It’s only hair, y’all

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I am shaving my head to raise funds for children’s cancer research

By Stevie Lowery

“Is your hair naturally curly?”
I have been asked that question hundreds of times.
“You’re so lucky,” is the response I often receive after confirming that, yes, my hair is indeed naturally curly.
Apparently, from what I’ve been told, many women would pay good money to have curls like mine.
And, I will admit, it’s been a blessing because it’s so low-maintenance. I only get a haircut maybe once every two or three months. And, I don’t have to buy expensive hair products.
My hair has a mind of its own. Some people have said it’s big, even boofy. One might say my curly hair has become a trademark of mine. In college I sometimes straightened my hair and when I walked across campus my friends didn’t recognize me.
Well, in a about two months, I’m going to become unrecognizable to most people I know. That’s because I will be shaving my head.
Yes, you read that right.
I am going to shave my head at Citizens National Bank’s St. Baldrick’s event, which will be held Saturday, March 15, at St. Augustine Grade School. It’s something I’ve considered doing for years, but I’ve never been brave enough – until now. A good friend of mine actually came to me and asked if I would seriously consider it. He said he knew my head could raise some big bucks for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which funds childhood cancer research. And, I’m determined to raise some serious cash for my natural curls! I would be ecstatic to raise a whopping $10,000, and I do think it’s possible. I really do. My news editor, Stephen Lega, has been encouraging me to participate in St. Baldrick’s for years. He’s confident that the state’s newspapers will support the cause and donate funds on my curly locks. I hope he’s right. I am a board member on the Kentucky Press Association, after all. And, just think if 100 newspapers donated $100 each, wouldn’t that be incredible? (Hint, hint.) Heck, the company I work for, Landmark Community Newspapers, owns almost 60 newspapers. (Ahem… cough, cough… hint, hint.)
Stephen also thinks some of the state’s celebrities could be inspired to donate. Nick Clooney, father of actor George Clooney, has had a career in the news business and Stephen thinks he might be willing to donate to the cause. And, if he does, well, you know George will, too.
And, then there’s Jennifer Lawrence, a Louisville native, who captured a Golden Globe recently for her performance in the film “American Hustle.” She was honored last year as lead actress in a musical or comedy for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook” (her performance also won her a best-actress Academy Award). She’s also insanely popular because of her role in “The Hunger Games” movies. But, it’s her fun, blunt and no-nonsense personality that really makes her such a fan-favorite. Did you know that when she was home for Christmas she visited the patients at Kosair Children’s Hospital? She posed for photos with the patients and the staff. But, she didn’t do it for the publicity. She did it because that’s the type of person she is, and I’m hoping maybe when/if she gets wind of my fundraising efforts for St. Baldrick’s she will be inspired to donate. I mean, my secret boyfriend Justin Timberlake has. Don’t believe me? Go look at my fundraising page. His name is listed with all of my current donors. Oh, and while you’re there, go ahead and make a donation. No donation is too small. I mean, Justin only donated $100 and he’s rich. (No offense, sweetie.)
Since I announced my intention to shave my head, I’ve had several people try to talk me out of it. “Oh, Stevie, you have such beautiful hair! You can’t shave it!” Yes, yes I can. And I’m going to. It will grow back. Sure, I’m probably going to look like a human Chia Pet when it starts growing back, but that’s OK with me. It’s completely worth it. After all, it’s just hair, which got me to thinking. So many women put entirely too much emphasis on their hair. Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy having hair. I take pride in my natural curls. I love the way I feel after a fresh hair cut. And it does make me feel good when I receive a compliment on my hair. But, I’m afraid some women put so much emphasis on their hair that they think it’s the only thing that makes them beautiful. We are so much more than our hair, ladies. We don’t need hair to be beautiful. You know what you do need? You need a smile. And a good attitude. And a giving heart. Those things make you beautiful, not your hair.
I’m actually excited about shaving my head on March 15. I’m anxious to see how much money I can raise for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. And, I’m actually looking forward to not having to worry about my heavy ponytail annoying me during my long training runs this summer. Honestly, I think being without my curly hair will teach me a few things about myself. Yes, I know people will stare. Some people might even assume I’m a cancer patient. Thankfully, I’m not. I hope to never be. But, the friends of mine who have fought and who are currently fighting cancer are an inspiration to me. I've watched many of my friends battle cancer. Some have won. Some haven't. And, I feel compelled to honor them by supporting this amazing cause. No one, especially a child, should have to endure the evil disease of cancer.
My heart is telling me to do this... it's as simple as that.
In my opinion, if I have the ability to raise thousands of dollars for childhood cancer research, I have a responsibility to do it. If I refused to shave my head because of my insecurities or fears of not having hair... how selfish would that make me?
Like I said, it's only hair.

Childhood cancer research is extremely underfunded. So I have decided to do something about it by raising money for cures. But, I need your help! Will you make a donation? Every dollar makes a difference for the thousands of infants, children, teens, and young adults fighting childhood cancers. Please help me help them.
Visit my “shavee” page on the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s website at http://goo.gl/eMcjJX. Or, you can stop by Citizens National Bank of Lebanon and donate to the "Shave Stevie's Head" fund. Or, you can stop by The Lebanon Enterprise office and give me your donation in person (and I will give you a hug.)