Beauty Company Aims to End Forced Haircuts in Thailand

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A teacher forcibly cuts a student's hair in Thailand.
A teacher forcibly cuts a student's hair in Thailand (Daily Mail).

US beauty company Dove, a long-time proponent of body positivity, has launched a campaign to end forced haircuts in Thailand.

The campaign aims to end the practice of schools using haircuts as a means of punishment, reports Bangkok Post.

Forced haircuts, the brand argues, are harmful to students’ self-esteem and send a message that they have no agency over their own bodies.

The practice of forced haircuts was technically disallowed two years ago, but in a recent YouGov study, 74% of Thai respondents said that haircuts are still being used as a disciplinary measure.

The same study found that more than 60 percent of Thai high school students feel that practices like forced haircuts teach them that they don’t have control over their own bodies, while  80 percent feel these practices make them lose confidence in their looks.

Because of the toll that forced haircuts take, Thai students have resisted them in the past, starting “Hairdo Resistance” groups to advocate for the choice to determine their own appearance. 

Dove has called on people across Thailand to support an end to forced haircuts with the hashtag #LetHerGrow. Their print and video advertisements, which criticize the practice, have also sparked a larger discussion on Thai students’ rights and freedoms