Right now I sit on my bed and look disdainfully at my hair,
Desperately trying to run my fingers through my coarse and tangled curls
I wish for straighter, shinier, sexier hair—
Anything but this dirty-blonde Jewfro upon my head.

Right now eight-year-old Valeria sits on her bed 385 miles away,
Staring at the thin tufts of hair that awkwardly sprout from her sensitive scalp
Reminiscing the glistening goldilocks she braided and combed—
Before the leukemia.
Before the chemo-therapy.
Before Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles became her home.

Right now hundreds of girls like Valeria sit on the edges of their hospital beds,
In UCSF, Kaiser Permanente, Stanford, CHO
Praying solely for luscious locks of their own—
But right now, doctors don’t know how many “Right nows” these girls have left.

Right now I sit on my bed and stare at my hair,
Understanding that hundreds of girls just like me do the same:
Aspire for more beautiful and desirable hair—
Hair that screams “style, fashion, and grace.”

But right now, ladies, I beg you to stop!
Enough with the keratin!
Enough with the straighteners!
Embrace your God-given beauty and
Cherish your locks while
You’re healthy and strong.

Because one of these days
Disaster may strike and
Just like Valeria’s
Your goldilocks might be gone.

Beata Vayngortin ’16

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