'Nashville' Star Clare Bowen Chops Her Long Locks into a Pixie (PHOTO)

Clare Bowen  Celebs change their hair all the time, but Nashville actress Clare Bowen's reason for undergoing a dramatic transformation is truly moving -- and it has nothing to do with her career. And when we say transformation, we mean it. Clare started out with gorgeous, waist-length hair ...

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And here's what she looks like now:

Wanna know why I cut it all off?When I was four years old, I asked my mother; "Are there heaters in Heaven?" I had...

Posted by Clare Bowen on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

As Clare shares in her Facebook post, at 4 years old, she was  diagnosed with end-stage nephroblastoma. Young Clare spent a lot of time in "The White Palace" -- her grandpa's nickname for the children's hospital -- and she was surrounded by other children like herself.

"We were mostly bald, all tubed, taped, bandaged up and stitched back together," she shares. "We were all missing parts, some obvious like eyes or legs, others more hidden, like lungs and kidneys." But no one made fun of each other, she says -- no one cared about each other's appearance.

Then, she says, she got really lucky. "I survived, my hair grew back and I got strong again," she writes. "I look relatively normal on the outside, but on the inside, I am still the same stitched back together little creature, in a world where people are judged so harshly for the way they look."

Which is why she decided to make a statement.

"I was really inspired when I heard a story about a little girl who said she couldn't be a princess because she didn't have long hair, and I wanted her, and others like her, to know that's not what makes a princess, or a warrior, or a superhero," she says. "It's not what makes you beautiful either. It's your insides that count ... even if you happen to be missing half of them."

Since Clare posted her photo on Wednesday night, it's been shared over 60,000 times. The comments are as moving as Clare's post -- people thanking her, and sharing photos of themselves or their children going through cancer.

"I loved your hair," writes one person. "I had always wanted hair like that. But I love your words even more, and now instead of wanting to look like you, I want a heart like yours."

"Thank you ... It helps more than you may know," another woman, whose 6-year-old daughter is currently battling relapsed nephroblastoma, writes. "This really hit close to home, as [my daughter] just lost her hair for a second time. It is so inspiring to look at you and see the proof that she can beat this and go on to live a good life."

Clare's brave move reminds us all about what's important. And where beauty really comes from.

"Look deeper than skin, hair, nails, and lips ... you are who you are in your bones," writes Clare, who thanks ABC and her Nashville team for supporting this choice (after all, it means her character will look very different).

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"That is where you have the potential to shine the brightest from," she continues. "It is where your true beautiful self lives."

Words for us all to live by.

 

Image via © Janet Mayer / Splash News

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