When Scarlett showed up on Nashville this week, she was without her usual long locks of blonde hair — and the actress who plays Scarlett, Clare Bowen, revealed the reason she cut her hair in a touching Facebook post about having end stage nephroblastroma as a child.
In the post, Bowen describes spending time in the hospital with children “just like me”: “We are mostly bald, all tubed, taped, bandaged up and stitched back together … But we were all together, so no one’s appearance came into question,” she wrote. “No one got laughed at or teased. We were all we knew.”
She goes on to state that her hair grew back, but that she was “really inspired” after hearing a story about a little girl “who said she couldn’t be a princess because she didn’t have long hair.”
“I wanted her, and others like her, to know that’s not hwat makes a princess, or a warrior, or a superhero,” Bowen wrote. “It’s your insides that count… even if you happen to be missing half of them.”
Bowen ended the note by thanking the network and Nashville creator Callie Khouri for letting her change up Scarlett’s hair. “If it makes even one person think twice about judging another, then in some small way, the world is better,” she wrote. “Self-esteem takes a lot longer to grow back than hair.”
Following the massive online response Bowen received, the actress wrote another post about her feeling of “gratitude for each and every one of you.”
“I have tears in my eyes as I write,” she wrote. “Your messages, stories and photographs of your beautiful selves and loved ones are an outpouring of bravery that I was quite frankly, unprepared for, but overjoyed at. Thank you for making the world a little better today, for being kind and compassionate towards one another, and for all the virtual hugs flying around social media. Please hold onto the good feelings. Hold onto each other. Hold onto the beauty within.”
Read the original post on Bowen’s official Facebook, and see Bowen on Nashville when it airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.