty situation. The way we look at it is you can either make the best of the situation or the worst of the situation… we made the best and had a wonderful time chopping each pony tail and placing them delicately in a baggie to be shipped to a company for use for a wig! Although we aren’t experts with the clippers.. I’d say we did a pretty kick ass job and made Meghan feel like a gorgeous new woman!
So obviously, this was before chemo session one.. her hair was not falling out and it didn’t affect her confidence or self esteem just yet. We aren’t clueless.. we knew the day would come where Meg gets emotional about losing her hair. Yes, we shaved her head so she wouldn’t see hair fall out and allow herself to feel sick.. however, after chemo session two, almost immediately she started pulling her hair out and realized how easily it was to hold a clump in her hand.. obviously this started taking a big toll on her.
Everyone who knows Meghan knows that she is a blonde bombshell.. she only lets one hair stylist (shout out to Jess Scott Santo from Tangles Salon in Easton, PA) touch her hair because she is so particular with what it looks like! Meghan loves getting ready, curling her entire head of hair, keeping up with her highlights and lowlights, using very expensive products, and most importantly making herself look and feel beautiful. I (Jillian.. just incase you forgot), am just as particular with my hair and only allow Jess to touch it. From the beginning, I told Meg as soon as she gets scared or sad over losing her hair I am shaving my head.. and as soon as I knew, that day came. I too, am guilty of explaining to Meghan that “it is just hair it will grow back.” But sure enough, I am learning every day that it is so much more than that and I am so grateful to be gaining perspective on what beauty really means and what it feels like when your idea of beauty is compromised. I feel like I can truly understand every single emotion a little bit more now that I have shaved my head because Meghan and I share a common view of what beauty is in a woman. We both always have long luscious locks of hair… and even some weave braided in for length because that is just what makes us feel beautiful on the inside, which is reflected on the outside.
I promised Meg that I would share with you all the good, the bad, and the ugly with this entire experience. Let’s start by saying I would have never made another decision than the one I did if I had the chance. If I was given 1000 chances to turn back time and make a different move.. I wouldn’t… I would have shaved my head every single time. I did not shave my head for me, I shaved my head for Meghan- for support both physically and emotionally. I wanted to not only show Meghan she is not alone, that she does not have to feel obligated to wear an itchy and heavy wig if she doesn’t want to, and most importantly to show Meghan the unconditional love and support she has around her. Since it has been a few days since the initial “Jillian goes Britney Spears circa 2007 party” I am able to really understand how I feel emotionally when I look at my reflection. I can relate with Meghan when she feels less like a woman, less beautiful, or just plain simple less feminine. Thankfully, my favorite trait about myself is that I DO NOT GIVE ONE SINGLE FUCK WHAT ANY SINGLE PERSON IN THIS WORLD THINKS OF ME. I swear that makes all the difference. I have realized, I test people in my mind every single day (Thanks to my cousin Cindy Fernandez).. meaning, if someone is shallow enough to see a bald woman and think she is/treat her like she is anything less than what she was with hair… I have no words and absolutely no respect for you. Since I work at as a Manager at an Art Studio, I can totally pull it off and people think I’m just an art freak (cue Mean Girls reference). But let me tell you, I did work an event and the coordinator was like “It’s great to meet you…” and unfortunately it was not our first meeting, she just didn’t take note of my features earlier I guess… yes, I was testing her… 😉 So yeah, that was the most awkward encounter but I handled it appropriately… like making it more awkward by saying nope it’s me!!! LOL 😉
After conquering the “First day of school as the new student” (aka showing up to work and shocking everyone) I can honestly say I am getting used to this and am starting to feel more and more beautiful. Sure, I don’t have hair… but at the end of the day I have more appreciation and respect for myself when I look into the mirror at the end of the day than most can say for themselves.
New things that I have learned about myself in the last few days:
- I cannot walk outside without a beanie on in the Winter because it’s like an instant brain freeze (or freeze brain… whatever works)
- I am basically a cat… I LOVE MY HEAD RUBBED
- I love showering and getting ready in only 30 minutes.. 20 if I had to
- The amount of money I will save on not using hair products is astounding and awesome (Insert money emoji with wings)
- I will be a makeup queen because it makes me feel feminine and FLOSSY when bald… thank god for our sister Samii for teaching us everything we need to know
- When I am too close to the camera my head looks like it’s taking over the world.. when I am too far away I basically resemble a Q-tip
- The bigger the hoop the bigger the hoe… jk I just need hoops all day every day now
- I can use a really artsy name when asked my name at Starbucks and they would believe me… 🙂 Hi my name is Petunia… and nobody questions me. BANG BANG!
- When a man is asking me for my number I can tell them I do not like men and they won’t question that either… (nobody take offense to that please, just making light of the situation)… In all seriousness, I used that a few weeks ago and it worked but he didn’t believe me
- I need a sleeve now.. Amber Rose who?
So all in all, bald is BEAUTIFUL.. it may just take a few days to believe it 🙂
Britney… oh wait I mean Jillian