Bald is beautiful for cancer-surviving NJ congresswoman
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman is used to making statements — usually from the House floor, in committee hearings and on her Facebook videos.
Lately, she's been making a quieter statement, but one she hopes will be just as profound.
She has no hair. And she's not hiding it.
The Democrat from Mercer County is a cancer survivor. She told the website Refinery29.com this week that she began losing her hair last year after doctors found a cancerous tumor in her lungs.
She told the site that she had her barber son shave her dome with plans to wear wigs. But then she decided otherwise.
"I thought, God, I guess you really want me to find more humility in my life and less vanity," she is quoted as saying.
It's unusual for a woman to sport a bald pate, much less a woman in politics. But Coleman has appeared bald in public since Oct. 30, when she stood with Gov. Phil Murphy to promote enrollment in Obamacare.
"I mean it when I say that if I never get my hair back I can live with it, but I'm excited about my stubble!" she said this week on her Facebook page. "My faith has carried me through this entire process, and I’m so grateful to have a clean bill of health. I tell my story in the hope it inspires others on their own journeys with this disease and challenges others thoughts on beauty."
Coleman has served the 12th Congressional District, comprising parts of Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties, since 2015. She won re-election in November, garnering more than twice the votes as her Republican opponent. Previously, she served as assemblywoman, Assembly majority leader and chairwoman of the state Democratic Party.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.