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Female student shaves her head to show that having hair is a ‘privilege’

A female student at Villanova University took to Facebook Live last month and shaved her head to demonstrate the “privilege” she has by growing her hair out.

Yvonne Nguyen cut her hair on March 17 and posted a live video of it on the social media platform, Heat Street reports. She recently wrote about how her hair is a form of privilege in an op-ed published in the campus newspaper.

From the Heat Street article:

In an op-ed for the student newspaper, Nguyen said that the oppressive societal gender norms had made her feel like she was only a “true girl” if her hair was “long, straight and silky.”

“Shaving my head enabled me to be reflective of ways society forces me to conform to labels that I didn’t choose,” she wrote. “Shaving my head liberated me, as I allowed myself to be faithful to my values and genuine self.”

“At the same time, I’m also very privileged,” Nguyen added in her Facebook video, explaining that her bald head was a show of solidarity for people with cancer or alopecia. “I would like to remember the privilege I have in terms of being able to grow my hair out,” she wrote in the accompanying post.

The video of Nguyen chopping off her locks has been removed since Heat Street published its article.

At the end of her op-ed, Nguyen suggests her hair was one of her “undeserved privileges.”

“However, using one’s power comes with a caveat. One must forgo some of their undeserved privileges to provide justice for others. Are you willing to shave?” she writes.

Read the story.

MORE: ‘Critical plant studies’ challenges ‘human’ privilege

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