Clare Bowen surprised us all on Wednesday when she revealed that she had chopped off all of her hair.
The Nashville star took to Facebook to share a stunning shot of her new pixie cut — snapped by photographer Joseph Llanes — that showed her long, luscious locks were no more.
Photo: Khloé Kardashian Cuts Her Hair
But before you panic and criticize the blonde beauty's new look, the 31-year-old wants you to know what inspired her decision.
In a long explanation on social media, the actress revealed she had been diagnosed with nephroblastoma as a young girl, which meant she had a rare form of kidney cancer that is often found in children.
"Wanna know why I cut it all off? When I was four years old, I asked my mother; 'Are there heaters in Heaven?' I had just been diagnosed with end stage nephroblastoma, after several visits to a GP who denied anything was wrong and dubbed my parents "paranoid." I'd overheard the doctors telling my family that the only hope of saving me, was an experimental treatment that might kill me anyway. But without it I had maybe two weeks left. The hospital was cold. I'd never felt air conditioning before."
The Australia native explained that, while she was in the hospital, she bonded with all the other children who were suffering like she was, writing:
"Life in the White Palace (Granddad's nickname for hospital) meant I got to grow up surrounded by children just like me. We were mostly bald, all tubed, taped, bandaged up and stitched back together. We were all missing parts, some obvious like eyes or legs, others more hidden, like lungs and kidneys. Those who still could, tip-toed around like little fairies because chemotherapy had destroyed the muscles in our legs and it hurt to put our heels on the floor. But we were all together, so no one's appearance came into question. No one got laughed at or teased. We were all we knew."
But Clare stressed that even though she eventually got better and her hair grew back, she couldn't understand why our society is so judgmental of superficial features, adding:
"I look relatively normal on the outside, but on the inside, I am still the same stitched back together little creature, in a world where people are judged so harshly for the way they look. It has always been completely incomprehensible to me. How can people think there's time for that?"
The ABC star said it was this experience with one littler girl that really motivated her to drastically change her 'do, saying:
"I was really inspired when I heard a story about a little girl who said she couldn't be a princess because she didn't have long hair, and I wanted her, and others like her to know that's not what makes a princess, or a warrior, or a superhero. It's not what makes you beautiful either. It's your insides that count… even if you happen to be missing half of them."
She explained that people should focus more on internal beauty than external beauty, commenting:
"Every scar tells a story, every baldhead, every dark circle, every prosthetic limb, and every reflection in a mirror that you might not recognize anymore. Look deeper than skin, hair, nails, and lips. You are who you are in your bones. That is where you have the potential to shine the brightest from. It is where your true beautiful self lives."
The lovely lady finished her post by thanking everyone who made this movement possible, especially the TV execs who allowed her character on the popular program to go through this physical transformation as well, adding:
"Thank you ABC network and particularly our creator, Callie Khouri for letting me change Scarlett's hair, and my team, family and friends for helping me make the decision. If it makes even one person think twice about judging another, then in some small way, the world is better. Self-esteem takes a lot longer to grow back than hair. #BeautyWithin"
[Image via Clare Bowen/Facebook.]
Tags: abc, clare bowen, facebook, girl power, hairstyles, health, inspiration, joseph llanes, nashville, nephroblastoma, sick