Guest Blogger: Grace Latter shares the JOY
This week's post comes in the form of a guest post from one of our favourite JOY ladies, Grace Latter from Almost Amazing Grace. It's so interesting to hear about how her style has changed since shaving her head, and it's so lovely to see how our jewellery and clothing look so gorgeous on her. Read on...
One evening in March this year, at one of my favourite cafes in my home town, surrounded by friends, all of us with a cocktail in hand, I had my head shaved for charity. I raised over £4,000 to help The Brain Tumour Charity fund their invaluable research into curing brain tumours. I also raised £500 for local charity Counselling Plus, so they can continue to help others in their struggles with mental health. Shaving my head seemed the least I could do, and actually quite appropriate for my chosen charities – by making this big change to the outside of my head, I was (hopefully) helping countless others with the inside of their heads.
I’d wanted to shave all my hair off for years. When I was a teenager, I desperately yearned for a stylish pixie crop, but worried it wouldn’t look that good (and back then I really cared what the Popular Girls I envied and mop-headed Skater Boys I fancied thought of me). Then as I grew up, I was amazed to see friends of friends ‘braving the shave’ for various causes close to their hearts. Viral videos circulating on socials of complete strangers doing it also showed me how powerful, thoughtful and thrilling it could be. I became slightly obsessed with the idea of it, but never had a reason to do it – or rather, I was a little nervous to do it and needed a push, a cause I cared about enough to do it for. I stopped thinking about it properly for a few years, but it was always in the back of my mind as something I’d love to do, a life event I wanted to experience. Then in 2014, I got to know The Brain Tumour Charity. They helped and supported me throughout my diagnosis, operations and treatments – and last year I decided to do it for them.
So it was towards the end of 2017 I made the plan to do it, and this meant I’d said goodbye to my hair long before it was finally buzzed off in March this year. A good friend of mine bleached it and dyed it bright lilac (because, why not!?), then throughout winter I was putting various purples and blues on it, not caring too much what it looked like because, in my mind, it was already gone. Having said that, I hadn’t given too much thought to what it would look like. I didn’t worry at any point whether or not it would suit me, what shape my head was – or how I’d dress myself when it all came off!
Well, I love it. And since the shave, I’ve kept what little hair I have very short. I’ve seen my lovely barber every couple of weeks to have him clip and taper it, never letting it grow longer than a 1.5 or 2. I’ve become used to my face, my shape and my silhouette without the old mid-length, fluffy lilac drapes. Having said that, I have definitely had to change my style quite a bit to suit the hair – I’ve had to go bigger, and much more bold! Before the chop, I’d always opted for loose, floaty floral outfits or patterned skater dresses. They suited my shape and skin tone, however, now I don’t have anything going on around my face, I am finding the flowery prints less flattering and I cannot layer too many different colours! So now I tend to go for stronger, solid hues and only the most gentle patterns (e.g. little polkadots). I’m also finding I need (not want, need!) to wear bigger and more exciting jewellery. As I said above, I don’t have anything happening around my face right now (strange as that sounds), so larger, dangling jewels or hoops in my ears work nicely, as do thicker nose rings and shorter necklaces – preferably with sparkly pendants. A shaved head really is great; it’s freeing, it’s a big and exciting change – and it gets me loads of double takes in public, which is always fun. I have also never come across a more perfect excuse to shop for new clothes and accessories, tbh. Thank you JOY, for helping me rework my style and indulge my inner magpie!