Emma Gonzalez shaved her head simply because it’s hot in Florida

Emma Gonzalez has been one of the most visible teen activists following the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Thanks to her shaved head, her appearance is striking and makes her super recognizable. Because she’s so politically active, you might have assumed she shaved her head as a feminist statement. But according to Emma, she just did it because it’s hot in Florida.

“I decided to cut my hair because it was a pain in the neck, if you’ll forgive the pun,” Emma said. “It was really hot all the time; it was very cumbersome and very heavy, leading to a lot of headaches.”

Emma talked about her hair as part of the Humans of MSD project, an Instagram account inspired by Humans of New York in which students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas gave candid comments about their lives.

“It was expensive to keep it up,” Emma said of her hair, “and as prom time came around, I figured it would be cheaper to not have to worry about doing my hair.”

Emma’s parents were hesitant to let her make the chop, though.

“The more my parents said no, the more I wanted it,” she said. “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.”

Ever since Emma has become nationally visible in the gun debate, online trolls have speculated that her shorn head was part of a political statement. (We’re not going to link to their gross comments here, but trust us, they exist.) Emma says that’s not really the case, though.

“People asked me, ‘Are you taking a feminist stand’? No, I wasn’t,” the Sun Sentinel quotes her as saying.

Even if Emma didn’t intend for her hair choice to be seen in a political light, people love to assign deeper meaning to women’s beauty and style choices. Because of this, Emma’s brave for rocking whatever hairstyle she wants. Guys cut their hair because of hot weather all the damn time. Why shouldn’t a girl be able to do the same thing?

Any time a woman decides to flout beauty norms, it deserves to be applauded — especially in high school, when going against the norm can result in being bullied. It might not seem like a big deal to Emma, but her haircut is likely making other girls who want to go short feel much better about their decision.

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[H/T Teen Vogue]

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