Updated: Feb 20, 2018
As a professional model I am contractually obligated to discuss any major changes to hair, face, body, etc. with my agency.
This is common language that I see in just about every contract I've ever reviewed for myself of for a model/actor client. Even a slight change in hair color or length can require updated headshots, comp cards and portfolio shots. I signed my first modeling contract around age 12 and I am now 35. In a way I was ready to buck the system.
Initially I was blind-sided by the news that I would need to undergo a double mastectomy & reconstruction. And, in all my vanity, I was terribly disappointed when I learned I'd have to have chemotherapy which would cause me to lose my hair. I mean obviously I didn't really know too much about breast cancer when I was first diagnosed- these things should be expected.
But the good thing about losing your hair- at least what I expect will be a good thing since I'm not actually there yet- is that it allows the world to see a visible sign that life has changed, things are different.
For the first few weeks after my diagnosis I would run into people who would give me a puzzled look like, I heard Tara was sick but she looks fine to me. Trust me, I am ANYTHING but fine. In fact, everything has changed. So I decided to get the party started early and head to the chopping block. The best (retired) stylist in town always finds a way to squeeze me in. My dear mother-in-law, Carol, got out her sheers and got to work. She's been gifting me hair trims for years. Now, ten inches lighter, I am getting closer to the big change which is yet to come.