Students reflect on shaving heads for St. Baldrick's

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____ Mary Fanslow is happy with her decision to shave her head. "quote"

____ Mary Fanslow is happy with her decision to shave her head. "quote"
Junior Mary Fanslow is happy with her decision to shave her head for the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser. “The first week, I was wearing makeup everyday and trying to make sure that I still felt like a girl,” Fanslow said. “Then, I kinda just stopped and said I don’t really care.”

By Katie Hamilton, staff writer
Freshman Lexie Zeppos was in seventh grade when she lost her close friend, Grace, to childhood cancer. Ever since, she has longed to bring more awareness to finding a cure for cancer. She choose to donate all of her hair through St. Baldrick’s on April 9. When Zeppos sat on the stage the volunteers were working on, all of her nerves turned into excitement, with Grace on her mind.
The haircut has not only helped Zeppos dedicate an act of bravery to Grace but changed Zeppos’ outlook on life.
“I know more about how people feel when they go out with cancer and have people stare,” Zeppos said.
St. Baldrick’s is a volunteer-run organization that funds research into possible cures for childhood cancer. Every year, they host an event through Prospect to raise money for the cause, and a few brave girls shave their heads for the cause.
Women can face difficulty after shaving their heads because of today’s beauty standards, but junior Mary Fanslow, who wanted to shave her head after seeing the bravery St. Baldrick’s participants last year, is determined to not let those standards get in the way of her self-image.
“The first week, I was wearing makeup every day and trying to make sure that I still felt like a girl,” Fanslow said. “Then, I kinda just stopped and said I don’t really care.”
Fanslow volunteers to help teach religious education to children and makes sure the children she teaches  understand that they don’t have to be confined to “boy things” and “girl things.” She has turned her haircut into a lesson for them in the subject of self-confidence and breaking stereotypes.
Fanslow says that she hopes the kids will see what she’s doing and one day want to also support organizations like St. Baldrick’s with acts of courage.
These haircuts could do more than just support the cause of childhood cancer. They could redefine beauty. Women who have lost their hair to cancer face troubles constantly, and more women shaving their heads for the fight against cancer can help lessen the strangeness of seeing a women without hair into a more normal occurrence.
Both Zeppos and Fanslow have gone through an experience that is not only helping others but is changing their lives.
“My family was like, ‘Are you going to grow it out now?’ And I said, ‘No, I think I’m going to keep it short,’” Fanslow said.