NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — From journalist, author and host to cover girl — Joan Lunden is gracing the cover of “People Magazine” and she looks dramatically different.
As CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported, Lunden announced her breast cancer diagnosis back in June.
“I have the more aggressive kind,” she said.
Now, she’s shaved her head and is posing with the same bright eyes and wide smile, but without her signature blonde locks.
Many longtime fans didn’t recognize that it was Lunden on the cover of the magazine when Gainer showed them.
“Are you kidding, really?” said one woman.
“Ohhhh OK,” said another.
“Oh is it?” another woman said.
Lunden opted to get chemotherapy and didn’t want to wait for her hair to fall out, Gainer reported. The day before she was scheduled to get it cut, she had a revelation while going for a spray tan.
“The only thing that’s worse than a bald head is a pink bald head,” explained Emily Strohm, writer for People. “So she asked if anyone in the salon could shave her head.”
Strohm sat down with Lunden in her Greenwich, Conn. home for the People interview.
“She was supposed to go the next day with her daughters to have her hair cut with the support of everyone there,” Strohm said.
Nicknamed by her seven children as “Bazooka Joan” for her limitless energy, it was of no surprise she just went for it, Gainer reported.
The decision to pose without her wig though, she told Strohm, was not an easy one.
“Sometimes women can feel less feminine or a little less sexy, so she was very honest,” Strohm said.
And it’s the cover of the magazine kind of honesty that’s winning her praise, Gainer reported.
“I think she’s being honest and real, and that’s probably a really positive thing,” said Cynthia Flynn.
“She’s fighting it and she’s saying ‘I don’t care what I look like I’m doing the right thing.’ Good for her,” said Tim Welsh.
Chemotherapy did shrink Lunden’s tumors. On Tuesday, she underwent surgery to get the remaining cancer, Gainer reported.
CBS 2 was told Lunden is resting at home and awaiting the next phase of her treatment and recovery.
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