Ojas Khurana- Pride in Shaving her Head

Breaking stereotypes is the new trend. However, these women on campus are not shaving heads just to break the stereotype or to prove their feminist point. They are shaving their heads to empower themselves and to dissociate from what others think about them. Ojas Khurana, a second year student at Ashoka has her own story to tell. She is one of the strong women, who head the generation with her shaved head and a great story to tell us all. It’s zen to see women being themselves and doing what they want to do.

Q: Why did you shave your head? What inspired you to do so?

A: For the longest time, I thought a major part of who I am was defined by the long hair. The kind of person I was in my head definitely was supposed to have long hair, be nice and soft spoken and worst of all a delicate darling. As i grew I realised I’m not rapunzel who needs long hair to come out of her tower. I was so sick of trying to fit myself in a box of someone I didn't even want to be. As that image of a perfect little princess faded in my head, the point of this bulky deadweight did too. So I started chopping it off. Oh the liberation and control you feel when you chop your own hair is unreal! Not to say that’s what you should do every time you feel your life spiralling out of control ( it’s sure worth a shot ;)

Then I saw a really close friend of mine shaved her head and I realised it’s not some far fetched ideal. That anyone can do it. That I can finally break out of the mental cage i spent 18 years building.

Q: What changed after you shaved your head? Did it affect how you thought/ felt?

A: Gripped by terror at first but then once it was done I felt fucking badass. I felt accomplished and most of all I felt true to myself.I immediately started feeling freer. It’s almost like you give up the habit of hiding if there’s nothing left to hide behind anymore.I wanted to cry laugh scream everything. I started seeing myself differently. I looked in the mirror right after shaving my head and saw my face for the first time. It was a moment of unreality. Then the first thing I did was put on some black lipstick to complete the new me.

Bald head for me wasn’t some fashion fad or a mere style change. It meant changing my entire perspective. I’ve almost throughout my life had body image issues and somehow I deluded myself into thinking that long hair is compensation enough and at some level I think I was primed into believing that long hair is womanly, that being thin and flawless is womanly. The day I shaved my head, I redefined what it means to be a woman for myself.  I looked in the mirror and felt free of everything I had to be.Seeing myself, just me and not ideas of what I should look like, I saw just who I am and  I felt beautiful.  

Everyday this ideal and strength translated more and more and I honestly regretted not shaving my head sooner.


Q: How did your friends/ fellow students at Ashoka react? Do you think Ashoka is a bubble?

A: My friends were more excited than I was. At every stage of chopping them shorter and shorter my friends kept encouraging me and telling me that I look so much more me! Once I did shave my head my friends all unanimously agreed that this is the best I’ve ever looked. I agreed completely. I looked like me. I was so excited and pumped. I went out the next day a little apprehensive but mostly chill because many internal battles that I had fought for years had resolved themselves. I haven’t cared a lot about what other people would think in my life so I wasn’t too worried. It was just different. Ashoka as always is very accepting of every crazy idea you want to explore. It may be a bubble but more in an experimentation lab kind of way. Look at it this way whatever you want to do, you can with a sense of security that you’re in a bubble. You can test out ideas and personas before you decide which ones you want to use in the real world and just maybe you’ll find the one you want to keep. It was that sense of security I think that allowed me to see me in a truer light.

Q: How did people outside Ashoka react?

A: The first time I left campus after shaving my head was a week later and all by myself.I went for lunch with a friend in the city who was going to meet me there directly. So i left the campus and took the metro for the first time after shaving my head. I have always hated crowds and crowds with its eyes on me even more. I could feel people turning around to look at this strange person walking by. The more people stared at me, the stronger the urge I had to scream at the top of my voice and also to just sort of not be all by myself here. But the more I walked to my destination, I realised that if i am to be true to who I am I should be capable of being that way in whatever situation, regardless of if anyone is there with me or not. You can’t just be yourself when it’s convenient, Then I met my friend at the cafe and we had giant waffles to celebrate my new found way of life.

Q: What are 3 things which you liked and hated about having a shaved head?

A: 3 things I loved:

  1. The sense of accomplishment of actually doing what I wanted to do and being who I really am ‘
  2. The Badass Persona vibe, at least I look like I’m not afraid of anything and that’s a huge step towards actually being that way
  3. Shorter Shower Time. It reduces significantly trust me shaving your head is guaranteed half an hour of extra sleep in the morning,

It’s hard to come up with three things I hated but shaving my head sort of forced me to face situations that I otherwise ideally would have liked to avoid, people staring at me, thousands of questions and inquiries about why i did it, convincing some people that it’s not a sign of insanity etc etc.

Q: What advice do you have for people who want to shave their heads? How do you suggest they cope with people not accepting them?

A: People listen to what they want to listen to, not what you are saying. Stop trying to convince anyone about why you want to do what you want to do. Once you’re convinced you do it and when they see you living your best self , they’ll get it. Or they won’t but you would’ve done what you wanted to. You would have the inner satisfaction and happiness that will give you the courage and patience to deal with non-acceptance. Ultimately at the end of the day, you have to be a version of yourself that you can accept no matter what, make yourself your true north. Once you are you, whoever loves you for you will still come around, everyone else is not worth it. 10 years down the line if you’re with people you love by killing who you are you’re not going to be happy anyway and neither are they. So just be who you are right now, there’s no right time, no tomorrow.There is only the now.

Q: What is your opinion on the ongoing trend of shaved heads at Ashoka?

A: I love love love it!! We should all be a cult of bald people who don’t give a f**k about what anyone says or thinks about them! Everyone is just who they are and everyone is loved for who they are.

Q: If given a chance, would you ever do it again?

A: For sure. Every couple of years I’d like a fresh start.