Typically, when celebrities change up their hair, there isn't too much of a backstory. Maybe they've gone through a breakup, maybe they did it for a new role, or perhaps they're just looking for something different. But Nashville actress Clare Bowen's decision to chop off her long, waist-length hair digs a little deeper than that.
When Bowen was just four years old, she was diagnosed with end-stage nephroblastoma and forced into a life in which the hospital became a temporary home. "Life in the White Palace (Granddad’s nickname for hospital) meant I got to grow up surrounded by children just like me. We were mostly bald, all tubed, taped, bandaged up, and stitched back together," she wrote in a recent Facebook post. "But we were all together, so no one's appearance came into question. No one got laughed at or teased. We were all we knew."
And then Bowen got lucky and survived, she writes. Her hair started growing back, and she gained back her strength. She was herself again on the outside, but on the inside, she was still that same scarred-up "little creature."
When she recently heard the story of a little girl who said she couldn't be a princess because she didn't have long hair, Bowen decided to cut off her own flowing locks in order to send a touching message: Beauty comes from within.
"Every scar tells a story, every bald head, every dark circle, every prosthetic limb, and every reflection in a mirror that you might not recognize anymore," she writes. "Look deeper than skin, hair, nails, and lips. You are who you are in your bones. That is where you have the potential to shine the brightest from. It is where your true beautiful self lives."
She goes on to thank ABC for letting her alter her Nashville character Scarlett's hair on the show, as well as her team, friends, and family for their support in making the decision. She ends her message with these parting words: "Self-esteem takes a lot longer to grow back than hair." It's a lot more important, too.