Elsie Lopez, 23
She just cut all her hair off—and she feels great.
Congress Parkway and Wabash Avenue
What’s new? Just chopped all my hair off. Earlier, I had a big Afro. I feel liberated!
And cold? Surprisingly, no. Everyone was like, “You’re going to need a hat,” but I just feel really strong. My hair has been tied to a lot of things that have made me feel weaker, like male expectations.
What are you up to now? I’m headed home to cook a meal. A year ago I became vegan.
Why deny yourself so much? The ethical/humanitarian aspect, considering the cruelty the animals undergo, is definitely one reason. Also, a lot of the animal products sold to us have all these extra additives that are really terrible—the pink slime and horse meat in certain fast-food restaurants and whatnot.
Hold the phone! Are those leather boots? Not real leather! [Laughs] But I’m not one to judge people who wear leather or fur. I’m not that kind of vegan.
Are there vegan fashion icons? Not sure. Personally, I dig artist fashion, people like Frida Kahlo. She seemed to approach fashion as costume and from the perspective—not to be pessimistic—that you might die in the clothes you have on.
What else is happening? Thinking about going back to school, looking into a lit program at the U. of C. In undergrad, I studied philosophy and minored in art.
So…you’re unemployed? I am. [Laughs] Much of society doesn’t value critical thinking. The powers that be want to keep us thinking surface level, so they can keep us subjugated.