A brave Tennessee news anchor who has been fighting cancer declared, after running a preproduced segment about women and their “crowns of glory”—in which she discusses how recent chemotherapy treatments caused her to go bald—that she’d had enough. “I’m going natural. No more relaxers to straighten my hair,” she told viewers.
When the cameras cut back to the studio, Pam McKelvy of WMC-TV had removed her long, dark wig to reveal her recently grown short curls, Yahoo News reports. “All right, this is it. This is my new hair,” said the former beauty queen during the live broadcast. The 15-year TV news vet couldn’t hide the tears as she thanked her co-workers for being so supportive during her bout with breast cancer, Yahoo News reports.
But this isn’t McKelvy’s first act of public bravery. In 2012 the Memphis anchor and mother let her viewing audience inside her struggles with breast cancer, sharing the details of her double mastectomy and receiving a round of chemotherapy on air, Yahoo News reports.
“I made my choice also because I think about the message I send to young women about confidence and self-acceptance,” she said. She also mentioned the case of Vanessa VanDyke, a 12-year-old biracial Florida student who was threatened with expulsion if she didn’t fix her “distracting” natural hair, Yahoo News reports.
“The times are changing, and God’s delivered me with a brand-new spirit and a head full of hair, and here it is,” McKelvy said. “I want everyone to know that no matter what you go through, it’s not about what’s on the outside; it’s about what’s on the inside,” she stressed. “And I feel, on the inside, I am more radiant and beautiful than I’ve ever been.”