Reality star Courtney Stodden, who had been expecting her first child with her actor husband, Doug Hutchison, shaved off her platinum blond hair to acknowledge and honor her loss after suffering a miscarriage in July.
The heartbroken 21-year-old shared a video on Instagram on Aug. 7 in which she explained why she chose this way to memorialize the loss. “I’ve decided that I want to give back to my angel with a symbolic gesture, and that to me is shaving my hair off,” she said. “Because I want to step into this new chapter in my life fresh and anew.”
She shared her new sheared look on Instagram while wearing a leopard-print headscarf and matching bikini.
A photo posted by Courtney A Stodden (@courtneyastodden) on Aug 8, 2016 at 12:03am PDT
Stodden is clearly not alone in dealing with an emotionally wrenching miscarriage. Up to 25 percent of pregnancies will end in miscarriage, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA) — most of which occur in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Several celebrities — from Beyoncé and Courteney Cox to Giuliana Rancic and Gwyneth Paltrow — have opened up about their own experiences with pregnancy loss.
To help process and cope after such a loss, the APA emphasizes the importance of having emotional support and allowing yourself to grieve. “Remember your baby,” suggests the APA. “Healing doesn’t mean forgetting or making the memories insignificant. You may want to name your baby. Some women find comfort by doing something tangible, like planting a tree, selecting a special piece of jewelry with a birthstone, or donating to a charity.”
Some women choose to write a letter to their baby, while others opt for tattoos with images of baby feet, halos, or sayings, such as “Never in my arms. Always in my heart,” according to Today. For Joan Bremer, who had a miscarriage seven weeks into her pregnancy, a tattoo was her way of marking the significant life event. Bremer posted her tattoo on Imgur, and it quickly went viral. (The image has since been taken down). “Losing a baby, even if it’s early in pregnancy, is just so difficult,” Bremer today Today. “For me, it was healing to be able to speak about it. I know there is a certain silence about miscarriages and pregnancy losses, but I am not ashamed that this happened to me. That was one of my motivations for getting the tattoo in the first place — I really think it’s healing to be able to talk about it.”