October 07, 2021
A teen’s family wanted to show they’re in this together and vowed to shave their heads for their distant relative diagnosed with cancer. While they expected everyone would immediately agree, however, the teen refused to shave her thick long hair, much to their frustration.
To shave or not to shave? Some people would reciprocate the question with a positive gesture and simply go to the barbershop or salon. But one teen wants to know what’s with shaving the hair—it’s going to grow back anyway. Thus the 15-year-old girl downright refused to do it because she didn’t want to sacrifice her happiness for an unfortunate incident.
At the end of the day, you cannot force a person to shave their head just to show some support. However, some cultures call for the act. For example, some Asian traditions require people to shave their heads to mourn the loss of a loved one. However, Redditor Left-Space-3229 felt it was mean to do it for someone battling for their life.
SACRIFICES ARE MADE, NOT FORCED
The 15-year-old Reddit user hails from a big family, noting that different people with a diverse spectrum of traditions share the same roof. The teen revealed she was extremely proud of her thick long hair and insisted she wasn’t going to allow the razor to chop her magical tresses.
“If one of them goes through an unfortunate incident, they expect the rest of us to sacrifice our happiness,” explained the distraught teen.
Practically, you cannot force your decision on someone knowing they wouldn’t do it. For many women shaving their head is out of the question because they believe hair enhances the beauty of a woman. So it makes sense why the teen refused to shave her head just to support a relative battling cancer.
The Original Poster (OP)’s family was shocked and heartbroken when a distant relative was diagnosed with cancer. Everyone was upset and decided to symbolize their togetherness and support for the relative. She explained their emotional state, saying:
“Everyone was upset about the news and made this plan to shave everyone’s hair in support.”
The teen was blessed with naturally thick and long tresses and immediately dismissed the idea saying sacrificing her hair wasn’t going to help the person in any way. Unfortunately, her relatives didn’t see her refusal the same way and condemned her on the phone.
A WOMAN BATTLING CANCER IS STARTLED BY WHAT HER FRIENDS DID
To some, hair loss is like a billboard announcing to the world they’re battling cancer, and they usually don’t like being reminded about it. Redditor fishingunderthesun’s friend Grace was mortified when some of her friends shaved their heads, assuming it would comfort her. Unfortunately, it backfired and the Redditor explained in her post, writing:
“We both accused them of being self-centered and narcissistic people who didn’t really care about her or her illness.”
Though shaving the head has become a universal concept to show support for friends or dear ones battling cancer, it’s always important to know if it would comfort the person and not constantly remind them of their illness. Grace eventually cut ties with her friends for shaving their heads without her consent.
A FUNDRAISER CAMPAIGN THAT SURVIVORS DON'T FIND BRAVE
For some people, running the razor through their tresses is a symbolic representation of their love, while others do it as a fundraiser campaign. But does seeing the reflection of their baldness actually help cancer patients with their ordeal? Probably not. Some cancer patients view it with contempt like a person on the Mumsnet forum explained:
“If you wish to shave your head and help a charity, good for you, but it does not make either you or the charity ‘braver’ or even brave.”
Another person expressed her dislike towards the effort saying it was insensitive and condescending, particularly when seeing cheerful people with shaven heads. Meanwhile, some people like Lincolnshire-based cancer survivor Rebecca Masterman say there’s nothing “brave” about shaving one’s head.
SUPPORT FROM A STRANGER
However, many patients do appreciate the memory and many people continue to express their love and support for cancer patients this way But what if the loving decision comes from a stranger? A barber in Foxboro went the extra mile to support a customer battling cancer. In a world where people hardly take a minute to talk to a stranger, Foxboro-based barber Georges Atieh made heads turn.
“When I started cutting her hair, I saw her start to become emotional, so I decided to support her,” Atieh explained the moment before he joined Sandra Smith, 40, and shaved his head as well.
Atieh’s good gesture comforted the customer and prepared her to put up a brave fight against cancer. Surprisingly, Atieh wasn’t alone in this as two other barbers decided to express their solidarity with cancer patients.
TWO OTHER BARBERS SHOWER THEIR SUPPORT
One patient, Caroline Ross, 58, from Leicestershire, was left speechless after two barbers expressed their solidarity with her by shaving their heads while she watched them teary-eyed. Barbers Andi Bica and his cousin Kledian Peci decided to show Ross their support.
“I was more shocked about him cutting his hair than I was about how my hair looked. It was overwhelming, and I felt quite teary...What lovely lads. I’m still shocked, and it’s still making me smile,” an emotional Ross said.
The concept of “no one fights alone” has become universal as several people are willing to cut their hair to the very root to support a loved one battling cancer. For some people, it’s just another emotional sign of expressing their love and uniformity during challenging times.
PUT DOWN THE RAZOR
In a similar incident, a woman wanted to get an expert opinion before going under the razor for her best friend battling cancer. However, she was concerned about questions she’d have to answer following the colossal move. Emily Yoffee, who exclusively chats on Slate columns, expressed her candid opinion, saying:
“I understand the loving impulse behind this gesture, but I advise putting down the razor. Seeing her own bald head reflected in yours will not help your friend get through her ordeal. She is going to need your support in more constructive ways.”
Yoffee suggests that even crying with the person battling cancer symbolizes love and support. She emphasizes that shaving the head would eventually place more stress on you especially if you're attached to my,,,,,knour beautiful tresses. Yoffee claims that focusing on the person might ease them in the long run.
However, it seems like for many this gesture is still a necessary show of love. Like the son who shaved his head to support his father battling cancer and the mother who shaved her head to support her daughter fighting cancer. But the debate around the gesture will always be a valid discussion.
In the end, instead of judging anyone for their decision, perhaps it is best to ask the patients themselves what they would like before you go through with your decision. Because although hair regrowth is assured in the long run, not everyone wants a constant reminder of their illness when they look at their loved ones.
So, do you think the 15-year-old Redditor was in the right for not sacrificing her beautiful long hair towards the cancer initiative? We’d love to know your opinions! Thanks for reading!
September 30, 2021