I have the distinct honor of working with a most delightful young woman, who is one of the (college) student employees in our department. Her name is Shayla and she is unintentionally redefining beauty, all by herself. That isn’t her intent, but she’s succeeding at it all the same. I think every person on the planet would benefit by meeting Shayla, so this will be a three-part series on what Shayla is all about. If you find that you respect what this lovely lady is doing, I urge you to share this blog post with as many people as possible.
Let’s meet Shayla………..
My name is Shayla Mays, a 5th year at Ohio University. I will be graduating this spring from the Bachelor of Specialized Studies department, with a concentration in Classic World Religion and Social Work. With my faith being a huge part of who I am, I want to show the love of Christ to whomever I come into contact with- making Him known to anyone at any given time without force; moving outside of tradition.
Although I think church is a VERY important and healthy part of a Christian’s life, I have found that sometimes Christians get so caught up in institutionalized religion, that we forget to simply love our brothers and sisters across the world. Not preaching at people, but loving them and doing life “with” them- tearing down the “us vs. them” mentality. With all that being said, I am a strong believer in Jesus Christ and the way he lived has impacted my life the most and provokes me to do things… such as shave my head for a cause.
This Saturday, March 15, 2014, I will be traveling to Columbus, OH to take part in the annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation event. This foundation is a non-profit organization that is responsible for raising over millions of dollars for the sake of childhood cancer research- which is normally hugely underfunded. Foundations such as this are important, seeing as one of the number one causes of death for children between the ages of 1-15 are due to some type of child cancer. So, instead of simply becoming aware of such unfortunate events and only keeping that knowledge in my head, I’ve decided to do something about it by raising money for cures- doing so by SHAVING MY HEAD BALD! Yes, one is correct in the fact that by shaving my head is not saving a life directly. However, I want to do life “with” those who are directly affected by childhood cancer and let them know that they are not alone and people ARE in fact doing what they can to bring attention to this and raise money to find cures or better medications.
I would like to confess that I am NO hero and I am definitely not cutting off all my hair simply for attention to boost my self-esteem. In fact, I have already been told
not to shave off “my beautiful hair” and that there is no need for me to be that extreme and radical. As I prepare myself for this, I am preparing myself to receive disgusted looks from people (we tend to define beauty based on outward appearance a lot over here in western civilization in case you’ve not noticed), I am preparing to explain myself 8999 billion times (slight exaggeration…maybe) to people I often see, and I am preparing myself for many other let-downs. I have no idea what my head shape is really like- for all I know, I may have an awkward shaped head that’s been hidden by hair for 23 years. I have no clue how my hair will grow back and how long it will take.
All I know is that, at this point in my life, I am not worried about what people think of me in that way and I am done allowing the fear of what others think of me, determine my lifestyle. I am shaving my head because I want to. It will be a very humbling experience and that is what I am looking forward to most.
When all of this is over, however long this process shall be, I hope to understand the feelings of those who have lost their hair due to sickness. I hope this time will also teach me to accept everyone, not for what they look like, but for their character alone.
If you would like to donate to Shayla’s cause and see what she is working toward, click here.