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Bald Miss Va.? Not a Shorn Thing

Tara Wheeler with students at a Virginia Beach school. (Courtesy of Tara Wheeler.)

Seems that people really dig the idea of a bald beauty queen.

After we wrote about Miss Virginia Tara Wheeler three weeks ago, there was a groundswell of interest in her unlikely mission -- a promise to shave her head if she could raise $500,000 for pediatric cancer research. She got booked on "Good Morning America" and Fox News. Strangers logged on to her Web site to make donations; restaurants and school groups promised to host fundraisers.

But turns out $500K is a pretty steep goal. Many long-established charitable events spend the better part of a year trying to raise half that sum. With her deadline less than a week away, Wheeler's take thus far is still in the five digits.

Uh-oh. Are we not going to have a bald beauty queen after all?

The Miss America and Miss Virginia organizations, not ones to take bald beauty queens lightly, required that she set the goal at half a mil. "At the end of the day, I'm Miss Virginia," Wheeler told us. "Without this title, there's no way we'd get the attention for this cause."

But if Wheeler falls short, she vows to shave her head anyway -- she'll just wait until she's finished her reign this summer.

"Society needs to take a second look at how we deem someone pretty," she said, explaining why she was drawn to the St. Baldrick's Foundation. "It's more than their hair and clothes and makeup and weight. It's doing good things for others. Beauty is as beauty does."

With fundraising events tomorrow at Crystal City Sports Pub and Hudson in D.C., Wheeler's still briskly optimistic ("If everyone in Virginia donated seven cents ...") about meeting her goal.

And the fact that she's suddenly having a crazy streak of Good Hair Days, even in this weather? "It's God's way of saying, 'I'm going to let you enjoy your hair while you have it.'"

By The Reliable Source  |  April 6, 2009; 1:04 AM ET
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Next: Levi Johnston, Caught in the Crossfire


Can we get rid of tiaras? They look so stupid.

Posted by: cmecyclist | April 6, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Ah, but go back to the previous article and look at that little girl's face when the tiara is placed on Her... hard to tell which has more sparkle! This is a really nicely written article, by the way.

Posted by: Paintly | April 6, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I know Tara is dead serious about this. She showed me a picture of the wig she plans to wear. So everyone needs to support this great woman and donate something! She is genuinely committed to helping children's cancer!

Posted by: motherofabaldy | April 8, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"She showed me a picture of the wig she plans to wear."

<-- Doesn't wearing a wig kind of defeat the entire purpose? Bald IS beautiful, but wearing a wig to cover up said baldness doesn't exactly show that...

Posted by: marionPark | April 11, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

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