I became acquainted Alex through going to hardcore shows on the East coast. We have a bunch of mutual friends and, in a very short space of time, I’ve come to think of her as my white twin (if twins can be 5 years apart). I pined over her glossy brown mane that most Primark dwelling, “tumblr ass” fashion bloggers would scalp a young Brazilian child for. SO. MUCH. HAIR. Gradually, I observed it getting shorter and shorter until one day last week, I was scrolling through Instagram and noticed that Alex had shaved her head. Completely bald. Sinead O’Connor “Nothing Compares To You”, skinhead, bald.
She’d shaved her head upon receiving the news that her best friend, Cassie, did not have Cancer. I almost dropped my phone. It might not seem like the biggest deal but it made me check myself. I’m pretty vain when it comes to my hair as I’m sure most 27-year-old chicks are. I cannot imagine having a completely shaved head. To me, Alex’s actions showed just how much her friend means to her and how far she would go to support a friend in need.
I had to know more. I asked Alex if she would mind answering some questions for TATB and she kindly obliged…
Name: Alex Manrique
Location: New York, NY
Occupation: student/comic grader
1. Why did you shave your head?
I’ve seriously had the desire to since I was 15, but never had the guts to follow through with it. The first time I ever talked about doing it though was when I was 8 and my Mom first got sick, I begged her to let me shave my head when she lost all her hair because of treatment but she wouldn’t let me do it. Recently, my best friend found a lump in her breast but after her biopsy and a week and a half of waiting found out it wasn’t cancerous. On the day we found out the good news, I just wanted to do something I’ve always wanted to do in celebration of the strength and health of two women I love more than anything.
2. Your mother survived cancer and your best friend found out that she is cancer free. How did/does that make you feel?
I think about my mom’s health and what she went through every single day. Seeing her so sick when i was so young really affected me, and when I found out Cassi had discovered a lump and the doctor’s were really concerned, I just honestly felt so empty and helpless. I knew she was scared and I can’t even imagine having to go through that waiting period and keep living your day to day as if nothing is wrong. But here they both are, happy, safe and healthy and it’s the BEST fucking feeling on earth. I don’t think i could love two people any more than i love them. I really like knowing the universe is on their deserving side.
3. How long was your hair before you cut it short?
My hair before I started cutting it reached a little more than halfway down my back. When I shaved it though it was only about 6 inches long, haha.
4. Have you always wanted short hair?
ALWAYS. I’ve always LOVED short hair on girls but was always too nervous I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. I’m so happy I finally went for it, I don’t think I want long hair ever again. I just had to keep telling myself that it would grow back and stop being a scared loser.
5. What would you say to anyone that was thinking of doing something similar to support their friends and family?
Hell yes, do anything for them. I just wanted to celebrate these people I love by doing something that was a major step for me. Even if it was purely aesthetic it just made doing it feel that much better. Even if I shaved all my hair off and looked like a creepy alien, it was out of pure love and happiness. I can’t see anyone ever regretting doing something to honour their loved ones. Ever.
So proud of Alex and happy for Cassie! Fuck Cancer!! See the evolution of the one I call Manriqbabe below. Raybeez ain’t never lie. Always A Friend For Life.
Long hair, don’t care
Cassie and Alex in Europe
Winalex Manryder (haha, manryder…)
Alex with her Mother, Mary Beth
Look Ma, no hair!