The Bald Empathy Movement

During my recent visit to The Savoy I had the pleasure of meeting Poesy Liang, a multi-disciplinary designer and source of inspiration. Poesy is a jewellery designer, interior designer, a consultant in an architecture firm and has also suffered from cancer twice. This disease, which unfortunately I know too much of, having lost my grandmother to it 2 years ago, is something I’d like to support as much as I can.

Poesy has had her fair share of the disease too; it has made her lose sensation in her lower limbs, and she’s even walked with fractured toes as she hasn’t felt the pain. As part of her experiences in cancer, and to show compassion with those suffering of premature baldness and other illnesses, she’s founded (or started) The Bald Empathy Movement.

Poesy has long, thick, glossy hair. The hair you see in shampoo adverts. I have thin Scandinavian hair, and though I’ve tried desperately to boost my locks, it’s futile. I will never have a mane. Poesy does, but it will all go May 16 at the Cannes Festival.

At the moment, Poesy is travelling Europe and shooting with international photographers – they all have brilliant reputations. The images will focus on her hair and lead up to the Cannes Festival, where Poesy will go bald. Chop it all off. So long Rapunzel.

Bald is cool. That’s the sentiment Poesy wants to convey, and she spoke about it so passionately that I felt like I should join the movement too. I know I won’t, I have no guts and always use my hair to cover up when I blush (which annoyingly I tend to do quite often). However that’s why the act is so brave, how many of us girls don’t hide behind our hair?

The chopping (or shaving?) process will be caught live on video and will hopefully go viral on the 16th. Until then, Poesy is raising awareness for empathy and also, taking beautiful photos.

BEM is part of Poesy’s Helping Angels project, find the Facebook page here and support it.

And here are the 5 Objectives of the Bald Empathy Movement

#1. To make bald fashionable and cool, as an empathy movement for those suffering from loss of dignity due to premature hair loss, and hair loss due to chronic illnesses such as cancer.

#2. To advocate wholesome lifestyles. Living well — emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Encourage a healthy attitude, diet, exercise and a lifestyle  free of destructive or negative habits by getting a deeper understanding of wholesome wellness vs chronic illnesses.

#3. To raise sensitivity towards survivors and patients suffering from ill health. To learn awareness so we don’t cause further stress to those who are battling health issues.   For example: Don’t bring germs or viruses when visiting someone who is already fighting for his life. Don’t subject somebody less healthy than yourself to secondhand smoke. Don’t insist on visiting someone with critical health as we all carry pathogens and it is easy to cause infections.

#4. To know that we can give wigs to cancer patients who would appreciate them. Don’t just give away the loose hair if you plan to use your own hair — take the opportunity to make the wig before giving it to someone with already enough stress in their health battles. This point is based on generosity that is practical.

#5. No hair, no shampoo, less water. Be mindful of the environment.

Thanks to Djeneba Aduayom, Connie Hong and Rio Helmi for use of photos.

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