8 Jul 2015


So. I shaved my head. (Well actually Jack shaved it, but only because I asked him to.) We're all voyeurs at heart so if you wanna see what I look like now, just check out the photo on Instagram.

I have a few strong, beautiful women in my life who have all shaved their heads when they were around my age, and when the topic would come up in conversation I'd get dreamy eyes and say, "Oh, I should just shave all my hair off too!" They'd agree, and I'd promise myself I would eventually do it when I was ready. This seems to be a reoccurring process for me. I learn of some kind of lifestyle, hobby, diet, etc. that I initially admire but simultaneously think is nuts and way too challenging for me. The idea slowly grows on me over months or years, until I begin to really resonate with it and start to realize it's only a matter of time before I adopt whatever ideology, activity or life-change it is. Eventually, I do adopt it. Once that happens I feel like a better, improved, more enlightened version of myself. Not only have I overcome something I once thought to be too extreme for me to do, it's something that opens my mind more to the world around me, and probably makes me a more responsible agent of nonviolence, sustainability, strength, self-love, or whatever aspect is relevant to the change I've made.

Examples: going vegan, quitting shaving my pits and legs, quitting makeup, getting rid of nearly all my clothes and other belongings in place of only what I need, beginning meditating, buying organic food and clothing, going to the farmers market every week, getting back on my bike, lifting HEAVY in the gym, buying ethical clothing, writing a cookbook (and then two more), going nude in public, buying whole boxes of bananas, doing public recipe demos, cutting my hair super short, then shaving it all off... I feel like I am forgetting a bunch but ah well.

I wanted to shave my head because to me it symbolizes empowerment, independence, confidence, minimalism, and functionality. I was still too attached to my old worries about beauty for a long time, until finally a week ago I spent the day with Sophie - a lovely vegan human who was visiting from Australia - eating fruit, sunbathing on the beach and discussing veganism, gender and the lack of hair on her scalp. This was the third female in my life who had shaved their head and implored me to do the same. I was ready this time. Something had changed in me, I let go of those last few attachments to what I thought equaled "beauty". I texted Jack that evening and told him he was going to shave my head. He wouldn't be my lover if he was the type of person who'd think this was a weird request. We did it that night and when I looked in the mirror at the finished product I flipped out for half a sec. But then I got over it and have since fallen in love with the absence of hair.

In my opinion: I think makeup, colourful clothes, nail polish and all the rest of the decorations we adorn ourselves with are distractions from my central self. I am a minimalist and functionalist, although I do have my aesthetic preferences. At the end of the day, I want to get to know me better. And the less distractions there are, the more successful I'll be. As I strip away the layers of gender and fashion, I see more of myself looking back at me in the mirror. As I get to know myself more, I love myself more.

Self-love, to me, is real beauty.

My choice to shave my head comes from a place of minimalism but also a place of resistance. Resistance against gendered structures built around us since birth, and against the power of social norms and public acceptance. I'd like to point out that this is MY perspective. I can imagine how someone else would come to opposite conclusions using the same line of thinking. Example: covering yourself in colourful clothes, shiny nails and bright makeup could be just as much a stand against societal norms as me shaving my head; same goes for dressing and acting within the accepted binary but as the opposite gender to which you were assigned at birth. We are all unique - thank heavens - so I embrace the different routes each of us is taking to express ourselves. However, if this resonates with you, consider shaving your head. You'll look gorgeous. You'll feel new. It's fun to rub.

Onto cherry nice cream. It's the bomb dot com.

Serves one or two

Nice cream:
4 peeled, frozen, chopped bananas
1/3 cup pitted cherries
1/8 teaspoon whole vanilla bean 

1/3 cup pitted cherries

To make the nice cream: blend it all up until it's like soft serve. Yum. Top with the left over cherries and eat. If you don't have whole vanilla bean, use 1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.


This post was my contribution to a blog series called The 30 Day Beauty Detox, put on by Jacqueline Parker from Beauty Reawakened. Did you like this post? Then *subscribe to my blog* and get all my posts by email!


Helena said...

Hi Emily.
I've been following your blog for a few months now and, apart from your recipes and photos which I love, I mostly admire your strengh and the fact that you always believe in yourself.
I must say I've been struggling a lot lately with some issues. My self-esteem and confidence were always deep down. Just recently I kinda opened my eyes and saw I was making a huge mistake with myself.
I've gone through a lot of emocional changes (and some phisical ones as well) and I must say your blog also helped me a little.
I too have been experiencing some transformations that I recognize helped me feeling more like myself. Those kind of changes you mentioned that look way to extreme and then someday you feel prepared for them. Veganism, minimalism and meditation are just a few.
I've been hidden for too long. Now I feel more alive and whole.
I wanted to thank you even though you don't know me :)
And I not ready yet to shave my hair but it figures now as one of my next challenges. I'm sure I'll feel amazing.
I must say your shaved hair looks real good on you. I loved it.
Wish you the best luck on your journey.

Mo said...

Very inspiring, your writing about minimalism! Bald looks good on you and the best part is of course you feel great about it. It wouldn't be something for me, at least not at this moment.
I was wondering what you think about lifting heavy and aesthetics? Is it more about health and feeling strong that you lift heavy, or also about how your body looks like because of the lifting? I don't mean anything judgmental, i'm just curious about your opinion! ;)

The Yogi Vegetarian said...

Love, love ,love all kinds of banana based nice cream; thanks for sharing this :) I never totally shaved my head but have had it just about as short as you can get without it actually being shaved, and I loved that clean, minimal feeling. Maybe one day I'll do the whole way, who knows? It's great to be able to express yourself through your appearance!

Cassie said...

This is gorgeous! I need to make more nana smoothies!

Sarah said...

Hi, just wondering, do you do this in a Vitamix, or a food processor? My ancient Vitamix complains when I try to do things that are too frozen, and so I made ice cream the other night using frozen mangoes, room temp bananas, and a can of coconut milk. It was too soft at room temp, and too hard when frozen to scoop, and has ice crystals when it thaws enough to scoop. How do get it to the right consistency, and not have ice crystals? (And love your blog, Instagram, and recipes!)

Sarah | Well and Full said...

I saw your haircut on instagram... I LOVE it! I admire you so much for challenging yourself in this way. I also really appreciate what you said about rebelling against heteronormative gender stereotypes... you're a human being, and that's all that matters, right? And you're a pretty awesome human, so keep rockin your thang, human ;)

Millie | Add A Little said...

Looks absolutely incredible! I love the vibrant colour and the sweet bursting cherries! I also want to say how incredible your hair looks - you rock it girl!

Nina said...

It's unbelievable. I was thinking about shaving my head today. But I think I'm not brave enough...I think it's totally cool! And I believe that it feels freeing. At least I think that I would feel the same way when I finally found the courage...
I really love your blog. Just learned about it like a week ago and can't stop reading!

Becky said...

Holy crap - your shaved head is so cute!! I've gone totally opposite, with a head of crazy hair that I've (finally) learned to love. I let it grow wild now - no more styling. I love when the wind tangles it up into a huge mess. I love when it breaks those super-strength hair bands. Another way of looking at the same problem I suppose. Congratulations on your own hair-liberation!!

Blue Earth Grrl said...

Oh, I have days where I wanna give my hair the chop, but then I remind myself that I have been letting it grow for 8 years and want to see if I can ever tuck it into my belt a la Dumbledore. When it gets there though.....off with it mwahaha! And about that icecream....maybe when the temperature finally creeps above 10 Celcius and that bone-chilling southerly goes back to Antarctica where it oughta stay. Orrrrr maybe make a hot porridge version!

Unknown said...

I love your outlook on life and it's adventures/challenges/norms! You are such a beautiful person both outwardly and your soul :)

-KJ @omnomherbivore

Buffy | Be Good Organics said...

You my dear are too cute. Love your posts! x (a typical to be expected very gender appropriate kiss), buffy

Kim said...

I've had to shave my head a few times (I enjoy home hairdye experiments) and I just look like a prisoner of war. Even more meaningful than the physical shaving of the head, I think, are your reasons and attitude towards it.

I was wondering, would you be able to make a post about heavy lifting sometime? I'm interested in the activity, but it seems quite strange to go to a gym just to build muscles that you can only maintain and use by going to a gym.

Cathy said...

girl you are awesome!

Anonymous said...

Hi Em,

You looked very beautiful with your hair. According to many commentators here you have taken a bold step and they all seem to be totally in awe. Well done Em if that is what you wanted. The few people I have known during my short life have gone and done things very similar to this and later it emerged 100% of them were going through some troubling times in their lives. I hope that is absolutely not the case here. You looked fabulous and feminine with your hair and you are very amazing and talented. Stay safe and healthy and sane.


Anonymous said...

I'm making this tomorrow for my partner and I :D

I follow many vegan blogs and love looking at pics of nanaicecream on instagram but I always coming back to your page even when I need to take a break from all those other blogs. Mostly because your genuineness and your ethics. Yes you get them health benefits from eating plants but you seem to really be in it for the animals and the planet. Being on your site just feels good. You are an experimental vegan and I'm in love with that. Thank You and I hope you continue to share!

((I'm not sure you know of him but I bet you'd like Steve Pavlina. He's also an experimental vegan. His take on open relationships and living fearlessly keeps coming up for me as I look through your posts and photos on instagram!))


lilirenard. said...

you suit the saved head very well! :) this post is very inspirational to me! I don't think i would be brave enough or ready yet to do things like you but it is so inspiring to see you and hear what you think!
Thank you for sharing this with us!
Also need to try out your recipe! banana and cherries...best mix ever!! :)

Bianca said...

This looks really delish!!

Gemma said...

Awesome recipe and fabulous post! You look fabulous with your beautiful 'bald' head darling! ^_^
I should start stepping out of my comfort zone too...and do some crazy or different things from time to time. You will be my inspiration!
This ice cream has a GORGEOUS color, yum! I tried banana-based ice creams for the first time not too long ago and they are so delicious! Will try this version next weekend!


Julia said...

If you are kind-enough to pass on the whole plate to me, I will be hungry-enough to finish it-off. Thanks in advance

C Flossy said...

Hi Emily!

I had never ever thought about shaving my head for any other reason that to raise money for charity before - but I now feel as though I understand the reasoning behind it, and who knows, maybe one day I will have a shaved head too.

One of the things that I love most about your blog is your photography. I don't know if you've already answered this, but I was wondering what camera/lens you used, and also if you use natural/artificial lighting?

Thank you x

Cheryl Patterson said...

MMMMMMmmmmmmm! This looks delicious. I love banana ice cream so for me this is just a fantastic extension of what can only be described as a taste supreme.

felicia@ingredient1.com said...

This looks almost too beautiful to eat! Have you tried this recipe with other stone fruit? I’m curious if plums or peaches would work!

Cate said...

Hey Emily! Another fun way to spice up cherry-vanilla nana ice cream is to throw in some cardamom to taste- so good. By the way, your hair is incredible and so are you!

Iowabovine said...

This was a wonderful dessert. So good! Thank you!

Why would a person want to shave their head?

Unknown said...

This looks delicious, and I love the simple ingredients!

Jinen said...

A very NICE cream, indeed! Thanks for posting :)