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Clare Bowen Proves that Hair is Just Hair

THE 48TH ANNUAL CMA AWARDS – “The 48th Annual CMA Awards” airs live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Image Group LA) CLARE BOWEN

We all — men and women alike — cherish our hair and try our best to keep it looking flawless. For some, the idea of cutting off many inches of hair is stressful and even frightening due to the strong attachment we have with it. Actress Clare Bowen, best known for her role as Scarlett O’Connor on “Nashville,” had hair that many girls dream of: long, luscious, blonde locks that flowed down to her waist. But as of early November, those locks were chopped off, leaving behind a boyish pixie cut. Many of the show’s fans were shocked to see that Bowen had done this, left wondering why she would so suddenly rid herself of her perfect hair.

When she was four years old, Bowen was diagnosed with end-stage nephroblastoma, a disease that doctors claimed could take the young girl’s life in just a few weeks without any treatment. Her only option was an experimental treatment that ended up saving her life. Although she lost her hair and a lot of her strength, they both came back. Bowen claims that when she was in the hospital, children all around her were bald, bandaged and stitched up, and missing parts. Despite their differences, they all had something in common: they knew it was nothing to be ashamed of.

Today, Bowen attributes her experiences as a young child with her desire to cut her hair now. Additionally, it was the story of another young girl that caught her attention and made her rethink everything. This little girl claimed that she couldn’t possibly be a princess because she didn’t have long hair. Bowen states in a Facebook post she shared on Nov. 11 that she wanted others like that little girl to know that long hair is “not what makes a princess, or a warrior, or a superhero. It’s not what makes you beautiful either. It’s your insides that count.”

Though it took a lot of strength for her to let go of her own hair, Bowen knew that it was the right thing to do and that she needed to spread the message for us all to look deeper. In a world where people are so concerned with appearances and the opinions of others, it’s nice to see role models like Bowen step up to say that in the grand scheme of things, hair is just hair. “Self-esteem takes a lot longer to grow back than hair,” she added at the end of her post.

With close to 600,000 likes on Facebook, the post has garnered an overwhelmingly positive response, with people repeatedly thanking Bowen for her wise words and strength. Many took to the comments to share personal stories of children who fought or continue to fight diseases similar to Bowen’s, or of their own decisions to say goodbye to their hair in support of those who had no choice but to lose it. More than anything else, Bowen’s actions show the selflessness of humanity and teach people young and old that whether your hair is long or short, or even non-existent, it doesn’t define who you are.


Feature Image: Disney ABC Television Group’s Photostream, Courtesy of Flickr, URL

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Clare Bowen Proves that Hair is Just Hair