Culture

This Army Recruit Just Got His First Haircut In 15 Years And OMG He’s Unrecognizable

As a society, we place a lot of importance on hair to impose a set of standards, etiquette, and mores on each other. Thus, I don’t take it lightly that U.S. Army Private Reynold Arroyo had a big  — no, massive — chop so that he could enlist. Arroyo donated a whopping 150 inches or 12.5 feet of hair to Locks of Love

Hair can be such an expression of who we are, that it’s not uncommon for people to cry after a bad haircut. Hair can be such a reflection of beauty standards, that it’s not uncommon for us Afro-Latinxs to cry over our alleged “pelo malo.” Boys have short hair, girls have long hair, blondes have more fun, brunettes are brainy. There are hairstyles and haircuts (usually the black and brown ones) that are banned in schools, offices, and institutions. 

Now, are you as exhausted as I am? Take it from me, if you have the freedom to wear your hair without restrictions, take advantage. Get weird!

Long hair, don’t care.

When 23-year-old Arroyo decided to enlist at the Army recruiting station in Missoula, Montana, he knew he would have to make some changes. The California native had moved to Montana just to enlist.

“I moved out here from California, and I’m just really excited to be enlisting in the Army,” Arroyo said. 

The only problem was Arroyo hadn’t cut his hair in 15 years. His last haircut was in 2004. I have a medium-sized afro that is home to several squirrel families, I can only imagine what’s in Arroyo’s mane. 

Tío Sam ain’t playing.

The Army has strict grooming guidelines and as it stood, Arroyo’s 150 inches of luscious locks weren’t going to work for Uncle Sam. Tío Sam was like, “Nah, your hair is to dope for this job where everybody has to look the same for strategic reasons and important military things, bruh.” 

I can’t imagine what it is like going through a military makeover. According to the longstanding policy, men’s hair must be “neatly groomed” with “sideburns neatly trimmed.” This clearly leaves little room for swag or rock and roll, although Arroyo makes due.

15 years and 150 inches later…

While the army provides haircuts, Arroyo decided to get a headstart on the makeover. As soon as he enlisted as an Infantryman with the Army Airborne at the Missoula Army Recruiting Station, our boy was ready to trim his follicles for a good cause. Bruh has got spunk! 

A stylist put Arroyo’s hair into multiple sectioned ponytails before she snipped and buzzed 12.5 feet of locks. His hair was longer than an NBA player. His hair has more square footage than every New York City apartment. His hair is so long, Rapunzel was like: do you use Morrocan oil? I must have your secrets. Before he was serving hair metal, now he’s serving … metal tanks at the military (I don’t know anything about the Army, but he looks good)! Get you a man who can do both.

When the stylist was finished there was so much hair it filled up two bags. The Salt Lake City Army Recruiting Battalion shared Arroyo’s transformation on Facebook. 

“He decided to cut his hair in exchange for a brighter future with the Army and donate it to the Locks of Love foundation,” they wrote in the caption. 

Locks of Love.

Arroyo donated all 150 inches to the organization Locks of Love. The nonprofit charity, founded in 1997, uses human hair donations to provide wigs for Canadian and American children in need of hair due to medical conditions. The organization was spearheaded by Madonna Coffman, a cardiac nurse, who lost her hair to alopecia in her 20s after receiving a hepatitis vaccination. While Coffman eventually recovered, 13 years later, she was shocked to discover her 4-year-old daughter had alopecia too. Locks of Love was born out of a mother’s pain and compassion. In over three decades, the nonprofit has provided thousands of wigs and hairpieces to children. 

We stan a benevolent king.

“Today we’re going to be cutting my hair. Hopefully, some lucky little girl’s gonna get it,” he said in the video.

I think several people will probably get your hair, Arroyo. Although, it would be nice to think that there is one bratty little kid who demands all 150 inches of hair so that they can strut around the playground like a boss. 

Shout out to Arroyo for not one but two acts of service in a day. I am sure he will have many more once he gets his juices flowing in the Army. 

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Stephen And Ayesha Curry Are Donating Thousands of Books To Schools For Christmas

Entertainment

Stephen And Ayesha Curry Are Donating Thousands of Books To Schools For Christmas

Handout / Getty

Hark the herald! Stephen and Ayesha Claus Curry– are here to bring literary joy this season.

The Golden State Warrior and his wife are donating thousands of books to schools around Oakland, California this holiday season in an effort to bring joy to children.

The couple, behind Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, made the announcement earlier this week.

“We along with our entire team at Eat. Learn. Play. understand the importance of early childhood education, especially when it comes to literacy,” Stephen and Ayesha told People magazine in a recent interview. “Nothing is more basic, more essential, more foundational, or more important to a child’s success in life than the ability to read well. We know there is a lot of work to be done, but with partners like Literati, we’re hopeful that we will be able to make an impact on these children’s lives.”

The Currys’ donations will arrive to schools in boxes that will contain six books.

The packages will include five children’s books and one for adults. All of which come from Stephen Curry’s “Underrated” book club selection.

Along with their thousand book giveaway, the couple’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation will donate boxes to students who are learning remotely amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in collaboration with and Literati. Fourteen thousand boxes will go directly to Oakland Unified Schools.

According to people, “The remainder of the donation, which was also made possible through Bay Area investor Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures, will be distributed through community partners in the new year.”

Speaking about their own experiences of teaching their children during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Stephen and Ayesha (who are parents to Canon W. Jack, 2, Ryan Carson, 5, and Riley, 8) told People that they’ve been hard work attempting to keep their children busy and learning.

“My oldest is pretty disciplined so that’s been easy, but our 5-year-old has a little trouble staying engaged for an extended period of time,” Ayesha, host of ABC’s new show “Family Food Fight,” explained.

Ayesha says she has found that taking part in “some kind of physical activity right before class starts” helps her daughter Ryan “to focus the mind and get some of the wiggles out, and periodic ‘dance breaks’ between lessons.”

“We also added resistance workout bands to the legs of her chair, which give her something to do if she gets antsy during a long Zoom session,” Stephen added.

“Luckily for me, Stephen has really stepped in with education and their schooling. And I’m okay with that because I birthed them so now [he] can birth and nurture their education,” Ayesha joked in a recent episode of “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

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The U.S. Postal Service’s ‘Letters To Santa’ From Children Reveals The Heartbreaking Impact Of The Pandemic

Things That Matter

The U.S. Postal Service’s ‘Letters To Santa’ From Children Reveals The Heartbreaking Impact Of The Pandemic

ANDY BUCHANAN / Getty

Every year thousands of children across the United States address their letters for Santa to the United States Postal Service. Back in 1912, the independent agency created its Operation Santa program, an initiative that allows local postmasters to respond to letters created by needy children.

This year, the initiative has reported that, unlike previous years, the letters to Santa this year have struck a different tune. This year many of the letters sent to Santa have reflected on the devastating effects of the current coronavirus pandemic.

Letters published by the USPS reveal that this year, children are putting more practical desires on their Christmas wish lists this year.

While many students have asked Santa to provide a cure for COVID-19, the Postal Service says that other letters mention the struggles they’ve seen their parents experience because of job loss.

One letter written to Santa mentioned how “this year has been very tough” and explained, “I lost my daddy and my grandpa, and my mommy is having a rough time… Maybe you can send her some happiness.”

Another letter written to Santa asked for a specific game. “Most of these days in COVID, I feel really down in the dumps and that game will kinda be like my way to escape reality.”

According to letters published by CNN, children shared the challenges of learning remotely and one note revealed how a child’s mother wouldn’t be able to “get anything for me for Christmas because she is not getting paid as much so she cannot afford anything.”

USPS spokesperson Kimberly Frum recently stated that she hopes that by fulfilling some of these letters, Operation Santa will be able to provide a “spark of happiness” much needed by families at this time.

“It will be hard to celebrate the holidays without loved ones, whether because of distance or actual loss,” Frum explained. “But being able to provide even the tiniest bit of normalcy or spark of happiness to those in need would mean the world to so many people right now… The holidays are about kindness, joy, love, family, and friends… The adopters of the letters in the program truly embody the spirit of the season by opening their hearts and showing those in need that they are not alone and they deserve to have a special season too.”

Speaking about the Santa program, Frum went onto share that USPS employees believe it is essential at the moment.

“The program has always been about providing holiday gifts for families who may not have the means to provide for anything more than basic everyday needs,” Frum told People. “This year, there are likely more families impacted financially and emotionally.”

Letters will continue to be accepted into Dec. 15.

If you or someone you know is interested in being a recipient of the Operation Santa program write a letter to Santa Claus at 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888. Be sure to include your full name and address and a first-class stamp in the upper right corner. Don’t forget to be specific with names and requests for toys including sizes for clothing and titles of games and books.

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