So my kiddo’s hair is a big deal.
When she was a bald baby it was blown out that I didn’t make more of an effort to prove she wasn’t a boy. As she got older I didn’t tame her lion mane of curls. I let her hair grow. I was, of course, scolded for this. I recently cut it short as per her request, and parents and teachers are asking why I would do such a thing.
Sometimes, her hair is home to lice: worst parent ever, right here.
To some (and sadly an influential some) her health, happiness and intelligence are less important than her hair. She has a paternal grandparent that will tell her girls need to be pretty in order to marry a rich man. Where do I start with that?
Not only is it frustrating as her parent, having my life and parenting judged by misplaced strands, but it worries me that she will get the message that she is only as good as her looks.
At times, my amazing daughter comments that she is less cute than she was a baby, hinting at the entanglement of the consumerism trap: teaching our society that a female is only worthy for her looks. I tell her that commercials do this intentionally and that they want us to feel bad so we buy their stuff to make us “happy.” I think she hears me, as she will roll her eyes at beauty ads saying, “They aren’t getting MY money.” I can do a lot, but I can’t completely condition her against the outside world.
I’m not opposed to compliments regarding her hair or fashion choices completely. She puts a lot of effort into choosing how she wants to look that day. Some days she dresses up like an X-Men, others Tinkerbell. One day everything will match, the other she will wear one leg warmer or one glove. I want to encourage her on her choices and applaud her creativity. I make sure to compliment her on these inner qualities constantly. It is very easy to leave it at calling her cute or pretty, and I know this. We love our children and these are words we were taught to mean good things. So I make sure to love her for herself alone and not her yellow hair.
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