Millie Bobby Brown, Rose McGowan, Cara Delevingne and other women who shaved their heads for a good reason
Bald is beautiful.
“Stranger Things” star Millie Bobby Brown, who rose to fame for her breakout role playing the telekinetic teen Eleven on the Netflix series, said shaving her head for the part was an “empowering” moment, and one she clearly does not regret.
“The day I shaved my head was the most empowering moment of my whole life,” Brown tweeted.
The day I shaved my head was the most empowering moment of my whole life. The last strand of hair cut off was the moment my whole face was on show and I couldn’t hide behind my hair like I used to. As I looked in the mirror I realized I had one job to do. Inspire. pic.twitter.com/k65c7dGId1
— Millie Bobby Brown (@milliebbrown) January 14, 2018
The 13-year-old actress posted a video of herself getting her head shaved, adding: “The last strand of hair cut off was the moment my whole face was on show and I couldn’t hide behind my hair like I used to. As I looked in the mirror I realized I had one job to do. Inspire.”
The statement was met with instant praise from her fans, and some women who have decided to cut off their hair for their own powerful and inspiring reasons.
Laura Der Brinkley, a 14-year-old teen from Holland, applauded Brown for recognizing you don’t need long locks to be “fierce and beautiful.”
I shaved my head as well and I donated it. I feel fierce and beautiful !! pic.twitter.com/MrI21jDHBB
— laura (@fIickerdolan) January 14, 2018
“At her age, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to cut my hair off. I think she is a big reason that inspired me to do it,” Der Brinkley tells Moneyish.
After years of getting bullied in elementary and middle school, the haircut became a way for Der Brinkley both to shed the negativity she faced and as a tribute to her grandmother who was battling breast cancer. She decided to donate 12 inches of hair to charity. Now she rocks a chic buzz cut.
“I think there’s a certain pressure like ‘Oh my god, what will people think of me?’ I had a pretty rough childhood. I learned that I shouldn’t really care what people think about me. I was like ‘okay f—k it’ and I just went for it,” she says. “I said ‘Okay shave it off.’ I was nervous, but I thought ‘it will grow back,” she says.
After posting an after photo of her new look, Der Brinkley said she got a lot of hate from trolls on social media who called her “ugly” and told her she looked like a boy, but she refuses to listen to the haters.
“You’re wasting your time when you focus on the negative vibes and you focus on what people think of you,” she says. “There are still people who think it’s ugly. I’m like, ‘there’s nothing wrong with it.’”
The praise for more women going bald comes days after model Emily Ratajkowski was criticized for announcing she was the face of a haircare line saying: “Hair is a fundamental part of beauty, femininity, and identity.” Many women called her out for being insensitive, noting that illness can cause some to forceable lose their hair.
SEE ALSO: Momager Yolanda Hadid gives this empowering advice to her model daughters Gigi and Bella
Cristin Buckley, 39, a former kindergarten teacher from Southington, CT, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma weeks after giving birth to her first child when she was 23-years-old in 2003. She shaved her head to take back control over her life so she wouldn’t have to face the pain of watching it fall out while undergoing chemotherapy.
15 years ago I was diagnosed with Cancer & my hair fell out in clumps. The most empowering, freeing moment of my life was when I shaved it all off and took control!Thank you for rocking your bald head
& proving that bald is beautiful!💗 pic.twitter.com/tAB3UC2hOt
— Cristin Buckley (@BenWasHere_inc) January 15, 2018
“It was just this feeling of ‘ I have no control over my life,’” Buckley says of grappling with the diagnosis. “I went to my hairdresser and asked her to shave it all the way down. From that moment, I felt like I had taken control of the situation. I wasn’t waking up to piles of hair on the pillow,” she says.
Even when she was out in public, Buckley says she would often proudly walk around bald. In 2004, doctors told her the good news that she was cancer free.
“We’re coming to a point where women aren’t so afraid to be bald. There are so many women that shave their heads because they want to.”
In recent years, a slew of celebrities have rocked buzz cuts or gone bald to make a statement. In 2015, actress Rose McGowan shaved her head because she felt like long hair made her a sexual target.
“My long hair had always made me uncomfortable. It felt like I had a plant on my head and a sex target on my back. It made men en masse look at me while the real me disappeared,” she wrote in an excerpt from her upcoming memoir “Brave.”
And model turned actress Cara Delevingne opted to shave her head for a role in the upcoming teen drama “Life in a Year” in which she plays a woman who finds out she’s dying.
“I need to feel what it would be like to have no hair,” she told Elle, adding: “The way you look, I think, it’s so important to feel beautiful, no matter if you have hair. It doesn’t matter at all.”
Elizabeth Arden hair stylist Alexis Gialanella says she sometimes has female clients come in requesting shaved heads. While some do it because they are suffering from an illness, others just want to make a change, she says.
“It’s usually when they’re going through a change and want to make themselves known for something other than the way they look. Hair hides a lot, this haircut showcases strength and confidence,” Gialanella says.
Take Charleston, South Carolina native Jennifer Green, 34, who shaved her head while dealing with grief and lifestyle changes.
Yes I shaved my head. And guess what? I'm ok, I feel so much better and stronger! Women do it all the time. It will grow back stronger, just like me. pic.twitter.com/XG9GRUNIL5
— Jennifer Green🦋 (@Bubbles8301) January 12, 2018
“A number of things drove me to shave my head, my fiance cheating on me last year, a fire I was involved in and it caught half my body on fire and my father passing,” she says. “I feel so much better about my life and I feel that I can overcome anything thrown at me.”
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved