Lee-Ann Liebenberg gets bold on bald You cover debacle

Lee-Ann Liebenberg

Lee-Ann Liebenberg is breaking over silence over the widespread backlash attached to the You Magazine cover that is currently on shelves. The star is sporting a bald look on the cover, in support of raising awareness and funds for cancer research, as well as to show support for those lost or suffering from the disease. Liebenberg was one of six celebrities asked to be apart of the campaign, which I believe was endorsed by the CANSA. While initially a lot of people, myself included, thought she and the others had shaved their hair for the campaign, it turns out the pictures were shopped and that caused a massive outcry across the country. Lee-Ann took to Facebook to share her thoughts on the issue in a very frank, open, honest and respectful manner. Have a look at what she has to say:

I’ve lost my beloved grandmother Marina to cancer and like mentioned in the article (which I know most of haven’t even bothered to read), stood by while my Dad, Allen battled lymph and then lung cancer, and my grandfather is currently undergoing treatment, so YES, I do know and understand the devastating effects of Cancer.
I am a big girl and I can handle criticism but I won’t take false accusations that my heart isn’t in the right place lightly.

When I was approached to be part of this Cancer awareness campaign, I knew it was a very sensitive issue and I could have decided not to get involved, BUT like Aristotle said “Do nothing, say nothing and be nothing” and that’s definitely not who I am or what I am about. I want to help, I want to inspire and I want to make a change.

I have been involved with many amazing awareness campaigns over the years that have made incredibly positive impacts and this particular campaign gave me the opportunity to share my family’s journey and hopefully give someone courage not to give up the great fight…

Using the platform I’ve been given, to raise funds for those in need or to raise awareness for various causes,is my privilege.
I live a beautiful life with the most incredibly supportive husband, two amazing children and the most loyal family and friends that I’m extremely grateful for.
Imagine if I, like so many others, decided to only focus on my life and turn a blind eye to all the shit that surrounds us and NOT to get involved and try help out where I can?Where would that leave us?
I don’t want to be that cynical person…I really passionately want to help and touch lives where I can.

I am extremely sorry that the message I was trying to convey with this awareness campaign was interpreted the wrong way. Never ever EVER was there ANY ill intent.
The wonderful CANSA association endorsed this awareness campaign because ALL involved did it with the uttermost respect, integrity and love.

Unfortunately I CAN NOT SHAVE MY HEAD due to complicated currents contracts. Does this mean I shouldn’t get involved with a cause so close to my heart because I can’t shave my head? And does ONLY shaving my hair show commitment to cancer awareness? Please believe me, with my heart & soul, that I’m 100000000% committed to raising awareness, with OR without hair.
I can only imagine that losing your hair during chemotherapy is utterly devastating. I wanted to show compassion and I wanted to show that BALD IS BEAUTIFUL!
Question?Would an ordinary pretty simple “chocolate box” photo of me (hair et all) supporting the fight against cancer have made the same impact?
Get real. HEART vs hair….

Interestingly enough I did a Woman Abuse campaign in a very respectable magazine a few years ago where my face was also “photoshopped” to look like I’ve been physically abused and no said a word? Hmmmm……
On the YOU magazine cover the word Shave is in inverted commas, but maybe the word “photoshop” should have been added to the cover to avoid confusion to those who didn’t even bother to read the accompanying article…Is that a reason to disregard the integrity of all those involved?
I’ve read a few disturbing comments about people “claiming” that I’m not a cancer awareness supporter because I didn’t shave my hair. REALLY?!?! Are you kidding me??? What have we become that we cannot see good intentions even if it slaps you in the face?!? “We see things not as they are, we see things as WE are”, and if you can turn something inspiring, uplifting and supportive into the opposite of what we intended,well then I think you should take a step back and examine your outlook.

Imagine if everyone who had something to say, made a contribution to the CANSA foundation instead, to fight the beast that is cancer,instead of fighting with me(or yourself) our future would be a little brighter and OUR world a little happier…
Imagine if we could support each other, and those TRYING to make a positive change instead of bashing people who attempt to make YOUR world a better place…just imagine.

I have taken the time to go onto some people’s profiles who had something to say about this campaign, and sadly NOT ONE profile advocated Cancer awareness…that’s sad.

My ways mays not please you, but I have not been placed on earth to please everyone.

I am simply trying, the best way I know how to raise awareness and if that insulted you, IM EXTREMELY SORRY. Please know that it was never my intent to hurt.

I don’t mind standing alone for what I believe in…I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not.

Thank you to ALL of you beautiful special souls who sent me positive comments, messages and the many inspirational mails, it’s been heartwarming to hear that this campaign has given you hope and courage and made you feel a little less alone!
Remember, CANCER CAN BE BEATEN!

All My Love & Respect,
Lee XOXO

I commend Lee-Ann for breaking her silence and for being honest enough to explain her reasons as to why she didn’t/ can’t shave her hair off. She is in the business that revolves around image and she has a very powerful brand that comes with both its perks and complications/ restrictions. I’ve met and interviewed Lee-Ann on several occasions and let me tell you she’s not one to fake it. She’s always been real and friendly, caring and willing. Her heart is in the right place. Yes, it would be nice to see her and others go bald for the cause at some point and I’m sure she’d jump at the opportunity if she could. Never say never though. The fight against cancer is an ongoing one and it wont just end tomorrow.

 

This is a platform for you to voice your opinions too, so share yours… negative, positive or constructive.

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Author: Jason Von Berg

Digital content marketer. Mobile App Editor. Entertainment, travel and New York City lover. #Triathlete, #Ironman, health and wellness advocate, @Futurelifeza ambassador

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