St. Baldrick's event provides opportunity to focus on beauty inside

Editor's note: Joy Bunville submitted the following letter after participating in a St. Baldrick event at Park Junior High School on Saturday, April 21. The event was a fundraiser for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which raises money to fight childhood cancers. Participants shave their heads to show solidarity with young cancer patients, who often lose their hair during treatment.

I have thought about shaving my head bald for the last three years, but I just did not have the true courage to take a razor to my own head.
  Joy Bunville before 
  participating in the 
  St. Baldrick's event.

  (Provided photos)
In recent years, I have made many beauty changes. I went from a perm to no more perm, natural, wavy-crinkly, dyed,  twisted. I do not have cancer. I am not in chemotherapy. I am not ill in any respect. Why am I still thinking about shaving my head bald?

I have three wonderful, beautiful black female students in my classroom. One has natural pretty short hair pulled into a pony tail at the top of her head. Another student has extension French braided hair to the crown of her head. The third student has lots of natural hair pulled into a pony tail that is braided and tucked at the top of her head with a headband on her head. Hair, hair, hair!

In middle school and through high school, black girls are absolutely figuring themselves out: Who are their friends-associates-enemies-boyfriends? How will their world view them — poorly, grossly, indignantly, pompously?  Then, based upon the answers, we black girls look in the mirror and just sometimes the easiest-most cost effective thing we fix is our hair.
  Joy Bunville, left, 
  after getting her 
  head shaved as 
  part of the St. 
  Baldrick's event. 
  With her is her 
  daughter, Samantha.

The way we black girls perceive the world looking at us, at our hair, is too much. I have such backlash from people that have jokingly said that they will not speak with me or break bread with me, if I shave my head.

I have to admit that I do not know what a bald head shows — except that I have no hair.

Hair is superficial.

I have a wonderful daughter named Samantha.  She is my life. Everything I do is for her. So this is the reason that I am having my head shaved. I believe that my black beautiful girls need to see black women-unashamedly shave their heads and stand boldly.

One should radiate their beauty at all times, from the inside-out. I breathe deeply and know that my head shaving will inspire pretty young eyes, regardless of the laughter first.

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