A Beautiful Fighter
Tonight I drove to Harrison, Ohio to meet with a girl named Danielle. A friend recommended that I contact her for my True Beauty project, saying that she would be great for it. Danielle was diagnosed with breast cancer in June. Within a few weeks of her diagnosis the progression of cancer had gotten worse. She has been going through treatments, including chemo, which she will be going to tomorrow.
I met Danielle at a hair salon because tonight she shaved her head. As she walked into the salon, and I met her for the first time, she smiled at me. What a beautiful beaming smile she has. Behind her came a flock of support in the form of family and friends. It was amazing to see a room full of people all there for her at such an emotional time. As the hair stylist started speaking with Danielle the tears started to pour. I immediately felt myself well up.
We all walked back to the chair where Danielle sat down and started to cry harder. She told the hair stylist to save as much hair as she could to donate it to Locks-of-Love. Then came the first cut...
As the scissors started to cut, almost everyone in the room began to cry. This was more than hair. After her ponytail was gone the clippers began to buzz. She asked to turn the chair around so she couldn't look in the mirror. After a somber few minutes, her sister made a joke. And then, something beautiful happened. Her smile re-appeared...
I took one True Beauty picture Before her haircut and one After. No matter the length of her hair, her beauty is measured from within. What a beautiful fighter she is!
Almost immediately after standing up from the stylist's chair, her sister sat down...
Danielle then watched as her sister, Tiffany, shaved her head in support. The emotions began to flood the room again. Both of these woman were amazingly beautiful and strong. Danielle has already shown great strength in her fight against breast cancer and will continue to do so with the support of her family and friends.
Tiffany's hair was also donated. What amazingly beautiful ladies, inside and out! I feel honored to have been able to photograph them. They are Truly Beautiful!
Growing up, I was a pretty emotional child. I had thick skin when it came to facing obstacles, but the feelings I had I needed to release. I found my release by picking up a pencil. Writing, specifically poetry, became an amazing outlet for me. I could take everything that was bouncing around in my crazy head and put it onto a piece of paper. I could explode into a rant about how I was sick of feeling a certain way, or express the gratitude I had for my family and friends. I could do anything! I started pouring my heart and soul into composition books. Page after page of ridiculousness and hilarity, I still love to look back and read some of the things that were so troubling to me in the past. I get a good laugh out of some of it.
Every once in a while I will meet someone who carries a certain poetic potential. It can be in the way they speak or even just in the way they move. I can just tell sometimes. Corinne is one of those people. She continues to amaze me in her writing. Seriously though, what young teen do you know that is writing page upon page of an intense zombie thriller story with descriptions that feel like reality?! She is an amazing girl!
She has written many beautiful poems, one of which talked about True Beauty. So, she has inspired me to write again. This time, I decided to write something for her.. Hopefully I'm not too rusty ;)
Don't listen to what they say, my friend
Their words can be misleading
They'll try and tell you how to look
But their speech will be deceiving
They'll pick and pry
Until you cry
They'll tell you you're not perfect
But, they'll be wrong
About you, hun
Because you're more than worth it
Your beauty is held
Your spirit, your presence, your heart
The strength you show
that continues to grow
Is what sets you apart
Keep your innocence strong
Soon it may be gone
Don't let them try to corrupt you
Your heart is pure
Your mind is sure
Hold on to your Beauty that's True
Always be you
Always be true
Keep shinning your light
on whatever you do
Keep your eyes open
But your heart open wider
You're stronger than strong
Your a beauty survivor.