Her Instagram bio reads ‘Bold. Bald. Bubbly’ and if you’re an avid listener of Kfm Mornings, you’ll definitely agree that those three words are the most fitting description of Sherlin Barends.
In her letter to her body, Sherlin gets real about what triggered the bold move to go bald:
I feel sexiest after a shave and a shower. I’m not talking about smooth legs and underarms, but my head. Shaving off my hair in 2012 has been one of the most liberating and empowering things I’ve ever done. Yet, my hair journey started well before then.
When I was about five or six I had my first relaxer. This chemical takes the kink out of your curl and your hair appears straighter and longer.
Anyone who has ever had their hair relaxed knows that there’s nothing relaxing about this painful and time-consuming process.
So, how do you convince a pre-scholar to sit still through it all? I was gifted with a blonde Barbie and a promise from one of the more seasoned stylists, ‘If you just sit for five more minutes, then your hair will be as pretty as your doll’s.’
The message was clear, even if I didn’t completely understand it then: Black womxn must alter their natural form to be beautiful. We are made to believe that our natural tresses are not long enough, straight enough, sleek and soft enough. Somewhere down the line, this spills over into other spheres of our lives and we start to believe that WE are not enough.
At 22, my straight hair hung to my shoulders. The chemically-treated strands felt foreign. I needed to go natural and go back to my roots.
The big chop also symbolised chopping problematic notions of beauty.
Dear Self, I’m proud of your growth. I forgive you for dimming your light and being anything but your true, authentic self. I love you.
#DearBody, shaving off my hair is one of the most liberating, empowering things I’ve done: it symbolised chopping problematic notions of beauty. Dear self, I’m proud of your growth. I forgive you for being anything but your true, authentic self. Love, Sherlin. Grateful to be part of Marie Claire’s New Naked campaign, alongside my Work Wife @sboshmafu. I wrote this letter to myself. Share your own letter starting with #DearBody, and tag @marieclairesa. . . . #womxn #female #capetown #southafrica #bald #baldfade #baldhead #baldisbeautiful #black #brownskin #brown #melanin #melaninpoppin #black #brown #makeup #facebeat #bodypositive #beautybeyondsize #friends #smile #happy
Get a copy of the issue on sale now, and read more of the beautiful #DearBody letters here.