I shaved my head for Evey Hammond and I’m only a little ashamed to admit it. No, I didn’t buzz off all my hair for cancer research or charity. And yes, I did cut off all my hair myself in my bathroom.
For the past three years, I’ve made it a tradition to watch V for Vendetta on my birthday (even though my birthday is no where near November 5th). Natalie Portman’s portrayal of Evey in the film adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel remains the iconic image of the character for me. Without giving away any spoilers, the scene where Evey is shorn is devastating because of how she trembles and cries as her hair is shaved and she is shamed with baldness and dehumanized. The imagery of a Holocaust victim is intentional.
I have known two women personally who shaved their heads. Yet Evey always felt like a more real example. If I had never seen V for Vendetta or read the graphic novel, I would not have believed it possible for a woman to be bald. Somehow, I could not have imagined that look.
Yet a couple of weeks ago, I shaved my head. I did it for Evey Hammond, to honor my fictional inspiration and be a real inspiration to other women who might think they don’t have the guts to pick up those scissors.
Though I don’t mean to style myself a hero. When friends asked why I shaved my head, some correctly guessed my inspiration was Evey and I fought to tell them they were wrong. That I had a deeper reason. That it was more than trying to compare myself to a bad-ass female character so I could feel edgy and cool.
Legally, I am an adult. Adults don’t make decisions based on fiction. Or, they shouldn’t. Admitting that I shaved my head because I was inspired by a fictional character, feels akin to admitting that I read fanfiction. It places me in the realm of teenage girlhood, and the shame that goes along with it. I am adult. I should be able to tell fact from fiction. I should base my life choices on reality.
But I have. Because underneath it all, I shaved my head to disrupt shame placed upon women for how they look or how they behave. Shame is very real and very difficult to overcome. I shaved my head so I, like Evey, could uncover the strength to say, “No.” With my shaved head and an image of Evey at my side, I claim a right to every aspect of my life and for that I will never be ashamed.