This is a very private story but it is also a story that is connected with a community of women and their families around the world. I am really honored that Steph asked me to document her experience and show her love and support for her mother-in-law, Vickie who is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Before we started her shoot we talked in depth about why she was doing this. I learned that this is a story about support, empathy and courage and is absolutely inspired by her love for her mother-in-law. This is Steph’s way of feeling more connected to her during a time when she feels painfully helpless. It is also about solidarity, knowing full well that what happens to one woman can happen to any of us. Steph also shared she can not help but think about the people going through chemo who lose their hair and have no control over it. She is fully aware that it is her choice to shave her hair off and she is very humbled by it.
As her hair fell to the ground I could see Steph fully taking in the experience. Pausing between sections to absorb all the feelings that popped up. It was a beautiful and emotional transition to watch. The love she has for Vickie is bigger than any form of vanity. Steph’s hope is that, by seeing these images, it will bring more awareness and love and action.
I leave you with this quote…I first heard it in the 1980s when my friend bought her dad a pin that had this quote…”Bald is Beautiful.” And so is courage. Here’s to all the women of the world who are going through cancer treatment, and to all the people who love them, and to Vickie and Steph.