There is a little girl at GRAACC Hospital in Sao Paulo on my laptop screen wearing a pink dress and lacy scarf wrapped around her head. “I used to have curls, right Grandma?” she asks her grandmother who smiles and assures her she did and that they were great. Suddenly, the conversation shifts and the next thing the little girl says is, “I wanted people to understand that we are not sick because we want to [be].”
This video is for the campaign Bald Cartoons, a movement started by ad agency Ogilvy Brazil alongside GRAACC in Sao Paulo, which has cartoonists from around the world depicting famous cartoon characters with shaved heads to support children with cancer. A child with cancer deserves to be seen just like any other child and the Bald Cartoons video nails this in the opening, when family members of the children profiled discuss how hair loss from cancer often has strangers staring, pointing, and whispering about their children openly in public. “For me, this is a kind of prejudice.”
Bald Cartoons wants kids to know they aren’t alone: Several iconic ‘toons have already ditched their locks in favor of being bald and beautiful. Hello Kitty has a polka dot bandana wrapped around her head, Garfield and Snoopy are both working delightful cue ball looks, and the birds from Rio 2 have decided to wing it sans some of the feathers.
Representation, and solidarity, matters especially when it comes to children who have cancer. “You have to be proud of each and every bald kid you see because this person is fighting for their life.” It’s an eloquently spoken and brutally honest moment in the video and truly one that nails everything this campaign is all about.
Raising awareness and showing support for children fighting cancer is not something that can be designated for a single day, month, or year. This is for every day. This is for the past, present, and future. Let’s spread the message far and wide about Bald Cartoons. You can do so using the #baldcartoons hashtag and by even reaching out to join them if you are a cartoonist with a cartoon you’d like to see rocking a chic new hairless look.
Image courtesy of baldcartoons.com.