True Beauty: Donate for The Bald and the Beautiful
Gabriela Leskur | Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I have always seen my hair as an integral part of my identity – not only my identity, really, but also my self-esteem. A bad hair day has an impact on my view of myself, undoubtedly. A good hair day is cause for celebration. Beyond how my hair looks, I tend to twist my hair subconsciously all the time when I’m thinking (which I do more than you would think). It’s definitely my grown-up security blanket, as well as my most principal accessory.
Without a doubt, I would wager I am far from the only one who feels this way. Most girls (and some guys) do, too. And yet, by putting such weight on the value of hair, we lose sight of what is truly beautiful.
Love, kindness and charity make us far more beautiful than any hairstyle ever could. And this week, we all have the opportunity to become more beautiful by giving our hair away.
The Bald and the Beautiful began as a way to commemorate Sam Marx, a Notre Dame student who died during the summer after his freshman year, following a hard battle with cancer. What began as a small group of people shaving their heads to raise money and awareness has turned into the largest campus-wide charity event run by students.
When a wonderful friend of mine, Colleen McLinden, with hair akin to the princess from “Brave,” decided to shave her head for the Bald and the Beautiful this week, I started to think about my own hair. Although I take pride in my long, some would say luscious (others would say unruly), locks, I would be much happier knowing a young girl with cancer could take pride in my hair instead. And that’s why I’m planning on donating eight to 10 inches of my hair tomorrow night.
For those of you who would like to be totally amazing and donate your hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths or would like to be absolutely phenomenal and shave your head for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, you can sign up at nd.edu/~tbab
The Bald and the Beautiful will take place today through Friday in the Sorin and Dooley Rooms in the LaFortune Student Center from 4 to 8 p.m.
If you would like to participate in the event, there are three ways in which you can help the cause:
First, you can donate your hair. You must donate at least eight inches and you cannot have dyed your hair to be eligible. Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society, will turn your donation into a wig for cancer patients.
Second, you can shave your head. Preliminary qualification: you must be awesome. Your awesomeness will allow for more cancer research to be done by the lovely folks at St. Baldrick’s.
Third, if you’re not able to donate your hair or shave your head, you can still be part of the Bald and the Beautiful. You can buy colored hair extensions for $10 individually, or you can buy three for $25. All profits from these purchases will go to Memorial Hospital of South Bend.
I cannot imagine how hard it must be for those enduring chemotherapy and radiation. To watch each lock of hair that falls sadly from their heads must be a terrifying reminder of their situation and their struggle. I could not be happier to give my own hair in honor of every lock they lose during their courageous battles against cancer. Hopefully, the Notre Dame community will come together again in support, ready to do the same.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
Contact Gabriela Leskur at [email protected]