Hair for Hope–Girls and Wigs

Hair for Hope is a Singapore Children’s Cancer Foundation fundraising event to raise funds and awareness of childhood cancer. How it works: You shave your head, and raise funds for the organisation and at the same time, raise awareness of childhood cancer.

Hair for Hope 2013

I think this is a fantastic event and definitely for a very worthy cause. But critics raised its ugly head when some girls went back to school with a bald head.

Here’s the background:

  • Five 15 yr old girls from St. Margaret’s Girls’ School decided they wanted to participate
  • They approached the school PRIOR the event to get the school’s permission

QUESTION 1: Why did they ask the school for permission for something that’s seems like a personal decision?  I would think it’s because the girls knew it may be a problem cos they would be bald when they return to school after the weekend. Possibly they wanted to be sure it would be ok to shave their heads.

  • The school okayed their decision to participate in the event IF the girls promised to wear a wig to school
  • The girls promised and over the weekend, shaved their heads
  • On the school day, 3 of the 5 girls turned up without the wigs. The other 2 girls kept their promise and wore the wigs.
  • The issue started a media uproar and many started criticising the school and principal for missing the point of the entire Hair for Hope event, INCLUDING the parents of the 3 girls who didn’t wear wigs

hair for hope girls

Question 2: Why didn’t these critics speak up when the Principal first made them promise to wear the wigs?  The girls are 15 years old, they are old enough to know what school rules are, what promises mean. If they didn’t agree to the wigs, why did they promise to wear them?

I’m not against anyone shaving their heads for this event. I think it is a super event, and the shaven heads definitely shows that there is nothing shameful about having a bald head.

I’m not for school rules which doesn’t seem to make sense (e.g. no earring or studs on the ears, no coloured watches, all girls to wear shorts under their skirts!?!?) But trust me, I had such ridiculous rules imposed on me for 10 years, and I followed them. The saying, when in Rome, do as the Romans, applies here. I’m in this school which has such rules, I have to abide and follow.

I’m against people who don’t keep their word. And worse still, against parents who stand by their kids when it is clearly them who went against their promises.

Please don’t get self righteous about the real cause of the Hair for Hope event. As an educator, I’m sure one of the primary focus of the Principal is to ensure there’s no rebels in school. For the girls to go back on their word when school starts, it is definitely a case of rebellion. A fight for their supposed social justice.

Of course, later it appears two girls have scalp allergies to the wigs. And of course with the appropriate medical certification, the Principal allowed them to come to school without wigs. But all this is AFTER turning this into a big social outcry.

One good thing, EVERYONE knows now what Hair for Hope is about, and there’s definitely heightened awareness to Childhood Cancer.

What do you think?

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