Our 16-year-old superhero

Our head of mentoring, Anna, breeds quite exceptional children. Her eldest, Kaliha, is about to shave her head to raise money for leukaemia. On International Women’s Day, it seemed only right to let this incredible young woman tell her own story. Over to you, Kaliha:

To say I have always had long hair would be an understatement. A two-year stint of shoulder-length hair aside, for as long as I can remember, I have had hair that reached my waist even tied up.

When described, the seemingly impressive length of my hair was always one of my defining characteristics. Other girls would consistently comment on it: “Will you ever cut it?” and “How’d you get it that long?” were frequently asked. This intrigued me – how would their questions change if I had none instead?

I decided I would shave my head a few years ago. I wanted to prove that young women don’t need to conform to their own expectations of femininity to be feminine. Shorter hair seems much more convenient anyway. However, I was asked to wait until after photos for my school ball (sure, Mum). So, naturally, I decided to do it in the first term of year 12. I delight in being contrary, and was encouraged by my friend Hannah, with whom I will be shaving.

Originally, I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. “Doesn’t that undermine my whole point?” I asked. But I reconsidered. I have a unique opportunity to make an impact; I’d be a fool not to take it. So many people, for various reasons, cannot grow the hair they desire.

Hannah and I chose The World’s Greatest Shave, not because we have any particular connection to leukaemia, but because it is already a well-known campaign doing good work. It was recognisable to people so we figured we could utilise that to amplify our fundraising efforts.

I know this will be something I remember for the rest of my life. Who doesn’t enjoy making a statement whilst fundraising for such an important cause?

To support Kaliha, please donate here!

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