Vasantham Beauty Queen Makes a Bald Statement!

With almost every other person getting onto the bandwagon to do their bit for a good cause, we have decided to dedicate this feature to raise awareness for a good cause. No disrespect to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, pouring ice water on yourself is not exactly a difficult task. Today, we decide to celebrate someone who has done her bit to raise awareness.  Even for someone like me who has gone bald more than once (National Service and 2 trips to the barber gone wrong), the thought  of  going bald is not an easy decision.


When I heard that the Miss Vasantham 2011 had participated in  Hair For Hope 2014, I thought it was a joke. Suffice to say, I was wrong.  An Indian girl, that too, the beauty pageant contestant type, that too, a Vasantham one. This was probably the last person I would expect to make a bald statement. The stereotypes are never ending. Normally, we would have caught up with Vimala and gotten a few words with her. This time, we decided to go further.  We decided to organise an outdoor photo shoot to celebrate her bold choice!

In just 10 days, different individuals stepped up to play their role in making this photo shoot happen. We managed to get a 2 wardrobe sponsors (Elsino Fashionz & Saree Sense), a make-up artist (The MakeUp Elements), a photographer (Prem K. Photography) and even logistics provider (SKM Travels) who drove us around the whole afternoon in his awesome mini-bus. We even managed to get some food, courtesy of (The Prata Place) for all the crew. 7 strangers came together to make this amazing shoot possible. We wanted to show you that bald can be beautiful. :)
Wardrobe: Elsino Fashionz
MUA: Puvanes Neshrin
Model: Vimala Velu


We managed to speak to the star of the shoot on her reasons for participating in 'Hair For Hope' and her experiences thereafter. Vimala, who is a third year Bioscience student in NTU, was extremely candid and forthcoming.

How did this idea to participate come about and is there any specific reason for choosing the Children's Cancer Foundation?
I actually wanted to do it last year. My commitments (she was filming for Nijangal 3) then did not allow for it.  I guess it was my uncle's journey that sparked my decision. He had  passed away due to stomach cancer some time back. We were close. I have been reading up about cancer since and it has sparked my interest in science. I know it does sound rather naive for me to  say that one day, I want to find a cure for cancer. I would like to do my Phd eventually and contribute to cancer research.
In the interim, I wanted to do what I could within my means, raising awareness being one of them. My parents were initially not in favour but they eventually consented. Making a bald statement is just the beginning of my journey. I would like to take it further to volunteer my time with children who have been diagnosed with cancer.

The word on the street has it that you did this for publicity in lieu of your recent nomination in Pradhana Vizha 2014? Any comment?
(smiles) I heard about it too. The irony is that the category that I was nominated in had no voting. My decision was taken last year and my producers were aware of it. Infact, I had signed up for it in February. I cannot stop people from talking and its an occupational hazard when you are in the industry.
 
Wardrobe: Saree Sense
MUA: Puvanes Neshrin
Model: Vimala Velu

How has life changed since?
Interesting would be the right word. The way people look at you. You get the stares. Some do wonder if I am cancer patient myself. When they realise that this is for 'Hair For Hope', you do get the thumbs up and the encouraging smile. On the flip side, there have been incidents where young children shout "botak" and start laughing. One time, an elderly woman rushed to carry her grandson who was running towards me. She looked worried that boy was going to touch me. Honestly, I was not sure if she thought I had cancer. It was just a weird situation. Social media has not been too kind. I have received hate messages. Some even have told me that it was a bad omen to shave my head.
Wardrobe: Elsino Fashionz
MUA: Puvanes Neshrin
Model: Vimala Velu


So instead of just donating money to the foundation, why shave your head?
Well, I do not have much money to begin with. When my uncle used to tell me about his journey, all I did was just cry. Doing this allows me to live the journey, in some small part.  Even with my limited experience, it has not been a easy ride. Especially for females and children, hair really matters, this experience has allowed me to understand their struggle better. Personally, doing this sort of re-affirms my commitment towards my ambition and it has helped me to appreciate the life that God has given me.

Any parting words?
Go for it!!! But know the reason behind it. Do it for the sole purpose of raising cancer awareness and be ready to face the society and its views on your bald head.  I would  like to see more females participating in this. That will really mean something.
 
Wardrobe: Elsino Fashionz
MUA: Puvanes Neshrin
Model: Vimala Velu

 

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