Virginia Mellen posted the picture of herself with her freshly shorn hair in the "secret" Facebook group Pantsuit Nation (it's a closed group, so we're unable to link to it). The Maine mom's caption read,
I shaved my head for the first time in high school, and then a few more times throughout college. I always felt most comfortable, confident, and attractive with a shaved head. Over the past few months I wanted to do it again, but I kept hesitating — "Is this OK to do now that I’m a mom?" "What will people think now that I’m older?" "What if people incorrectly think it’s a political statement, or I had a mental breakdown?"
I want my son to grow up with a mom who doesn’t make decisions about her appearance based on what other people think. I want him to know that there is no particular way a mom or a woman is ‘supposed’ to look. So last night I shaved my head, and you know what? I don’t think he noticed. #nastywoman #lifestooshort #pantsuitnation
Speaking to Yahoo Beauty, Virginia Mellen said the first time she shaved her head she was 17 and was just looking to try something new. She wasn't worried about what other people might think about her hair. She explained that she's generally a self-conscious person, but she thinks shaving her head gave her confidence—she didn't have hair to hide behind, so she had no choice but to just be herself.
This time around, though, the idea of a shaved head felt different. Mellen explained,
I was more nervous to shave my head. For me, one of the most difficult aspects of becoming a mom has been the weight of society’s expectations — the notion of what a "good" mother is. On any given day there are countless opportunities for us to second-guess ourselves, to feel like somehow we are not enough. A hairstyle may seem a little trivial, but shaving my head makes me feel powerful because it is a daily reminder that I made a decision based on my own self-image, and not based on our society’s expectations. That’s the "me" I really want my son to know.