No matter how many compliments a woman receives, you can bet your bottom dollar that she still harbours some sort of insecurity about how she views herself.
“Am I too fat? Am I too thin? How do I look in this dress!”
The gripes go on and on, don’t they? So you can imagine how we feel when we start losing our hair!
This month’s fearless female is Franny Burrows. A 40-something mother of two who has battled with alopecia for most of her adult life. Recently, she decided to shave her head bald and looks absolutely stunning!
A couple of weeks ago we were talking about embracing who we are and she shared that she was pondering doing it so imagine my surprise and delight when she sent me pictures of her newly bald head. I was blown away! Not only by her decision to follow through with the cut, but that she decided to share the images with me.
Here is her journey…
“When I was 19, I noticed that my hair was thinning and breaking off a lot, mainly in the crown and at the back of my head. Because I already felt ugly and worthless due to childhood trauma, I just remember thinking this is just one more thing to add to that ugliness. No-one else noticed though. I covered it well and kept it dyed jet black to appear fuller.”
Franny tells SheHub that she then segued into wearing braids and weaves.
“I actually started with braids then moved on to weaves, both sew in and glue in, but I eventually moved to wigs as there became less hair to work with. I did this mainly to try to appear more beautiful and fit in to society’s perception of beauty; that a beautiful woman has a full head of hair, and of course to try and ease my own insecurities.”
But were people critical about Franny wearing hair pieces?
“People would make comments about women in general wearing fake hair, but I always had mine’s done professionally and wore it at a reasonable length, so it took some time for people to even realise I was wearing weaves and wigs. Eventually it became the norm for women in Bermuda, and that’s when I tried different lengths and styles.”
Franny shares that she sought medical consultation for her alopecia but the medication she needed was not covered by insurance.
“I talked to a dermatologist and it was explained to me that there was medication out here, but it was costly and since it’s considered cosmetic, insurance would not cover the prescriptions. If I did go that way and became unable to continue with it, any hair growth would fall out again, so I chose to continue with weaves and wigs.”
The hospital secretary says although she felt more attractive, she still struggled with negative thoughts about herself: “When you are already wrestling with your own darkness, you feel that no matter what you try and do to enhance your beauty, you will always be ugly. But I definitely felt I would be more accepted and beautiful.”
Franny adds that she rarely gave much thought to what people thought about her wearing hair pieces: “I never really gave it much thought. I have always thought people had nothing good or constructive to think or say about me anyway.”
Recently, she shares that she was at home reflecting on her life and on a whim, she decided to take a major step in his life—and cut her hair off completely.
“I was just sitting there thinking about how far I have come in life and just how far I still had to go and the obstacles I had overcome. Just thinking about how I want to be free to be happy for the remainder of my time on earth, I have been unhappy, insecure and afraid for a good 40 years of my life and I am just tired. I want to experience the other side of the rainbow, the side where I do things that make me happy. I was tired of ducking the mirror every time I crossed one without my wig on and tired of crying every time I did get a glimpse of myself.
“Feeling ugly, alone, unaccepted and unloved based on how I had been convinced to believe a woman should look in order to be loved. I grew up seeing people in my family with a beautiful head of hair, shit, even a skinny body, being treated how I wanted to be treated, and so I tried to emulate them. Ensuring my hair always looked nice, struggling with my weight and trying not to hate myself so much. I have spent so many years, wasted years, that I can never to get back, trying to be everything and everyone but myself. I had been thinking of cutting it all off for the past five or six years, but was just afraid of the reality of being a bald woman. But men are bald and accepted, right? I even remember asking a guy I was dating how would he feel if I cut my hair. He thought the weave was my hair! His response kind of confirmed everything I was already thinking.
“He asked how short. I said maybe bald and he told me no way. He said that he didn’t mind short but not too short, because he doesn’t want to feel like he’s laying next to a man. Wow, that stung!”
She continues: “So after all the analysing I just got up and cut until her was nothing left to cut. When my daughter got up from her daily nap, I went in her room and her eyes just lit up and she had the biggest smile on her face. She thought it looked better than she had imagined and was so excited to see it done. She then came in the bathroom with me to shave it clean. My children have been encouraging me to do it since I told them about it years ago, always telling me not to pay attention to what people say. My children are my biggest fans. They both always said they’ll do it for me when I am ready if I didn’t want to do it myself. When my son saw my new look, he just smiled and said it’s about time. He encouraged me to do whatever makes me happy and then I actually looked at myself in the mirror and smiled for the first time in years without my wig on.”
While Franny is loving her new look and is allowing SheHub to reveal it publicly for the first time (thank you, Queen!) she admits that she’s still not ready go out of the house without a wig yet.
“I still lack the confidence, but I am excited for the day that I do!”
To women who are struggling with their alopecia, Franny offers this advice: “I encourage them to eventually accept it, research what can be done to slow it down or help with growth and decide to deal with it as they see fit and in their time. I would not suggest they go bald until they are ready, if they ever decide that that is something that they may want to do. What works for one may not work for the other. I would definitely let them know they are not alone. I do understand completely the emotional toll it takes on us as women, as we have tried for so long to live by society’s beauty standards. Hell, if I am still wearing my wig and reach out to someone who wants to talk, I will even show them my shiny masterpiece.”
Franny Burrows. A fearless female indeed.
If you are a fearless female (or know one) email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: This morning (4/29) Franny sent this message which she wanted to share with you, the readers.
I have cleared my desk and with tears in my eyes STILL, and a huge smile on my face and in my heart, I have a quick minute to say THANK YOUUUUUU.
Along with the amazing responses on all platforms, I have received so many private messages and WhatsApp messages where I have shared tears with friends and strangers who just wanted to say thanks and share a bit about themselves, and their insecurities.
It really is amazing how many women are struggling with Self-Love/Acceptance and it’s was also so refreshing to hear from some of our Warrior Queens who offer so much Love, Guidance and Support.
As I told you, it took me about two hours before I went online to see the published article, I spent that time crying and wondering if I made the right decision to do the interview and have it published publicly. I wasn’t out of regret but mainly a nervous fear. LOL
Needless to say I feel so empowered this morning, so light and so free in realising its ok to be ME, that being ME ain’t so bad and once I am totally over harbouring the smallest ounce of self-hatred, self-sabotage and insecurities, Me is gonna SOAR.
I’ve been through hell and back, I did not go there and stay there, there will come a time when I can honestly put the rapes, beatings and acts of molestation behind me and LIVE, a time when those who are guilty will pay one way or the other, but for now I have to continue to grow, peel back those layers that have been allowed to rot for so many years and heal while also learning to forgive myself.
To all those who commented or just even acknowledged reading the article with a simple like is so overwhelming, and I would just like to say a huge THANK YOU to each one of your subscribers on all platforms as well as my Facebook friends. .
Queen, don’t ever stop reaching out to the broken souls and giving us a voice when needed, you encourage and empower us to face our fears, our demons , our insecurities and by doing that it aides in the healing process, Carla you are an amazing individual and your passion for what you do is so genuine, so again I say THANK YOU for allowing me to be seen and heard.
I so look forward to sharing my next chapter with you and your audience.
Peace and Blessing to All
OH, I WORE MY WIG TO WORK TODAY, BUT HEY TOMORROW’S A NEW DAY RIGHT LOL.