Here’s The Reason Why Parkland Shooting Survivor Emma González Really Shaved Her Head

credit: @jamscene / Instagram

Through the pain, hurt and anger that has boiled up from the country’s latest school shooting, Emma González is one of the teen survivors emerging as a figurehead of resistance. In the aftermath of the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., the 18-year-old senior has given emotional and seething public speeches condemning politicians for their complacency toward gun violence.

With her face splashed across news outlets covering the shooting, it’s been hard not to notice González and one of her most distinguishing physical features: her buzzed head.

While rallying for legislation that will end gun violence, González has faced a few questions about her hair.

With reports of González’s role as her school’s Gay-Straight Alliance president and her display of outrage toward politicians, it was easy for many to assume her shaved head was a direct symbol of her feminism. But it turns out the teen’s reasoning behind her close shave is actually about being practical in her own skin.

“People asked me, ‘Are you taking a feminist stand’? No, I wasn’t. It’s Florida. Hair is just an extra sweater I’m forced to wear,” González told the Sun Sentinal in an interview.

Of course, even while the emerging activist might not have shaved her head for political reasons, it’s easy to recognize her shave as a completely feminist act. After all, a massive part of the feminist agenda is self-autonomy. In a society where women’s hair plays a huge factor in how people judge us, it’s invigorating to see a teenager opt to weigh the importance of her own comfort over the opinions of others.

It’s not the first time González has been asked questions about her hair.

A month before her school was rocked by the tragic actions of a shooter, González posed for a photo with her school’s Instagram account, Humans of MSD. The post includes a caption that highlights the teen’s determination to get her hair cut for the sake of her own comfort, even when she was deterred. “The more my parents said no, the more I wanted it. Actually, I even made a powerpoint in order to convince them that I should do it. I figured I would look really good with it, and I do. So, it all worked out fine,” she told the account.

Here’s hoping González can use her down-to-earth sensibility to further the fight for practical gun control legislation.

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Read: These 9 Pieces of Merchandise Were All Created In Support Of Emma Gonzalez

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