A female student at Villanova University in Pennsylvania has decided to shave her hair off in order to fight “hair privilege” and “society’s oppressive gender norms.”
In a Facebook live video which she later took down, Yvonne Nguyen filmed herself shaving her long hair off to Beyoncé songs. She followed up with an op-ed explaining she did it in order to stay true to her “genuine self,” defy “gender norms,” and confront the “privilege” she has because of her hair.
“I have wanted to shave my head for over two years, but giving up my hair was something I genuinely feared,” Nguyen writes. “Society’s gender oppression paralyzed me.”
Nguyen posted a “before” and “after” picture of her hair to Facebook:
The student claims her long, straight hair is reflective of the “burdensome” comments she heard about what society thinks of women’s hair. Her hair was stopping her from being her true self.
“Shaving my head enabled me to be reflective of the ways society forces me to conform to labels that I didn’t choose,” she writes. “Shaving my head liberated me, as I allowed myself to be faithful to my values and genuine self.”
At the end of her op-ed, Nguyen encourages other students to do the same if they want to “forgo some of of their undeserved privileges” and show “solidarity” to people who are undergoing cancer treatment.