"hair is but a small part of you"

This beautiful video hit home for so many reasons. 

As many women do, I've struggled with self image throughout my life and have often based my identity on certain physical features I consider "feminine". Hair has been the most prominent of those features. I first noticed this fixation when I cut my long flowing locks into a short bob when I was 20. I instantly felt less beautiful and less of woman. 

The second time I experienced this phenomenon was when I found a lump in my left breast at age 23. As I sat in the doctor's office awaiting my biopsy results I flipped through a pamphlet about mastectomies. It was the first time I had seen actual photos of women who had one or maybe even both breasts removed. I was taken aback by what a huge part of my identity breasts were. I couldn't imagine how I could possibly feel like a woman without my breasts. Luckily I never had to find out what that feeling would be like, as the doctor delivered the good news: my lump was benign and surgery was not in my near future. Many women face a very different prognosis, yet they find the strength to continue to feel feminine and sexy regardless of what body parts may be missing.

It's the combination of these realizations that make this video exceedingly emotional for me. I would like to salute the brave women that challenged themselves to put aside their vanity and instead place the love of a friend above all else. They chose to discard the silly notion that a physical attribute defines who you are. Each and every one of them is a beautiful, radiant, feminine being, with or without hair. They exude nurturing warmth and grace. They inspire others to define their identity by what is on the inside. They have certainly renewed my resolve to rely more on what is on the inside and think less about what the outer shell looks like.