Friday, July 23, 2010

Meet Karen

In my last post I mentioned that I do some freelance for Suite101. I want to share a story with you about how wonderful the world of social media actually is despite all of the negativity it receives in terms of privacy and all that noise.

I have never met Suite writer, Karen Stephenson. One day, I got a random Friend Request on Facebook from her hoping that we could network as we were both writers for the online site. We chatted every now and again on Facebook and through email and took a liking to each others writing. When Karen heard about my head shave, she took it upon herself to do a special interest piece on me and my story. At Suite we make money when people click on the advertisements Google associates with our articles, so it isn't likely that Karen will make much more than a few bucks on the article she wrote about me, but that is simply not the point. The point is that Karen thinks what I am doing is admirable and to show her support (in addition to the donation she gave me) she took the time to do some research, do a mini interview with me, and publish the article. Now, I will spare you the negativity that initially resulted from some editorial comments, because, it just makes my blood boil slightly more every time I think about it. What matters, is that the article has been approved and is up for public viewing.

Here it is: Stephen Lewis Foundation Helps AIDS Orphans in Africa.

The original title was a lot more interesting, but one of the things the editor asked to have changed. "Brandy Robertson: Suite101 Writer to Take it All Off for Charity" was the original title. See, much cooler!

Anyway, as I mentioned in my last post, we also get stats per article so we can see how people are finding our articles. Karen shared the latest stats with me and this is what they showed people are searching for:
  • Brandy Robertson Brandon MB Radio Interview
  • Brandy Robertson Radio Interview
  • Brandy Robertson Brandon MB
Pretty cool, if I do say so myself! People are freakin' googling me!

Anyway, my point of this post was to introduce you all to Karen. So please take a minute and check out some of her pieces. Karen Stephenson @

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Because That's How I Roll

Alright, so on top of being a full time staff member and student at BU and volunteering for a bunch of organizations, I dabble in freelance writing for Suite101, an online magazine and writers' network. With that said, I decided to write an article in honour of my HEAD SHAVE and beautiful bald women everywhere. The article is called Beautiful and Famous Bald Women. Suite101 keeps track of the number of Page Views (PVs) an article receives in order for writers to see how well their articles are doing in terms of being searched. Because that's how I roll, I've decided to commit $0.14 to my own campaign for every PV that "Beautiful and Famous Bald Women" receives. Why $0.14? Because there are an estimated 14 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa that have been effected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Since the article doesn't allow images within the text, I wanted to insert the gorgeous and inspiring images of the women about whom I wrote in this blog. Here goes!

  • Amber Rose, a model known for her unique ghetto-punk style and current girlfriend of musician Kanye West.
Eve Salvail, a supermodel known for her bald head and dragon tattoo, she's an actress, dj, and stock broker.
Cate Blanchett, best known for her role as the title character in Elizabeth, she shaved her head for a role in the 2002 film, Heaven.

Natalie Portman, a well-known actress, was shaved bald for a scene in the 2005 movie, V for Vendetta. Isn't she absolutely gorgeous?! My hope is that I look as wonderful as her!

Demi Moore, as G.I. Jane, she played what is, likely, the most kick ass female role ever to grace the big screen. HU-AH!Alright, there you have it readers - some of the most beautiful bald women you will ever see. Can't wait to join the Bald Beauty Club!

So remember, for every PV that Beautiful and Famous Bald Women gets on Suite101, I'll be donating $0.14 to my campaign. Go, now, and tell all of your friends :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Radio Interview

So on Tuesday, July 13th I was invited to do a morning radio spot on both KX 96 and 101 The Farm in Brandon. KX 96 is a rock station and that is where I had my first interview/plug. Try as I may, I cannot load the mp3 file onto this blog so below is the transcription of the 4 minute, 22 second, radio spot.

Brody Allan (BA) - KX 96 Radio Host: "I'm joined by Brandy Lyn Robertson - Brandy, how are you today?"
Brandy Robertson (BR) a.k.a - MOI: "I am awesome!"
BA: "It's bright an early, is that ok?"
BR: "O ya - that's fine."
BA: "You're awake?"
BR: "I'm awake. I'm good."
BA: "You've had a million coffees?"
BR: "No actually, no coffee yet." (both laugh)
BA: "At some point down the road."
BR: "Ya, very soon."
BA: "Now Brandy, you are doing a thing, it's called Dare to Remember, correct?"
BR: "Ya. You bet!"
BA: "And what is the basis of what exactly you are doing? You're trying to raise some cash for..."
BR: "Basically, it's for grassroots organizations in Africa and it's for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign which is basically grandmothers who raise their grandchildren because the middle generation has been wiped out by the AIDs pandemic. So, the money that I raise goes to the Stephen Lewis Foundation which then goes to these organizations in Africa."
BA: "Now you mentioned that Stephen Lewis is one of your heroes, probably one of your biggest heroes that you have out there. Is there a specific reason? Like, is it because of his causes and everything that he has going on for him?"
BR: "Uh, ya, pretty much. I'm big into humanitarian stuff and he's like the uber humanitarian and so, he's one of my heroes."
BA: "That's a good person to follow and you'll probably get other people to try and do that as well. You know, it's so easy now with today's generation to go and follow sports atheletes or you know, say, 'who's your hero?' 'O - it's Lebron James', or something like that. Whereas to have a humanitarian, someone with a cause and a reason behind it, is a lot better for the generation. Any advice for people to see, maybe get them to open their eyes to see somebody else out there rather than just what we're given in the social media everyday?"
BR: "Just search these people, you know, check it out. Think outside the box, I guess, beyond everything that we take for granted everyday here and think about the people in other countries, you know, that don't have clean drinking water like we have and that we waste everyday."
BA: " Uh, $2500 is your goal."
BR: "Ya, you bet!"
BA: "How would people donate? How can people donate to your cause? Your cause, you are shaving your head!"
BR: "Ya, you bet! Shaving off my long hair and I'll be giving the hair, itself, to a place that's going to make wigs for cancer patients, but then the funds raised are going to go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. So, um, if people want to donate or get involved, the website's pretty easy. It's just and if they want to find me, personally, they just need to type in 'Brandy' and my page will come up."
BA: "It's that easy and you are a very brave person because you have lovely locks!"
BR: (laughs) "Ya, you bet!"
BA: "And, you're willing to donate your hair, because I can tell ya, there's not a lot of people who would be willing to do that."
BR: "No, I'm trying to convince other people to do it, but I've been unsuccessful, so far." (both laugh)
BA: "Well, just wait 'til they're sleeping and just buzz it right off!"
BR: (laughs) "Ya! Totally!"
BA: "They'll have no idea! Ok, the thing about volunteering for good causes is that it can be contagious; once you get one person volunteering, you can get other people along the way. How can someone follow your path? Do what you're doing?"
BR: "That's actually my biggest hope for this. I mean the money is awesome. The donations are awesome, but what I really really am hoping is that Brandon and Westman will kind of, like, latch on to the dare train, if you want to say, and do their own things. I'm hoping that people will log onto the website, and take a look at some of the dare suggestions, and start a dare page of their own, and raise some money. It's really simple, and you can do pretty much anything."
BA: "What's an example? If somebody doesn't want to shave their head, but they want to do something or some kind of cause, what is one that you would recommend?"
BR: "Well, I'm trying to convince my friends to sky dive, but that's a little bit intense, too. (both laugh) You can do, really, anything; like you can dare to wear your clothes backwards for a week, or, you know, stand up in the middle of the supermarket and start doing the funky chicken or something like that. It's really easy. It can take five minutes or it can be, like, a goal to run a half marathon, or something. Whatever you, personally, feel is something that you want to do."
BA: "The website, again..."
BR: ""
BA: "And you can check out Brandy's site there. Just type in 'Brandy' and you can check out what she's doin. You can also donate and feel free to. Reach that goal of 2500 bucks!"
BR: "I hope so!"
BA: "Good for you and congratulations, Brandy!"
BR: "Awesome! Thanks Brody!"

So, that was it folks! The one that I did on 101 The Farm is a bit shorter, but I don't have that clip yet. Hopefully, I get it soon and can share it too.

One funny thing, I feel the need to point out, however, is that he actually pronounced by last name 'Robinson'. We were already recording and I didn't have the heart to correct him. No biggy, but good for a chuckle none-the-less.

Brody Allan is one of the coolest cats on the radio scene - IMO - rockin' and rollin' in his studio off air, just as much as he does on air. I am totally glad that he was the one who interviewed me.
Check out KX 96 online cuz THEY ROCK!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Henna on my Head

My excitement for today comes in the form of acquiring a fantastic Henna artist who is willing to tattoo the Dare to Remember campaign logo on my bald head! Jennifer Arndt, a friend of a friend is quite happy, to my infinite pleasure, to fulfil my request on the day of the shave.

If you aren't familiar with Henna, let me explain the technique. Henna is a flowering plant used to temporarily dye skin (and other things, of course). For skin dyeing, a paste of ground henna (either prepared from a dried powder or from fresh ground leaves) is placed in contact with the skin from a few hours to overnight. Henna stains can last a few days to a month depending on the quality of the paste, individual skin type, and how long the paste is allowed to stay on the skin.

This is an image of Jennifer's work prior to the paste being removed from a client's foot. As you can see, it goes on as a fairly thick, black paste. I hope to leave the tattoo in this stage on my scalp for as long as I can since the Henna skin diagram I found states that facial skin results in the lightest "stain".

Apparently dabbing a sugar/lemon mixture over the dried paste helps to seal in the color by causing the paste to remain on the skin longer. Every little bit will help! Eventually the dark paste will begin to flake off, at which point, I will scrape it off and be left with a light orange stain. Over the following three days, the stain is supposed to darken to a brownish red color. Another technique to keep the stain dark is steaming and warming it - must do that as well.

Jennifer has never tattooed a scalp before so she really has no idea how long the stain will last. I plan to try my darndest to keep the Dare to Remember logo as dark as possible for as long as possible. This is an image of a client's hand once the dark black Henna paste has been removed. Gorgeous right?!

The hands and feet have the thickest skin and so the stains on them last longest and show up darkest. Never-the-less, I will have a Henna tattoo of the cause for which my newly bald head will stand for all to see (if only long enough to take one awesome photo).

This idea came with the acception of a dare I challenged my friend Shannon to. She is getting a real tattoo, so to compliment hers, I decided to temporarily tattoo my baldness. This DARE just keeps getting better and better!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Added Inspiration

This is my friend, Michelle, but, perhaps, I should clarify: This is my friend, Michelle earlier today. If you can't tell from the photo, allow me to point out that she is sitting in a salon, about to have her hair cut.
This is my friend, Michelle after first getting a salon-style buzz cut and then an, only-slightly-botched, at-home shave. This is my friend, Michelle, and she is Rockin' the Bald Head!

Like me, this is something Michelle has wanted to do for a long time. So, today, July 9th - no guts no glory - and she got it done. If I didn't already have enough inspiration to trade in my lengthy locks for beautiful baldness, Michelle only added to the pile. An envelope full of pony tails of Michelle's untreated, naturally brown, hair is on its way to Evelyn's Wigs in Lorette, MB where it will be turned into a wig for children with cancer. Donations to the Cancer Society can be made here:

Michelle's blog and plight to baldness in her own terms can be found here:

Can't wait to look just like her!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Headline Reads: Volunteer dares to make a difference

Big news this post = I was in the Brandon Sun - Page 3 to be exact! I can tell you one thing for sure - it won't be the last time I'm in there for my head shave. I have a wonderful contact at the Brandon Sun (who is also taking on her own dare because of me - yay!) who is going to work with me throughout the extent of the Dare campaign (double yay!).

I've been contacted by a professor at BU to come and speak to her class about A Dare to Remember and can only hope that she will get on board and assign her class to take on the challenge as well. September shall tell the tale of that venture!

As for my fundraising - it is slower going now, but still going. I am currently half way to my second goal of $2500.