Operation Baldy

All posts in the Operation Baldy category

A Little Housekeeping

Published February 10, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

I feel like a bit of a change.  So I’m going with a new WordPress theme here on Fat Heffalump.  Nothing fancy-pants, just another one of the freebies WordPress.com offers up.  I actually find this easier to read than my old one.

I wanted to give you all an update on Operation Baldy.  So far I’ve received just over $2200 in donations that I’ve received, with a whole lot of pledges that haven’t come in yet.  I would really like to hit the $3000 mark, but it will depend on the pledged donations coming through.   As it stands (not counting pledged amounts) I’ve got $1670 for the Cancer Council of Australia, and $575 for the Queensland Flood Appeal.  Not bloody bad for shaving ones head to raise money huh?

The hair is growing back rapidly, it is now two weeks since I whipped it all off, and it’s about 5mm long all over.  Because it’s so thick it looks like it’s grown like a weed.  Yet I can only just grab a teensy little bit in my fingers.  It feels funny though.  Kind of like a microfibre plush toy.  Today I bought some hot chilli red dye to colour it with soon.  I might even have enough hair next week to do it.

I’ve got some cool stuff coming up to share with you all.  I’ve recorded two podcasts in the past week, and written a guest post on my experience with eating disorders.  As soon as they are live I’ll let you all know.  It’s really amazing to be able to collaborate with other activists and allies, I feel blessed with these opportunities.

I’m still wanting to know what kind of topics are important to you in Fat Acceptance.  So if you have any, could you pop them in the comments below?


So… it’s DONE!

Published January 26, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

Yes, I am a Baldy McBaldersons.  Have been for a few hours now and do you know what?  I like it!!  It feels amazing, particularly now that the numbness is subsiding (I was warned about initial numbness), it’s starting to get really sensitive.  And I’m told I rock the look pretty well.

I know, I know, you all want me to shut up and get to the photos.  Well… here goes!

So this is what I had to lose!

Chopped off the ponytail first. It took some hacking – it’s an inch thick at the pony band.

We did three runs with the clippers, because my hair is so thick. Started out with the 3 blade.

After the second pass over with the clippers. It felt like really expensive velvet.

Getting ready to hit it with the razor blades. This was the most weird feeling ever!

Notice my earrings? They say “LOL”. I thought they were apt for the day.

I bought a hat. I figured sun protection is going to be very, very important!

So… are you ready for the final result?

Are you sure?

Alright, here goes then…

There you have it.  Me, completely and totally bald!

It has been an AMAZING day, I felt so supported by the group of friends who came along to the little event I had, and strangely enough, I’m really happy with how it looks.  I was sure I was going to hate it, I even had some nightmares last night.  But now that it’s done and dusted, I love it.

I haven’t tallied up the donations yet but I think I might be rapidly approaching the $3000 mark.  I will spend some time tomorrow sorting that out, as I’m REALLY tired (it’s been a big day for this little fat heffalump) and ready to wind down for the night.

I want to thank all of you who have donated, cheered me on, shared positives about being bald, posted links, reblogged, retweeted and facebooked to help spread the word.  And I want to thank Kirk and Lyndy for being our hosts today, Kerri and Kylie for being my Pit Crew (and not butchering my head with sharp implements) and everyone else who turned up today to support me.

I will be leaving the channels for donations for the Cancer Council of Australia and Queensland Flood Appeal open for a week, as I still have people popping up donations.  And if you have yet to donate, don’t you think that bald head above deserves a donation?  Pretty please?

24 Hours Away – Operation Baldy

Published January 25, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

As I write this, I am 24 hours away from shaving my head for Operation Baldy.  I have my kit all organised, shaving gel and razors, scissors, sunscreen for my freshly exposed head, camera all charged up with an empty SD card.  A friend is bringing clippers to take the bulk of it off, though I think I might chop the ponytail off first for dramatic effect.  I have had a day of pampering with a friend to make my nails all femme and my eyebrows all tidy – they’ll be kind of noticeable when I’m bald.  I’ve bought a cute hat to protect my head from the sun when out and about.

I’m having an event with local friends, a day by the bay of a picnic lunch and laughs and fun as I say goodbye to my hair.  People I trust are going to do the deed and I’m sure look after me for a bit afterwards when the enormity of what I’ve done hits home.

I am very, very nervous.  I have spent some time over the past few days finding photographs of lots of beautiful bald women all over the internet (bless you Google Image search).  I have reminded myself that I am doing this for a very good cause, two very good causes in fact.  I have reminded myself that it grows back.  I have reminded myself that my long hair is not a measure of my femininity.  I have looked at the approximately $2200 worth of donations received so far, with a good few hundred pledged and reminded myself that if so many people can reach into their pockets to help, I can shave my head.

But I’m still very, very nervous.

This is what I am giving up:

Pink hair bun

See how pretty it is?  It’s like fairy floss (cotton candy to those of you in the US).  I do love it very much.

OK I need some of the pros:

  • It will be much cooler without all that thick, hot hair heating me up.
  • I will save on shampoo and conditioner.  Not to mention bleach and pink dye.
  • Getting ready for the day will be a snap.
  • I’ll be able to gently give my scalp a tan.
  • No more hair to be constantly swept/vaccuumed up from my flat.
  • Hats will fit (my hair is BIG, hats normally just slide right off)
  • I could get a tattoo up there if I wanted to!
  • I will be able to put away all the hair doodads and pins and hairbands and stuff and not have them cluttering up my flat.
  • Once it starts to grow back, I’ll be able to try new colours without having to use up a whole bleach kit/two tubes of colour on all that long hair.
  • I won’t get hairdaches from tight ponytails.
  • No more fluffy bits that blow in my eyes.

Anyone got any more pros for being bald and saying goodbye to my long pink hair?

Again, the generosity of those who have already donated is staggering.  Thank you all, I can’t tell you how much it means to me to see your donations pop up in my inbox.  You are all doing a good thing, whether you donate big or small, it all adds up to help.

If you haven’t already donated, would you please consider doing so?  I have Paypal set up:

Donate here $US Paypal
Donate here $AU Paypal
Donate here £GBP Paypal

or Email Me to arrange other payment method.

I promise I will blog tomorrow night with photographs of my shiny bald head (and some of the laughs along the way) to prove I’ve done the deed.

Now hit me up with some pros in the comments lovelies – I need to keep reminding myself!!

An Un-Post

Published January 20, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

I have little to no blogging inspiration at the moment.  I’m tired, the whole flood thing across my whole country now, but very much here at home in my very back yard is weighing heavy on my mind, and I am so, so behind in reading Fatosphere blogs that I feel really cut off from everything that is going on out there.

But I want to give you all an update on Operation Baldy.  In the few days since I posted the last update, about $300 has come in for the Flood Relief fund, with pledges for about $200 more and another $50 for the Cancer Council of Australia.  Bringing the total raised so far at about the $2000 mark (give or take for the exchange rates).  I am absolutely gobsmacked at the generosity of people, both near and far.  You are all amazing people, every one of you that has donated.  Whether it’s $5 or $500, every dollar makes a difference, and every one of you are generous, kind hearted souls.

Just a quick aside, if you’re in Brisbane, there is a canned food drive starting tomorrow in the Brisbane City Council libraries (running for a month).  This food all goes to Foodbank, and all canned food is accepted, even canned pet food.  If you’re near a library, how about popping in with a can or two.  And tell them Kath said hello and that they’re doing an amazing job despite all the fallout from the floods.

So I’m less than a week away from The Big Shave.  I oscillate between wanting to just get rid of my hair now, and seeing my pink locks and thinking “NOOOOOOOOOO!!”  Of course Murphy’s Law states that the week before I shave my head completely bald, my hair is looking the cutest it has in ages.  Ugh!  I’m getting nervous that I’ll look really, really stupid with a bald head.  But I’m trying to compensate by thinking of all the enormous earrings I will be able to show off.

Of course I’m still taking donations, and will be for some time yet.  If you can help, click here for the details on how to donate.

In other news, I have booked in for another tattoo on the Friday after The Big Shave.  I had some inspiration (and some holiday leave loading!) and found something so awesome to get tattooed on me, that I couldn’t wait another second.  I showed my tattoo artist, Victoria from Wild at Heart the reference material and by her reaction I knew she was the one to do it.  The piece is a sekrit (but for a few trusted people) but let’s just say it’s a beautiful fat positive piece that represents my learning to love my body and accept myself as I am.  I can’t wait to share it all with you when it’s done.

While I’ve got you, it’s a new year, so may I ask you what kinds of topics you’d like to hear about on Fat Acceptance blogs?  What things are first and foremost in your mind at the moment when it comes to Fat Acceptance?  What gaps do you think we have when it comes to topics and discussions?  Perhaps I’ll glean some inspiration and get back into the swing of things if we start a conversation here.

Operation Baldy: Phase 2

Published January 16, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

I wrote this blog post in a notebook a few nights ago, Tuesday or Wednesday I think.  The past week kind of blurs into one in my mind at the moment.  Reading back over it, I think I can just copy it here and post it as is:

Tonight I sit at my dining table, by the light of a couple of flickering Christmas candles, writing this blog post in a notebook.  It is 7.50pm, the power has apparently been out in my building since 10am.  It’s hot and muggy, and while I can hear my neighbours all chatting and laughing, I can also hear helicopters buzzing overhead almost constantly and the air is frequently pierced with the wail of emergency services sirens; fire, police, ambulance.

I am at home in my flat, safe and dry, one of the lucky ones.  Though the sounds of the helicopters and sirens are giving me the heebie-jeebies, I am not at risk of the flood waters getting anywhere near my home.  I have a friend a mere half dozen doors away if I wish to have company, a neighbour I can trust in my building if I need him.  I have food in my belly, clothes on my back, a fairly well stocked pantry and a bed to sleep in.

I am one of the very, very lucky ones.

As you probably all know, on the 26th of this month, I plan to shave my head for charity.  My original goal was to raise $1000 for the Cancer Council of Australia.  I have well surpassed that goal, with the current total sitting at $1450.  I have been absolutely delighted, in fact completely gobsmacked at the generosity of those who have donated already.  You are all such generous, giving people.

But as my beautiful city of Brisbane suffers a slow, torturous and devastating drowning at the hands of a flood unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime, I know I must do something to help those who are not as lucky as I am.

So what I propose is this.  The $1450 I have raised so far is going to the Cancer Council of Australia.  But anything I raise from this point on, I would like to donate to the Queensland Flood Appeal.

As I write this, 20,000 homes in Brisbane alone are predicted to be flooded before the week is out.  People will have literally nothing more than the clothes they stand in, and whatever they could carry.  Today I watched a large part of a restaurant float down the Brisbane River and out to sea.  Somebody’s business, their livelihood and the employer of many local people, washed out to see.  Countless other businesses have been destroyed or damaged so badly that they will have to lay off staff until they can get on their feet again.  Staff who may very well have lost their homes, cars, all their belongings themselves.

I need to help my home city put itself back together again.  I can only donate a small amount myself, but perhaps I can harness the generous, giving nature of those of you out there, to help some more.  Every dollar counts.

I will of course still be shaving off my long, hot pink hair for the cause.  And if you would still like your donation to go to the Cancer Council of Australia, that is fine too, just let me know.  Again, if you’ve already donated, that money will go to the Cancer Council of Australia as planned.  I promise to document the process and share the event here on this blog as much as possible.  It’s the least I can do.

None of this money is for me.  None of this money will benefit me, other than to see the city I call home be able to begin to rebuild.  And then beyond to the rest of this state of Queensland.

If you haven’t already donated yet, or you have more to spare, would you please just do one thing for me?  think about the last meal you ate, the roof over your head, the clothes in your wardrobe, the job you go to.  Now please think of the thousands of people here in Brisbane, and in fact the rest of the state, who no longer have any of that.

Anything you can spare is welcome.  Either for the Queensland Flood Appeal, or the Cancer Council of Australia – both need all the help we can give them.

Donate here $US Paypal
Donate here $AU Paypal
Donate here £GBP Paypal

or Email Me to arrange other payment method.

Thank you so much for your help.

Goal Reached! Now Let’s Double It!

Published December 22, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

I am thrilled, elated, delighted and beside myself to share with you all that today, Operation Baldy whizzed past the initial goal of raising $1000 for the Cancer Council of Australia.  With currency conversions factored in, we’re currently sitting at about $1150AU  I really have no words for how awesome all of those who have donated so far are.  So much generosity, many of you I have never even met.  A few of you completely unknown to me.  If anyone tells you there is no power, no kindness, no generosity in the internet… you send them over here for a chat to me.

So, just in case I have some new readers out there (and I think I do) who haven’t yet been introduced to Operation Baldy, here’s a quick rundown.

A month or so ago, just after the latest ridiculous Facebook “awareness campaign” for Breast Cancer, I decided to put my money where my mouth was.  Well, in fact, your money where my hair is.  I could never donate anything near $1000 on my own, so I decided that on Australia Day 2010 (26th of January for any non-Aussies), I will shave my head, right down to skin to raise money for the Cancer Council of Australia, who have done some amazing work with cancer research (partially funded the discovery and development of Gardisil, the cervical cancer vaccine among other things) which benefits cancer patients around the world.

I am intending to go from this:
PhotobucketPhoto courtesy of Bri King

To something that looks somewhat like this:


Ok maybe without the chicken feet.  I will be holding some kind of picnic or barbecue event on the day so that locals can come along and *cough* encourage me to go through with it (hold me down kicking and screaming if need be!) and also help me say goodbye to my hair.  Plus of course we need lots of photographers so that I can share with you all afterwards!

So, originally I set the goal of raising $1000.  Today, thanks to a very, VERY generous donation of $500 (you know who you are, gorgeous!), I rocketed past that first goal.  I think in the little over a month left before Australia Day, I can double that.

I believe that people with cancer give up so much, the least I can do is give up my hair for awhile.

I’ve set up paypal for the US Dollar.

And the UK£.

And the Australian Dollar.

Or for the Aussies, if you prefer I’m willing to take cheque, money order or direct bank deposit, just email me and we’ll sort something out.  And I can provide an Australian tax receipt too if you’d like to claim it on your tax.

So, can you help?  Every dollar, indeed every CENT, is important and helpful.  I promise to blog/tweet/facebook the progress and results on Australia Day.  And if you come along to the party, you can rub my bald head for luck as well, but it will cost you a gold coin donation!

Operation Baldy – Update

Published November 25, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

So for those of you who missed my earlier post a couple of weeks ago about Operation Baldy, I have decided to shave off my long hot pink hair, right down to the skin, on Australia Day (January 26th) to raise money for the Australian Cancer Council.  Here’s what my hair looks like now:


Big and pink.  And fluffy.

So, I’ve never actually shaved my head right down to the skin before.  I’ve clippered it mega short, but not completely bald.  Even after having a couple of weeks to think about the idea, it still scares me shitless, but I believe wholeheartedly that while there are people with cancer losing their hair unwillingly, and losing their independence, their incomes, their relationships, their social lives, their sense of taste and smell, various parts of their bodies and some ultimately their lives, I can do something that scares and challenges me to help raise money to fight cancer.

I have set a goal of $1000 (Australian Dollars) to raise by the 26th of January.  As you can see by my wee ticker over there on the right, I’ve already passed the quarter mark, and I still have two months left.  But do you know what?  How awesome, how fucking amazing would it be, if we could SMASH that goal of $1000 and hit double that.  Or more.  How awesome would it be for me to blog here in two months with a photo of my shiny, naked head with a great big dollar amount to report as the amount to donate to the Australian Cancer Council?  And to be able to point to all of you, and say: YOU DID THIS!

That would be so awesome, it would be more awesome than Hugh Jackman riding a sparkly unicorn under a double rainbow beside Neil Patrick Harris on a glitter Pegasus, while the Mythbusters obliterate an ocean liner with high explosives in the background.

Ok, maybe it wouldn’t be that awesome, but it would be pretty damn awesome.

How can you contribute?  Well, here we have a few links for you:

Donate by Paypal (US$)

Donate by Paypal (GBP£)

Donate by Paypal (AU$)

For Aussies: Email me for a bank deposit or to send a cheque or money order.  For those of you who are locals to me here in BrisVegas, I’m happy to take cash and deposit it myself!

That should cover most of you.  If there is some other format of donation that suits you, email me and we’ll see what we can do.

Thank you so much, from the very bottom of my heart, to those of you who have donated already.  You are all awesome, in a quite Hugh Jackman/sparkly unicorn/double rainbow/NPH/glitter Pegasus/Mythbusters explosion kind of way.

Let me just finish this post with a quote that was on my “Wild Words from Wild Women” desk calendar yesterday:

Once you’ve had chemotherapy, there’s no such thing as a bad-hair day.
Elizabeth Tilberis