In the words of my personal hero, "it is finished". The deed is done. My hair is gone.
With your support and that of my family, friends, and the fabulous team at SHE Hair Ink, I've shaved my head, laid bare my soul, and raised vital funds for a cause that becomes closer to my heart each time I meet another soul who shares with me the part sexualisation and objectification have played on their life's journey.
I have said it before, and I will say it again: it has been an absolute privilege and honour to be a part of the Collective Shout team and do this for them.
Dear family, friends, and supporters of Collective Shout,
Allow me to be brief. Yes, I am well. And, while I intend to lose my hair, I’ve not lost my mind. Inspired by a number of men and women, I’ve decided to lop my locks for a worthy cause.
A few years ago, I came to Collective Shout disillusioned by the normalisation of raunch culture, the sexual objectification and commodification of women and their bodies in mainstream media, and the propagation of the myth that insists “successful” and “empowered” women must be sexy.
I was hurt. I was livid. And I was hungry for change.
Since meeting with and working alongside the inspiring team at Collective Shout, I’ve become heartened at the fact that there are others who see this and perceive it for the violence that it is, that there are others who are willing to make a stand for the dignity of women and girls, and that there are others who see the inherent worth of the individual instead of placing such great weight on physical appearance.
We are more than the way we look or appear to look–
We are our kindness and generosity;
We are our humour and wit;
We are our dedication and enthusiasm;
We are our love;
To all the naysayers, I say, “Yes, my profile may be awful according to the stringent parameters by which a woman’s worth is calculated in and by mainstream society, but I don’t care.”
I know I won’t rock the buzz cut like Cara Delevingne, Charlize Theron, or Natalie Portman, but my hope is that you’ll help the dedicated team at Collective Shout continue to rock at the remarkable work they do by sponsoring my “madness”.
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Co-founder Melinda Tankard Reist talks about how we started and where we're heading
It was a comment about my book, Getting Real: Challenging the sexualisation of girls, which sparked the birth of Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation.
A contributor, Melbourne writer and blogger Tania Andrusiak (author of Adproofing Your Kids: Raising critical thinkers in a media-saturated world ) described the book as “a collective shout against the pornification of culture”. Those words leapt out at me. I liked the phrase so much, I thought it perfect for a new grassroots campaign movement which had been brewing in my mind and in the minds of some of my friends and fellow activists.