Jayne Amelia talks with foster care alumnus Cody Renegar who is a hairstylist and fine artist, and author of the memoir "Changing the Stars" (2021). We thank him for his frankness, courage, and generous spirit!
He currently lives in California with his husband, Terry. He has a son, Levi, who, with his partner, Alaya, has given Cody three grandkids. Cody is the hairstylist of choice for many Hollywood entertainment industry celebrities and A-listers. Los Angeles is his main stage although he also maintains a large clientele in Washington, D.C., and Arkansas. He is a cosmetologist and master barber with twenty-five years of experience with unique cutting styles and techniques, who is a former cutting director for Aveda and Bumble & Bumble, Minneapolis. Cody began his career in 1996 in Arkansas. He moved to José Éber Salon on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills in 2004, where he had the honor of working alongside José on the main floor and in his own private barber shop, working with many high-profile clients. Cody has been featured in the documentary film Hollywood to Dollywood and the book Rainbow Relatives. A talented artist, Cody's paintings hang in private collections around the world.
His new book "Changing The Stars: A Memoir" is available now on Amazon :
“A powerful true story about how a boy survived and then overcame his family’s multigenerational cycle of violence, neglect, and sexual abuse: Despite the odds against him, Cody Renegar grew up and became a loving father and husband, successful hairstylist, and respected artist. Fostered, abused, raised by a substance-abusing single mother, at six Cody and his four siblings were placed into the foster care system in Arkansas, leading to a series of placements in homes where he endured unspeakable abuse and neglect. Cody found solace in his bonds with his brothers and sisters and occasional kindnesses from caring adults, such as a neighbor who taught him to paint. When at seven he was adopted by an affluent couple, he hoped at last to receive the love and support of a nurturing mother and father. But his dreams and expectations were betrayed when his new father proved to be a violent disciplinarian. It would be eight years before his rescue by an attentive school nurse, and years more to heal the trauma. The silver lining for Cody was his own resilience and positive outlook. He never stopped reaching for a better life, and his optimistic, gregarious spirit was never silenced or stifled. Cody sees life as an adventure. He believes that we, not fate, are in charge of our destiny. If needed, we can change the stars in the sky.”