PENNSYLVANIA — A Villanova University student with long, thick hair decided that her lush locks were oppressing others in a classic case of “hair privilege,” so she shaved her head on Facebook Live as Beyoncé songs played in the background.
Nguyen wrote in an op-ed for her school’s newspaper that she was being oppressed by societal gender norms, which were making her feel as though she could only identify as a “true girl” if her hair was “long, straight and silky.”
Nguyen said, “Shaving my head enabled me to be reflective of ways society forces me to conform to labels that I didn’t choose. Shaving my head liberated me, as I allowed myself to be faithful to my values and genuine self.”
Noting that there are many people suffering from cancer or alopecia, which causes baldness, Nguyen acknowledged that her hair made her “very privileged.” In the accompanying post to her Facebook video, she said, “I would like to remember the privilege I have in terms of being able to grow my hair out.”
Her friends apparently thought what she was doing was “awesome.”
“I’m saving all this money so I can go to grad school and save the world,” Nguyen said, as she showed off her newly shorn head in the video, which was shot on St. Patrick’s Day. The date appears to be significant since people have begun calling it St. Baldrick’s Day in an effort to bring about awareness and support for childhood cancer research.
Nguyen’s Facebook Live video went viral with nearly 1,500 views.
Several weeks after the event, Nguyen posed the challenge to go bald to others who have unfair amounts of hair.
“One must forgo some of their undeserved privileges to provide justice for others,” she stated, asking, “Are you willing to shave?”
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