I love bald women. I didn’t realize this until recently, when I saw an Internet video that showed several women with hairless heads posing for a photographer and laughing together. They had possessed hair — flowing locks and appealing styles — when they gathered early in the video. Soon they lost every strand of their hair. They had joined together in a caring cause. According to one report, the hair was donated to the Cancer Association of South Africa.
I love bald women.
I didn’t realize this until recently, when I saw an Internet video that showed several women with hairless heads posing for a photographer and laughing together. They had possessed hair — flowing locks and appealing styles — when they gathered early in the video. Soon they lost every strand of their hair.
They had joined together in a caring cause. According to one report, the hair was donated to the Cancer Association of South Africa.
“In February 2014, one of Gerdi McKenna’s friends wrote an email requesting a photo shoot for all her friends as she had been diagnosed with breast cancer a few months before,” said a photographer named Albert Bredenhann, who had posted the video on Vimeo, where it had gone viral. “And this is what happened.”
The video had been made in South Africa. It had been reported on extensively in Great Britain. Following Bredenhann’s posting, it had made its way to America — and elsewhere in the world — where it was picked up by mainstream news sources and shared through social media.
A Facebook friend presented my opportunity to see the women. “This is what friends can do,” my friend observed when he re-posted the video that he had seen on the site for “Local 12,” WKRC-TV in Cincinnati.
It was only one of a multitude of inspirational videos passed around on the Internet each day. Animals show their loyalty in the videos. Elderly couples prove their love. Friends let you know they are present for your support in the most comforting of ways.
“When they all came together, they surprised her,” said words accompanying the video on www.local12.com. “Watch the video player above for the surprise.”
What happened in the video wasn’t really a surprise for viewers of it, of course. Gerdi McKenna, her hair lost to the treatment for her cancer, was shown briefly on the screen early in the video. If there was going to be photographs taken, she was going to be quite obviously without bangs or curls or ponytail or whatever her style was before her illness.
It was easy to predict that her friends would want her not to feel out of place in the pictures. So when the shaving of their heads began it was not a shock.
“I am very nervous, but I know it is the right thing to do,” one of the women said in the video before her hair was cut. “I am giving up my pride for a friend that is going through much more.”
When Gerdi McKenna saw her friends — that was the surprise — hugs followed and tears flowed. But, in the photographs and video that were captured that day, there were only smiles.
These are not the first women to shave their heads as a symbol of support for others who are battling breast cancer. Because of the distance it traveled on the Internet, they may have gained more publicity for their act.
It doesn’t bother me in the least that the video might have been planned and promoted to play a part in the continuing quest to raise awareness of the ways cancer touches all of our lives. That cause is good.
Lyrics of a song played in the background during the video. “And I would do anything for love ...”
I love bald women. They’re beautiful. And I don’t just mean the beauty that is on the surface. By not looking at their hair, you can see straight through to their hearts.
Reach Gary at 330-580-8303 or on Twitter: @gbrownREP