Yes, I know. Having thrown the name of this lovely Scottish lass around a fair bit already, it is understandable to conclude that she is the one standing to gain the most from this seemingly selfless gesture. But that would be false.
True, Kira is the one from whom this campaign was inspired, and for whom we are targeting solidarity, compassion, well-wishes, and donations. But make no mistake, the chief beneficiary of each head shave is the one being shaved.. And here is why.
As we all know, our hair is our identity. Not our entire identity of course, but such a huge part that it is usually one of the first attributes listed when describing someone, as in "You know, the one with the long blond hair," or "...the wavy red head," or "the brunette with spikes." Like it or not, those locks of ours help define us. Which is why, the changing of said plumage, let alone its complete removal, is such a big deal.
"Wait a minute," you are thinking, "I thought you were supposed to be talking me into a head shave, not reminding why it freaks me out." Stay with me. I am getting there.
It is precisely because our personalities and coiffure are so intertwined (so to speak) that you, yes you, stand to gain the most from it's removal. Our hair is a crutch. It artificially supports an unsteady and unsure sense of self, one that has been fostered for most of your life (and as a culture, has been reinforced for millenia). But that is not who we really are. It is just a dressed up version of the strength and grit that lies within. As long as we depend on that crutch, the prospect of digging deep and discovering our true character - who we really are on the inside - can be difficult if not impossible..
It will not be easy. It will be frightening, painful (emotionally), and unquestionably awkward at first. But in the wake of awkward we are left with new and clearer vision of a you that we may have never come to know otherwise.
As presumptuous and silly as this may sound right now, this will be one of those moments you will always remember....for the pride, the camaraderie, and yes, the tears and terror. You will go forward with is a much better understanding of your own vulnerabilities, values, and fears.
I know this is going to take some more thought, more prodding, more convincing. But here's the thing. You already know the answer. Just give yourself permission to take it. Be strong. Be vulnerable. Be bald, baby.
Ask that cancer survivor you know. Ask him or her about their journey. Ask them about the good and the bad and what it felt like when they took control and decided to shear. And ask what it means to them knowing others, who do have a choice, are willing to do the same as a show of solidarity.
You absolutely should do it for them...for those cancer warriors you know and those that you don't, like Kira. And when you do, upon announcing your lofty feat to friends, family, and co-workers, when someone asks you why you are doing this and who this is for, you can stand firm, look them confidently in the eye and honestly tell them about the amazing people for who you shear.
But we will know the truth. It's not for Kira. It's for you.