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Dove Commercial Stirs Debate Over Forced Student Haircuts in Thailand



Dove Commercial Stirs Debate Over Forced Haircuts in Thailand

An advertisement released by the Dove personal care brand has stirred debate over forced haircuts and rights violations in Thailand.

The advertisement has brought back distressing memories for many who had forced cuts when they were students in Thai schools.

On Tuesday, Dove launched the ad campaign #LetHerGrow to remind people that forcing a girl to cut her hair takes away more than just her hair.

The print and video ads show a girl with a very short haircuts, and the rest of her hair is seen lying on the ground beside her school shoes.

The copy reads, “Her self-esteem is lowered and her desire to attend school is diminished as a result.”

This two-minute video shows women of different generations expressing their confidence by defining their own hairstyle in complete freedom.

On its website, Dove stated that the campaign was designed to promote the freedom of Thai women that could be expressed through their hairstyles.

Sansiri chief executive officer Srettha Thavisin selected the advertisement and expressed gratitude to the company for addressing such a social issue over forced haircuts.

Mr. Srettha wrote on Twitter that “what they are cutting goes beyond the hair of the young generation.” They are also losing their self-esteem, confidence, and courage to express their opinions.

Dove Thailand #LetHerGrow – Student Haircuts

On Tuesday, his tweet received more than 28000 retweets and drew the support of many Twitter users. According to their response, the ad reminded them of their school days when they faced the same situation.

According to one Twitter user, the forced haircuts on students was comparable to a violation of their human rights.

One user wrote that the students’ confidence was eroded, and the teachers were doing the wrong thing.

According to one former student, she intentionally failed an admissions test because she didn’t want to go to a secondary public school that her mother wanted her to attend.

Her aim was to continue her education at an institution that allowed longer hair. After she finished high school, she told her mother about it.

Some people, however, were not in favor of this campaign, as one wrote: “Dove has a vested interest” in this campaign.

Forced haircut in schools

Students Rally Against Haircuts and Uniforms

The Education Ministry lifted regulations regarding student hairstyles in 2020, but teachers are still able to interpret them in their favor.

Current ministry regulations require students’ hairstyles to be appropriate as determined by school directors.

On May 1, 2020, the Royal Gazette published the haircut regulation, which was signed by then education minister Natapol Teepsuwan.

An elementary school in Khanu Woralaksaburi district in Kamphaeng Phet province forbade a group of students from entering their classrooms because their hair was too long.

According to a Matichon Online report on Nov 23 last year, school director Kriangsak Kongthai said the short hairstyle was agreed upon by parents, the student union, and the school.

uniformly short hairstyles

Uniformly Short Hairstyles

Students violating the regulation were told not to enter the buildings and to go back and get their hair cut by their parents, Mr. Kriangsak said.

Until the newly-implemented policy was implemented, uniformly short hairstyles were a nightmare for boys and girls alike.

According to a 2018 article in Dek-D, a website dedicated to promoting education and learning, a school student in Nakhon Pathom province lost his confidence and refused to go to school because teachers demanded that he have a short haircut.

As a consequence, a teacher shaved the boy’s head after he had repeatedly violated school hair length regulations.

He wrote, “I lost my confidence to the point that I no longer wanted to go outside or to school.”.

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