Be bold, be bald, is this campaign helpful? Umm, no.
Update: The Be Bold, Be Bald campaign is being suspended. The founder listened to advocates and patients who were discussing this on social media and came to this decision. Huge news? Maybe not. But it is advocacy in action producing results. I applaud this decision and wish them well moving advocacy efforts in a new direction.
One weekend when I was doing chemo and my hair was falling out, Son #2 shaved his head as a way to show support for me. I loved him for doing that. But obviously, I would not have loved him any less had he not shaved his head. It was something he wanted to do for me and that’s what mattered to both of us.
That same weekend, Son #1 sorted through his history book collection and very thoughtfully selected a few of his favorites for me to read hoping they’d distract me. That was his way to show support. Around that same time when I was again in tears about my hair, Dear Daughter hugged me and said, “I’m sorry you have to lose your hair. I know this is really hard and I love you.” (still makes me tear up)
Such simple things to do and say, but those simple things meant the world to me. I felt supported and I felt loved. Hair or no hair.
Dear Hubby supported me every day (and still does). I know it was tough for him for a lot of reasons (and often still is), one of them being I was hard to live with at times during treatment. I admit it. I also know sometimes I still am.
One of those times when I was being particularly cranky, he said to me, “I am trying my best to support you, we all are. But sometimes you just have to let us. Sometimes you just have to let me.”
I never forgot those words.
Our loved ones want to support us. Sometimes we make it hard for them. Sometimes we do have to just let them.
But wearing a bald cap to show support, well, I just don’t get that.
Which brings us to the Be Bold, Be Bald campaign. This is now an annual event each October. It’s interesting the event is held in October even though the support is intended for all cancer patients.
Pink has clout.
I first noticed this particular campaign last year and when it resurfaced again this year, I cringed. Again.
As many of you know by now, hair loss was a big deal for me. I was definitely not brave about it. I didn’t kick ass. I didn’t show I was taking charge by rushing to have my hair shaved off early on or by throwing a head-shaving party.
I did not embrace my baldness. Not me. I was pretty much a big baby about it.
Seeing this campaign come around again, made me wonder how I might have felt had my family and friends decided to wear those bald caps.
I’m just not sure how wearing a
swim cap bald cap shows support for a person who is really bald. It seems gimmicky. Fake baldness. Fake support.
But who am I to judge?
If it works for some, fine, but as for me this seems like a really lame way to go about showing support for someone who is actually bald or about to be. In fact, seeing you in a fake bald cap might even depress her more about being bald.
The very premise behind this campaign makes an inaccurate assumption. After all, not all people undergoing cancer treatment experience baldness.
In fact, a person can look completely healthy and have a full head of hair and yet be very sick.
So skip the bald cap. Be bold in some other way.
It might be “bolder” to cook a meal for the person or bring over some take-out, walk the dog, babysit the kids, take her to a movie, drive her to chemo, weed the garden or donate to a charity of her choosing (the idea behind this campaign is to raise money for charity, after all) rather than going ‘fake bald’ for a day. Most importantly, love her. That’s what matters most. It always does.
So, is this be bold, be bald event helpful?
Maybe. Maybe not. I suppose if it’s raising a lot of money it might be okay. But still…
I don’t think seeing someone wearing a bald cap for a day would’ve made me feel all that supported.
What about you?