Brave? Not Really.

So last night, on Facebook live, my friend Gina shaved all my hair off.

Facebook Live video

I’d always planned to do it on my 50th Birthday, but then Vietnam came along and I thought,

  1. I can’t be doing with long hair in such heat and
  2. I really don’t want to be fussed taking loads and loads of hair products with me.

Mainly because I took loads to China and still it ran out around xmas time, which meant that I ended up paying a fortune to have everything delivered to my colleague’s house in the US and I had to wait until he brought it all back with him. This time I thought, nah, f*ck that.

Plus, I didn’t really know what my natural hair was like. From a young age, my mum kept my hair in plaits, then I started relaxing it at 16 years old. I truly have no recollection of what my natural hair looks/feels like. So for once in my life I wanted to see how it grows and how it turns out.

Then I saw that Macmillan were running a brave the shave campaign and I thought, why not raise some money for Macmillan Cancer Support while I was at it.

I did look into whether I would be able to donate it, but they don’t accept afro hair (racists!)

me before after

The most interesting thing for me was the reaction of other people to my shaving my head.

When I announced that I was doing it to my fellow teachers, 4 people came up to me separately to suggest that it might not be a good idea because such things are frowned upon over here. To which I replied,

“It’s my hair, I’ll do what I like with it!”

Back in the UK, the overwhelming response was,

“OMG, you’re so brave!”

I found this response confusing.

Why is it brave for a woman to cut off her hair?

Men shave their hair all the time. No-one tells a man that he’s really brave when he’s going to the barbers to get a buzz cut!

Most of you, who know me, know I’m not one of those, wear make-up every day, spend hours in front of the mirror, type of girly girl, so why would I be bothered about a bit of hair?

I am of an age now when I know that my sense of self isn’t based on my external looks. I know exactly who I am. My self-confidence isn’t connected to my appearance or a new hairdo. But after the tenth person told me that I was so brave, I began to wonder, is there something wrong with me? Should I be more concerned about having my locks shorn? Why do I not see it as a big thing?

But as with most things in life, I seem to ignore what society tells me I should worry about and just get on with what I think is important.

After the hair was gone, all I felt was relief. It’s sooo much cooler and less sweaty.

Another wonderful thing I discovered. A shaved head is a wonderful timesaver.

Before my hair took a minimum of one hour to dry. One hour sat in front of the mirror, blowing hot air at my head is not something I wanted to be doing, especially not in a hot country.

Now, a quick rub with a towel and it’s done. Bosh!

I’m also considering going swimming on a regular basis now, not something I could ever have contemplated when every single dip in the pool was followed by an hour of hairdrying.

So no, actually I’m really glad that it’s all gone 🙂

It’s the same when I think about my weight. I’m fat, I know I’m fat. The reason why I’m fat is not because I’m big boned and not because of anything other than I LIKE CAKES! And sweets, and dollops of whipped cream, and ice cream and biscuits and Haribo.

Yes, I could cut all of these things out of my diet and I could lose weight, but I don’t mind being fat. As I can still move around, ride my bike and walk the dog, I’m not fussed if society tells me that I should be a size 8 or a size 10.

Shall I let you into a secret?

In my mind I sneer at those women who are obsessed with getting into a size 8 or 10.

Dear friends of mine, yes, I indeed do mentally roll my eyes whenever you say, “I’ll just have a salad, I’m on a diet”

Life’s too short for salad.

By all means, have a salad if you fancy having a salad, but passing up a scrumptious, well-prepared and cooked meal, because you are desperately trying to fit into some bogus societal convention,

Well, what’s the point?

As far as I’m concerned, society can go do one!


Donations still gratefully accepted

My Brave the Shave page


7 thoughts on “Brave? Not Really.

  1. Well done you! You look absolutely beautiful – your new hair style really suits you. And as for the rest of you; you’re delightfully, gloriously abundant.


  2. Ok, so not brave then – adventurous, reckless, daring, gutsy, heroic, audacious even but my money’s on confident. It looks fabulous.


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