Shaved heads and empowered lives


Safia Amerin shows of her shaved head

Think back to season one of ‘Stranger Things’ and Eleven’s buzzed hairstyle. 13 year old, Millie Bobby Brown shaved her head for the part. A year later, she sent out a series of tweets exclaiming how much she missed her buzz cut and how empowering the hair was.


“The day I shaved my head was the most empowering moment of my whole life,” Brown said in the tweet. “The last strand of hair cut off was the moment my whole face was on show and I couldn’t hide behind my hair like I used to. As I looked in the mirror I realized I had one job to do. Inspire.”


After this video, hundreds of women took this as a call of action. Alumni Safia Amerin recently shaved her head after watching a viral video of Sara Maria Forsberg, a Finnish singer that commonly goes by Saara, doing the same. After seeing the video, she just could not get the idea out of her head, it was something about the liberation and the lack of bad hair days that helped the idea make a lasting impression. Finally, she made the cut.


“Having a shaved head makes me feel simultaneously empowered and a little uncomfortable,” Amerin said. “Before shaving my head, I talked to a lot of friends about it and something that always came up was how we as women often use our hair as a way to hide, shield, and distract from our insecurities. Shaving it off forces me to confront these parts of myself that I’m not always comfortable with, and though I’m proud of myself for taking that step, I’d be lying if I said I’m not still learning how to deal with it. The stares and disapproval from other people can be off-putting, but ultimately, the judgement that you really need to worry about is your own.”

Having a shaved head makes me feel simultaneously empowered and a little uncomfortable.

— Safia Amerin

Shaving one’s head is not an easy choice, nor is it the right choice for everyone. It is not the only an option for those who are aching for a change and a desire to feel more empowered, but it is a bold one.


“I would tell any girl thinking of making this change that it is her choice what she does with her body and her hair,” Amerin said. “Your identity is not defined by old-fashioned, patriarchal, westernized beauty standards. At the same time, it is your business whether or not your hair is a statement in the sociopolitical discourse that surrounds femininity and your place as a woman. If you want to shave your head, then shave your head- not because the patriarchy was worth responding to, but because this decision is yours, and it makes you happy. Nothing else matters.”