Wonder Women Wednesdays: Alissa Manning

Wonder Women, donating hair

Wonder Women Wednesdays: Alissa Manning

19 Year Old Alissa Manning Chops Hair and Gender Stereotypes

There are thousands of stories of girls cutting off their hair, donating it to cancer research organizations and then rocking the pixie style haircuts, but one thing we often don’t hear about is the bullying that comes with it. Sounds crazy right? How could someone possibly bully a person for donating their hair to a cancer organization? Turns out, it happens quite a bit, and girls everywhere are taking stand.

Our this week’s wonder women is a 19-year-old Alissa Manning. On October 23rd, she not only chopped off 24 inches of hair, but went completely bald in support of girls everywhere.

“I decided to cut my hair for two reasons. My dad has been battling glioblastoma brain cancer for 3 years. I cut my hair to support my dad and make him proud of me,” she said. For those of you who don’t know, glioblastoma brain cancer (GBM) is the most common and most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in people.

 

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Luckily this type of cancer is very rare, effecting about 2-3 people per every 100 000, but that doesn’t mean it’s had a lesser effect on her family, “Cancer has affected my life in so many ways. The positive thing is that it’s made my family become a lot closer and stronger. Cancer is also very unpredictable and scary. You never know what’s going to happen and you have to expect that whatever happens is for a good reason.”

The introduction of cancer into Alissa Manning’s life wasn’t the only thing that pushed her to cut her hair. She said, “I also cut my hair because I’ve seen the ways people judge and stare at girls, especially who have no hair.” As sad as it may sound a majority of girls who have cut off their hair are later subject to bullying, often because of the “boyish” appears they possess after cutting off their beautiful locks. “Society has made it seem that if you are a girl with short hair you are considered ugly (boy looking). I cut my hair and donated it in hopes it is made into a wig for a girl to wear it and to make herself feel beautiful.”

Let’s face it. In today’s media we don’t often see girls with short hair, be it in magazines, advertisements or photos, and when we do it’s nothing longer than a pixie cut. As amazing as it is to see a girl with short hair in the media, how often is it that we see a girl completely bald? The totally beautiful and absolutely inspiring Miss Alissa Manning is looking as gorgeous as ever, missing 24 inches of hair, and let’s not forget – bald!

“I decided to go completely bald because I wanted to inspire other women. Supporting all of the beautiful ladies out there who don’t have hair; to show them that you don’t need hair to be beautiful. My hair doesn’t define me!”

Alissa donated her hair to an organization called Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss. “I decided to donate to Locks of Love because I’ve heard of the fundraiser before from my friends,” she said.

Looks like the long, Rapunzel style hair has some competition as hundreds of girls are following suit and giving up their braids for a great cause. Girls such as Jetta Fosberg of Dayton, Ohio wanted to help cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and generously donated 14 inches of hair. After facing weeks of bullying she too took a stand, defending her short hair and the reason for cutting it.

Alissa is truly an advocate for girls faced with bullying. With such a beautiful story, we hope girls everywhere will be inspired to donate their hair to cancer as well, “It’s just hair it will grow back! Hair doesn’t define who you are. Beauty comes from within. Sacrifice your hair to make another girl feel beautiful.”

Have you ever cut your hair for cancer? Ever faced with bullying afterwards? Leave us your story in the comments below.

Loved this article? Check out the original article on Miss O and Friends!

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