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After Brooke's 7th grade year, just toward the end of middle school, her friend Rachel was diagnosed with cancer. All of her friends were really supportive and they did everything they could to lift her spirits and to raise awareness on social media, and gather donations to help her family pay for treatment, which of course involved chemotherapy and lots of counselling.
One of the side effects of chemo is that the patient loses most or all of their hair, and it becomes harder to grow back while being treated. So, to help make Rachel feel better and not so alone in what she was gong through, Brooke and her parents decided to shave their heads in solidarity - get the clippers - full headshave. Rachel appreciated the gesture so much, and it meant so much to her that Brooke was willing to walk around with a shaved head, much less, short hair, that Brooked decided to keep her hair short, to be that girl with short hair for a little while longer. In fact, she made a commitment to keep her very short hair for the duration of Rachel's cancer treatment, so she wouldn't be the only with super short hair, and, wouldn't be the only one who was constantly being mistaken for a boy.
After a while Brooke decided that she actually really liked having a shaved head, and so she kept it that way, even after Rachel's cancer treatments were finished. She liked the way it looked, even shorter than a pixie cut, well, the true story is, it was pretty much a shaved head.
The only real problem for her was that everyone thought she was a boy, even after she would tell them I'm not a boy!, still, they would look at her like maybe she was lying. And it was kind of weird because other than having short hair, she looks very much like a girl. She has female features, curves, you know, curves.
One time, she was at the YMCA, in the locker room changing to work out in the gym, and she had her shirt off but her sports bra on. This old lady came up to her and said "you know this is the girls' locker room." And Brooke had to tell her, "yes, I know that. I'm a female. I'm a girl with short hair, not a boy." The old lady still looked totally confused but just shrugged it off and wandered away. But this happened all the time. Every time she would go to the bathroom at a store someone would try to stop her, and people call her sir, and young man.
She thinks it's pretty funny that people assume gender just because of her short haircut, okay, shaved head, but like she explained, she'd very, well girly looking otherwise.
Now Brooke is a senior in high school, and she still keeps her hair pretty short - she shaves it every once in awhile - and people still mistake her for a boy, but it doesn't bother her anymore. It gives her a lot of good stories to tell.
Her friend Rachel is totally cancer free, but she also keeps her hair short - girl headshave, woman headshave, whatever - she just likes it that way too.