A Bold Beauty Statement
Debbe Ebben could have made a few cursory visits to an orphanage, or posed winningly with a few abandoned dogs, but the 23 year old Miss Chugiak-Eagle River wanted to make a lasting impression with her public service project (a requirement to enter the Miss Alaska pageant) that will raise much needed funds for sick children with cancer.
And she did just that. Shaving off her shiny brown hair, she raised $4,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a foundation that donates money to childhood cancer research. She chose to shave her hair because she wanted to pass the message on that being bald is OK, you can still be beautiful with no hair.
“”I wanted to put meaning and emotion behind it, and let them know why I’m doing it — for the kids,” she said. “I’m not shaving it to get attention. I’m not shaving it for publicity. I’m not shaving it because it’s a really easy hairstyle to go with. I’m shaving it for them.”
She continued: ‘It’s my job as a title holder to make a really bold statement, and to be someone that people can look up to, and make an impact on the community. And that was really why I fell in love with it. It was something that was different. It was something that was unique.'”
St. Baldrick was put together by three insurance executives in March 17, 2000 combining the word ‘bald’ with ‘St. Patrick’s”, a charitable event held in March where money is raised by shaving heads. This year alone, $16 million was raised.
Traci Shirk a spokeswoman for the foundation commends Debbe for her courage.
‘It’s pretty extraordinary when any female does it,’ Ms Shirk said of head shaving. ‘It’s always a bigger stand, just because you know, hair and women. But definitely a beauty queen – someone who’s in the spotlight … we’re really honored to have their support.’
“Bonnie Faulk, director of the Miss Alaska Scholarship Foundation, calls Ebben the epitome of the standards and values of the program.
“We are elated to have this young woman serve us,” Faulk said. “She has worked harder than many, many, many contestants in many years.”
Ebben said her road to Miss Alaska has “been a long journey.”
“This was my 16th pageant and it was more of, ‘The moment had finally come.’ And I was really happy it had come,” she said.”
So will she keep her pixie cut for the Miss America finals?
“”I don’t want to be branded as the ‘bald beauty queen,'” she said.” adding she will consulting with hair stylists closer to the event, but she will be keeping her hair short when the pageant comes around in January 2013.
Debbe meanwhile has found what she wants to do with her life through her work with Children’s Miracle Network, a Miss America cause, and her charity work with St. Baldrick.
Putting aside her original plan to be an engineer, she will now work towards being a ‘child life specialist’
“‘They’re kind of the in-between, go-to person to put the kid at ease, describe things to families, and interact with them at the hospital and really be a positive role model for them,’ she said. ‘You could say that pageants really led me to that career.'”
We wish her the best of luck this coming January and in her future work.