What’s Ten Inches Anyway?

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Chopping off my hair is one of the most exhilarating things I’ve done. And I’ve done it a lot. Actually, I’ve donated over four feet of hair over the course of ten years.

I’ve gotten some strange looks when I tell people that I donate my hair to organizations that make wigs for cancer patients. Here’s the thing about human hair wigs: they look and feel like real human hair because, spoiler alert, they are! I’ve also heard that they don’t slide around on your head as much as  synthetic wigs.

To us, it’s hair. To women battling cancer, it’s hope. -Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Real hair wigs can be very expensive, but thanks to the American Cancer Society Wig Bank wigs are donated to the people that need them. Pantene Beautiful Lengths partnered with the American Cancer Society Wig Bank back in 2006 and has donated over 40,000 wigs so far!

I donate my hair because, if I don’t, it’ll just go sit in a landfill somewhere until it decomposes. It wouldn’t be helping or hurting anyone. It’d just mind it’s own business until it becomes dirt. So, instead of letting my hair waste away, I decide to give it a new life by donating it. Granted the minimum amount of hair you can donate is eight inches, but I like the thrill of chopping all my hair off in one go, so eight inches is practically nothing to me. But those eight inches could mean a whole new outlook on life for someone else! I’d definitely encourage everyone to donate their hair at some point in their life. Some organizations, such as Locks of Love, send you a thank you card from the recipient of the wig made out of your hair. How sweet is that?

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Have you ever donated your hair? Let me know your story in the comments section below!

A Concept of Home

I have lived in the same neighborhood, on the same street, in the same house all my life. That is where I consider “home” to be. For others, home is the house they’re currently living in. For others, still, home is the place they grew up. Some have split homes, whether due to divorce or immigration or other circumstances. “Home” is sometimes defined as a state of being, rather than a place. “I feel at home here,” has often been the choice phrase spoken by travelers seeking comfort. During this election cycle, I found a new definition of home for myself.

I’ve traveled outside of the United States twice in my life. Always being the child up for adventure, I readily tried new foods and met new people on both trips. However, even as a girl, I knew there was something oddly comforting about hearing an American accent on the streets of Paris, or eating a hamburger in London. As loudly as the world beckons me to explore, the United States has always found a way to bring me home again.

Amidst the confusion, frustration, and impatience of the tallying up of the electoral college votes, with Trump in the lead, the immigration website for Canada crashed. I’d heard many people, my friends among them, joke about fleeing the country if Donald Trump became the President of the United States. I didn’t think anyone was serious until that very moment. While I can not understand the fear going through the minds of some citizens right now, who possibly feel threatened by the promises our new President has made over the course of the past year, what remains more unfathomable to me are the people who are fleeing out of anger with the election.

As background on myself, I will tell you that I have a kind heart. I believe that, because we are all human beings, we have a moral obligation to be kind to one another on a daily basis. I am also only nineteen. There is much I have yet to learn about the world. But, if I have learned anything in my short time here, I know that kindness takes courage. A home is built with love, care, and, above all, kindness. Walking around my university today I witnessed ugly exchanges of words between people about political candidates. I overheard conversations that would not make me proud to call the United States my home.

As Americans, we are loud. We like sports, spending time with our families, and somehow manage to pair sneakers with everything. If you travel abroad, it’s somewhat easy to pick out the Americans in the crowd. We aren’t assertive, but we carry a kind of independent, inquisitive disposition that often finds us at the front of the tour group. It’s admirable.

While there are many things that set us apart from one another, there are also two fundamental things that should bring us together right now: we are human, and we are American. Through the process of logical deduction, it’s safe to assume that we live on same soil. We share the same home. And while not all homes are the same, I’d ask you to re-evaluate what a home means to you. I hope yours is built with kindness for others.

So in this time of change for our country, do not run away from what angers you. As it has been recently said, one vote has the power to change an election. As of now, one person has the power to change the divide that has become our home.

Product Review: Biore Charcoal Pore Strips

I went home the other weekend and decided to treat myself to a little at home spa day. I put coconut oil in my hair, did my nails, and thought really hard about doing a facial. For some reason I always manage to get the facial goop in my hair (or in my eyebrows…yikes) so I typically avoid them. One way to clean out blackheads, dirt, and oils from problem zones without all the hassle of a facial or face mask is a pore strip!

With all the hype surrounding them, I figured I’d try Biore’s charcoal pore strips. I’d used their charcoal face wash in the past and absolutely loved it, so I hoped these cute little black strips lived up to the challenge…

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The before picture is on the left

The after picture is on the right

Needless to say, there was no difference, other than a slight black residue left on the top of my nose. I’m pretty sure my blackheads were rejoicing, although I was not.

Their product also claims to keep oiliness at bay for 24 hours. Keep in mind that I have fairly oily skin, but my nose was greasy by dinner that night.

On Staying Young

I work as a lifeguard at a resort. Each weekday morning I open the pool half an hour early for a water aerobics class attended by elderly women from the surrounding neighborhood. Today was no different. I opened the gate, set out freshly rolled towels, opened umbrellas, and turned on the speaker. However, there was one thing out of place: someone had left a large beach ball in our lost and found bin.

One of the Aquafit ladies found the ball and tossed it to her friend in the pool. A game of volleyball, held between five seventy to eighty year old women, commenced. Never before had I seen such joy on their faces, even though the game was more of chasing after bad passes and missed catches than anything else. But, after all, isn’t most of child’s play chasing after things?

Children are so good at running after whatever captivates them in a singular moment in time. Adults are much more focused on details, plans, and long term consequences. We tend to get so wrapped up in things that we live in the future rather than the here and now. Visually, this can be represented by samples of Picasso’s work.

It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child. – Pablo Picasso

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How to be “younger”? Be more here and now. Focus on how you feel, what you want, what joy the next five minutes can bring you. Better yet, can you make someone else’s day better in the next five minutes? Live in the present more often and you’ll find yourself to be living a more youthful life.

xo, Bailey

Life Update: Summer Break

Hey everyone! I hope summer’s been treating you as well as it’s been treating me.

I’ve been away from my blog for a little while. Between prepping for finals, taking my finals, moving myself out of  my dorm, and a beach vacation, my life has been up and happening!

Here are the highlights from my beach vacation:

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The weather wasn’t perfect (thanks, wind, for messing up Paige’s hair and making my dress the most awkward outfit situation ever) but at least it wasn’t as hot as a Georgia summer!

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My crew and I stayed at Topsail Island, North Carolina. We all highly recommend spending some time in Fort Fisher (especially the Civil War museum) if you’re ever on that side of NC.

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My favorite restaurant on the east coast of my home state? Poe’s Tavern! Not only do they have great food, the entire place is decked out in Edgar Allan Poe things like a giant mosaic golden bug and collected works wallpaper!

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Thanks for reading! Keep checking in for more interesting things going on in my crazy, adventurous life!

xo, Bailey

The Cursed Child? More Like the Cursed Play

The title says it all – the new play based off J.K. Rowling’s writings must be doomed!

I’m just kidding. Many of you know I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and when I heard about the makings of a new play featuring the Big HP’s kiddo I was ecstatic. Like sharing multiple statuses and videos on Facebook, Googling news articles, finding where the auditions were being held, and calling all my friends with tears streaming down my face kind of ecstatic. So when I heard that people were upset over the new (err, well, she’s old now) Hermione being black, I was crushed!

22artsbeat-potter3-blog427 Noma Dumezweni will play Hermione Granger, all grown up, in the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” Dumezweni, as I have read, is a fabulous actress and was no doubt chosen for the part because of her superb acting abilities. Some Potterheads beg to differ, saying that Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the Harry Potter movie series, should have been awarded the role. Other fans speak up about the break in character – young Hermione was white, so why should a black woman  be playing the grown up witch? Another group of readers and watchers have vocalized the questions they’ve had about Hermione’s ethnicity since the beginning of the series, because the books don’t say anything about skin tone.

Growing up, I lived for the next Harry Potter book to be published. I went to as many midnight book openings as I could, as many opening nights as I could, and dressed as Ginny Weasly for Halloween on many an occasion. When I first read the books I didn’t think about race. I was six. Now that I’m older and looking back on the series I realize that people of color didn’t play main characters and weren’t as prevalent as Caucasians.

For the original movie, the three main roles were selected by open casting with the only real criterion being age and a British background. This is how we came to know and love Daniel, Rupert, and Emma. I would like to say that only their acting skills were the reason they were chosen for the parts they got, rather than how they looked. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”‘s main cast was recruited because of their acting capabilities. I would like to think that no one was chosen to play their role because of their race, and that no one was turned away from the role because of their race, in either cast.

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What does J.K. have to say? Only this so far: “Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione.” We love you too J.K.!

 

 

I think that if someone is more than capable of playing a role then they should get the role, no matter their ethnicity. It’s 2015, the color of someone’s skin shouldn’t be a barrier anymore. As for “The Cursed Child,” it’s a writer’s interpretation of the book series and the aftermath of Harry Potter, so a change in character shouldn’t disrupt a thing. If it does for you, then maybe you should reread the story to figure out what the series really stands for.