Sharon Blynn

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September 17: Sharon Blynn
Sharon Blynn: Founder of Bald Is Beautiful
Hometown: New York City Education: Columbia University Achievements: Lilly Tartikoff/EIF Hope Award, host of "The Whisper," a documentary about ovarian cancer for PBS

Sharon Blynn
Sharon Blynn grew up in sunny Miami, Florida, with her parents, identical twin sister and older brother, and lived there until she moved to New York City at the age of 17 to attend Columbia University, where she earned her self-designed B. A. in ethnomusicology, with a minor in architecture. Upon graduation, she worked in jazz music as a marketing executive for Verve Records from 1994 to 2000.

In October 2000, Sharon was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and her one-week vacation to visit her parents in Miami became a medical mystery tour of a more indefinite nature. Three years later, in January 2003, she had what is so far her final surgery, and she has been cancer-free for nearly eight years. Inspired by her cancer journey, Sharon founded her organization called Bald Is Beautiful, through which she is dedicated to expanding social notions of beauty and femininity, as well as being a passionate advocate for ovarian cancer awareness.

Bald Is Beautiful is about flipping the script on the cancer experience and empowering women to define themselves — their beauty and femininity, their womanhood, their wholeness — for themselves on their own terms, and encouraging people to proactively live a healthy mind-body-spirit lifestyle. As an “actorvist,” Sharon communicates the Bald Is Beautiful message through acting, writing, modeling and spokesperson appearances, and she continues to do patient outreach through one-on-one correspondence via her website, hospital visitations, being a chemo buddy and other such activities.

She was recently awarded the Lilly Tartikoff/EIF Hope Award at the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship’s 2010 Rays of Hope gala. She is also the host and an interviewee for “The Whisper,” a documentary about ovarian cancer for PBS airing in September 2010.

In November 2009, Sharon was flown to Spain as part of the “Lo Que de Verdad Importa (What Really Matters)” program presented by the Madrid-based Ademas Organization, through which she spoke to over 4,000 youths aged 15 to 20 in Seville and Madrid.

Other Bald Is Beautiful highlights include an international print campaign for the Kenneth Cole “We All Walk in Different Shoes” campaign, an international print and TV campaign for Bristol-Myers Squibb, appearances in “Sex and the City” and a principal role in Seal’s music video “Love’s Divine.” She has been featured in magazine and newspaper articles in Glamour, Vogue, Marie Claire (US & Italia), Organic Style, BUST, the Miami Herald and other publications. Sharon has also performed onstage as part of the “Off the Muff” collective, and she was commissioned to write and perform her one-woman theatrical piece “How Are We Feeling Today?” which saw its world premiere in Los Angeles and was presented in New York City.

Sharon is currently writing a book about her ovarian cancer journey, through which she hopes to share the enormous gifts of what that experience brought into her life. Ovarian cancer has been a life-affirming journey of self-discovery and self-love for Sharon. Through Bald Is Beautiful and her day-to-day life, she is dedicated to sharing her experiences and encouraging others to love themselves, nurture the mind-body-spirit connection, and activate positivity in sickness and in health to discover and build the power to heal ourselves and others.