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Turning Heads: Portraits of Grace, Inspiration, and Possibilities    edited by Jackson Hunsicker order for
Turning Heads
by Jackson Hunsicker
Order:  USA  Can
Press On Regardless, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The Foreword of Turning Heads informs the reader that 'According to the American Cancer Society, 662,000 women get some form of cancer each year. A majority of them will lose their hair while undergoing treatment.' This book features a few of those women, presenting photographs of them without hair! Sounds strange, doesn't it? Not so.

Turning Heads is a tribute to these women and the others out there who are enduring the same ordeal with grace, dignity and courage. They're down but not out. Hair is only an accouterment to the woman, not the woman herself. Each full-page photo is accompanied by the woman's own words about her travail and how she copes with it. This could be an opportunity to rail at the gods who chose her to be so afflicted. Instead, these women offer words of beauty, of conviction that well days are coming, of inspiration for others who will follow, and of the love they each felt surrounding them.

When Jackson Hunsicker was diagnosed with Stage Two breast cancer, she worried more about losing her hair than about the cancer. She didn't want to look like 'one of those people. Think of it,' she says, 'hundreds of thousands of women a year will have to go through this much-dreaded physical transformation and have their self-image stripped from them.' Turning Heads is her attempt to make women feel proud of themselves, and to see that beauty is not diminished by the loss of hair. Pride, dignity, resilience, courage, and the will to look to the future are the lessons learned.

Would that this book had been available for all the women who went before you, Jackson Hunsicker. Thank you today from all the women you have touched and will continue to touch by your work.

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