Why Shaving My Head Allowed Me To Live Life On My Terms

by Melissa Mae

I began writing this long, overinvolved post about the reasons I chose to shave my head.

I went into my dating history, and I discussed some jerk I was with for a couple months. I explained how he made me into his personal play thing, and I had to go to therapy to deal with everything.

I wrote about my best friend getting cancer when we were just 13, and my mom getting cancer and fighting it off for 18 years.

And then, I started writing about feminist issues and how much pressure I have felt my entire life to look a certain way.

I shaved my head because I wanted to when two important women in my life got cancer, but I chickened out.

I shaved my head because I'm tired of feeling like I have to fit into a cookie-cutter version of what "society" thinks women should look like.

I shaved my head because I want to do other things besides fix my hair every day, like paint, go on hikes, play with my kids, have sex with my husband and laugh with my best friend (also my husband).

I shaved my head because I love powerful, badass women, who go against the grain and aren't afraid to be themselves.

Overall, I shaved my head because I feel like I finally really love myself.

I have insecurities, I doubt myself and I feel self-conscious about these wrinkles around my eyes that seemed to appear on my 30th birthday.

I wish I had a magic cream that fixed my post-baby belly skin (but do I?) I worry about my artistic abilities, but I really love myself.

A year ago, I made a big decision and took a huge risk. It was messy and scary, and it hurt. But, it was also beautiful, freeing and exhilarating.

I decided to live life the way I wanted to live it, despite the many people who were telling me I was doing it wrong.

I gave myself permission to love someone and be with that person.

I gave myself permission to be angry with myself and then forgive myself.

I gave myself permission to heal and love unconditionally and forgive others.

And through this mess, I found myself. And I found a partner.

He told me to stop with the bullsh*t and just own my awesomeness.

I fought against it, and he kept telling me I was amazing.

I still fought it, and he told me to quit my job and just paint already.

I fought it, and he told me I would look amazing with no hair.

I fought it, and then I decided to stop fighting.

It just went with the flow and tried to believe in myself as much as he did. If I could see it in him, why couldn't I see it in myself?

I'm amazing. You're amazing. We're all amazing.

And guess what? I always knew that, but it took some really uncomfortable life events for me to stop being ashamed and know it's okay to think I'm cool.

No matter what my hair looks like, if my stomach looks like it needs a good ironing, if I'm wearing my grumpy pants some days or if I draw something that looks like poo, I am still allowed to love myself.

And when you love yourself, you can do anything.

You're no longer listen to what other people think or how they think you should live your life.

At the end of the day, it's just you. People die or move on to other things, kids grow up and leave the nest, and then it's just you. You better like hanging out with yourself.

Only you know what's best for you. Learn to listen to yourself and your intuition.

That is where the truth lies.

People will have an agenda for you, and they'll judge you without knowing even half of your story. But whatever, you know?

How do you feel about you?

At the end of the day, are you doing what you love?

Are you living each day filled with people, things, events and activities that make your soul sing? I sure as hell hope you do.

So, in honor of my beautiful mom who has been fighting a hard battle for 18 years with nothing but a smile on her face, I shaved my head.

In honor of women everywhere who struggle with society's pressure to have perky boobs, flat stomachs and no wrinkles, I shaved my head.

In honor of being my authentic self, I shaved my head.