What would you do to raise money for a cause that really meant something for you? Would you shave your head? Because that’s exactly what two Indianapolis Colts’ cheerleaders did this past Sunday, living up to their promise that they’d go bald if they each raised $10,000 for cancer research.
Originally, Meagan M. (whose last name was withheld as per the Colts’ team policy) was the only cheerleader to accept a challenge presented by Blue, the team mascot. Blue was inspired to raise money for cancer after the Colts’ coach, Chuck Pagano, was diagnosed with leukemia in late September. Since Pagano needed to go through four to six months of treatment, the Colts’ offensive coordinator took over as interim head coach, but everyone on the Colts is playing this season for Chuck -- including Blue.
So on November 12th, Blue tweeted at the Colts’ cheer squad and asked who among them would let him shave her head at the next game if he raised $10,000 for cancer research.
Within minutes, Meagan agreed.
Ultimately, over $22,000 was raised through the CHUCKSTRONG foundation on the Colts’ website and so on Sunday, during the start of the fourth quarter, Megan and her teammate Crystal Ann (who joined her in solidarity) got the clippers taken to their manes. (The hair was donated to Locks of Love, just like my weirdo ex-boyfriend's ponytail he gave me as a present!)
This altruistic act was shown at the bar where I was watching the 49ers demolish the Saints and it sparked a conversation amongst us. Is there anything for which you’d shave your head? The wannabe actor guy next to me (who belittled me more times than one can count and also said L.A. girls were way better looking than San Francisco girls -- in a conversation with ME, a girl from San Francisco) was like, “I mean, if someone wanted me to play a drug dealer in a movie, or like a guy in prison, yeah, I’d shave my head.”
Oh, really L.A. Boy? You’d shave your three-inch-long locks for a MOVIE ROLE? God, you’re basically a saint. I’d totally have sex with you except, oh, right, I’m not pretty enough.
Listen, I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t much better. I said I’d shave my head for a guaranteed 49ers’ trip to the Super Bowl. Or for $50,000. I’d had a few beers at that point so then I might have started saying I’d also have sex with a 49ers football player for 50K though, so basically just ignore me.
But, too many beers or not, the question remained: would I shave my head if I could raise money for a cause I really care about?
I hate to say it, but: no.
Firstly, I’m not sure there’s any cause I care about that much. Of course there are tons of causes I care about, but head-shaving-level-caring? I’m pressed to think of one. Likely this is because there is not a “cause” that has directly affected anyone close to me, but even if everyone in my family did have cancer or Alzheimer’s or alcoholism or [insert your favorite “cause” here], I can’t imagine shaving my head to raise money. Volunteering, doing a run/walk, donating: sure. But head-shaving? Not so much.
Second, for many women (not all), hair is kind of well, a thing. I enjoy having it on my head. I like the way it looks beneath a hat. And in a bun. A braid. A ponytail. Sometimes it’s annoying how much of it I have to collect from the drain each morning (fine: most mornings), but ultimately, even though I swear I don’t want to be considered sexy or judged for my looks, it would be very, very difficult for me to part with my hair for any reason.
And my hair isn’t a huge part of my job. Just THINK of all the hair-flipping cheerleaders have to do! (Although Megan did say that her captain called dances that did not involve “a lot of hair whipping” in order to make her feel more comfortable.)
So yeah, Megan and Crystal Ann are certainly braver women than I. Money I can part with. My hair? Not so much.
What about you? Would you shave your head to raise money for a cause you care about? If so, bring it on. Let me know in the comments and I’ll help you do it!
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