Clare Bowen, one of the stars of ABC’s Nashville, has cut off her long blond hair to raise awareness for childhood cancer – which she was lucky enough to beat a number of years ago.

Clare Bowen Cuts Off Hair

Bowen was inspired to take action after hearing of a young cancer-stricken girl who feared she couldn’t be a princess for Halloween because her cancer treatment had robbed her of her long hair. The story struck a note with the actress, as she remembers what it was like to be a young girl growing up bald and otherwise worse for wear from the treatments that would eventually save her life despite an end stage nephroblastoma diagnosis.

“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,” Bowen wrote. “We were all missing parts, some obvious like eyes or legs, others more hidden, like lungs and kidneys. Those who still could, tip-toed around like little fairies because chemotherapy had destroyed the muscles in our legs and it hurt to put our heels on the floor. 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.”

Bowen went on, “And then I got really lucky. I survived, my hair grew back and I got strong again. I look relatively normal on the outside, but on the inside, I am still the same stitched back together little creature, in a world where people are judged so harshly for the way they look. It has always been completely incomprehensible to me. How can people think there’s time for that?”

Wanna know why I cut it all off?When I was four years old, I asked my mother; “Are there heaters in Heaven?” I had…

Posted by Clare Bowen on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

As for that little girl and others like her, Bowen hopes that by cutting her hair short she can make the point that hair is just hair; hair doesn’t make the princess.

“I wanted her, and others like her to know that’s not what makes a princess, or a warrior, or a superhero. It’s not what makes you beautiful either,” Bowen wrote. “It’s your insides that count… even if you happen to be missing half of them…. 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.”

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