A blogger undergoing cancer treatment has refused to let hair loss knock her confidence, telling her followers: “Hair is hair, no more, no less and it does not define you.”
Milly Smith, who started the popular Instagram account Self Love Club, said she wanted to spread positivity despite having stage 4 cervical cancer.
“I’ve previously had thinning hair due to medication but right now my hair is falling out in clumps due to chemo/radiationtherapy and it’s likely I will lose all of it,” she said in a recent post.
“I realised that a year ago this would have devastated me beyond belief, but right now I’m at peace with it and it’s due to self-love and positivity.”
Milly went on to suggest societal beauty standards tell women they must have long hair in order to be considered beautiful, but she’s not buying it.
“I realise now that I am a radiant fucking flower whatever my hair is doing.
My hair isn’t what makes me beautiful; it’s my kind and wonderful soul that shines out like sunbeams,” she said.
“We are taught that women need long, flowing beautiful hair to be considered attractive... well fuck that noise.
“Here’s to girls with no hair, short hair, thin hair, Afro hair, straight hair, thick hair, dry hair, hair all over their body, facial hair etc etc etc YOU ROCK.
“Hair is hair, no more no less and it does not define you. ”
Speaking to HuffPost UK, Milly explained that she was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer a few months ago after being misdiagnosed several times.
“It was terrifying but having the support system I do around me saved me from drowning,” she said.
“I learnt as much as I could about the condition to take control of it.”
She’s since undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, which has caused her hair to fall out.
“I was embarrassed and saddened at seeing my hair fall, I felt like a failure to my followers and not positive at all,” she said.
“A huge turning point for me was realising that it’s okay for me to fall and okay for me to feel like this. My followers don’t rely on me to be strong, they rely on me to be real and raw.
“I realised that hair is just hair, no more no less, and it can’t hurt me or my worth.”
More than 30,000 people have liked the post, with dozens commenting to offer Milly their support.
“Beauty is so much more than our appearance and it’s easy to forget that in today’s world. Thank you for the reminder,” one person commented.
Another added: “You are powerful and beautiful. Hair comes and goes, but beauty is timeless.”