It’s Stupid To Get Mad If Your Kids Cut Their Own Hair
Of all the things that I’ve answered no to, the one question I feel like I don’t get any authority over when it comes to my kid is “can I get my hair cut?” Even though it kills me to relinquish this decision, I don’t think parents get a say when it comes to their children’s hair.
I know when my daughter wants her hair cut, because every time she gets sick of her hair, she will surreptitiously hack off a good sized chunk of it and leave it for me to find, not unlike the way a cat gifts you with a dead bird.
The first time my daughter cut her own hair, I overshared. I posted a simple, “welp, my kid cut her own hair,” expecting commiseration and hyuk hyuks from my friends at the precociousness of five-year-olds. Instead, I got over 20 comments in three veins:
“OMG you let her have scissors??!!!??”
“I would be soooooo mad.”
“Oh no, how bad is it?”
To the first I answered that yes, I let my kid have scissors. She was four, not a psychopath. Plus, they fit perfectly next to the crack pipe I lent her and the bootlegged copy of Battle Royale that she keeps in her top drawer.
The second and third responses were a little more perplexing. No, I wasn’t mad, why would I be? She didn’t cut MY hair. And it wasn’t “bad” at all. A huge chunk of it was short, which is why we had to take her to the stylist who lopped off a bunch more to even it out. When I asked my friends to elaborate on their responses, I got a lot of people telling me that if their daughters cut off their long, lovely locks they would be devastated/angry/so sad for her.
Eventually I responded by saying that while doing inventory on the fucks I have to give about how long my daughter’s hair is, I regretfully found that I was fresh out, prompting my husband to take my computer away.
“What did I tell you about snarking on the Facebook?” he asked.
I will admit that I am vain regarding my child’s hair. It’s long, thick, and wavy, and even as a baby she looked a lot like Rapunzel from Tangled.
I like to braid it, I like to cornrow it, if I could stuff a mattress full of her hair and not end up on a government watch list I totally would.
This is in direct contrast to my daughter, who hates long hair. And therein lies the rub. Is it fair for me to tell her what she can and can’t do to her own hair, and by extension, her own body?
I say no. I say once your kid can tell you what they want to look like, it’s time to stop shoving them into skinny jeans and Ed Hardy shirts. It’s time to stop forcing fauxhawks, mohawks, ringlets, and pigtails just so you can add to your collection of #momarazzi photos and show the other lame moms how cool you are.
It’s important for kids to have autonomy over how they look. It’s especially important, I think, for girls to be taught that their hair, their clothing, and their bodies are entirely their own. I think it’s dumb to tell girls that they have to keep their hair long or to tell boys that they have to keep their hair short, especially if the only reason you can offer them is that other people will like it better that way.
She recently asked to go get it cut again, resulting in eight inches being snipped, to the stylist’s horror. The woman kept looking at me. “Are you sure?” She kept asking. I kept telling her to ask my kid if she was sure, since it was her damn head. My daughter assured the stylist that yes, she was sure.
When I tell people that my daughter alone dictates her hairstyle, they inevitably ask me what I would do if she wanted to shave her head.
I think the answer to that is obvious. I would force her to memorize every single word of Nothing Compares 2 U for my own selfish amusement. If you would do differently you’re a fool.