She asked me to shave her head. This wasn’t the first time, but I was always able to dissuade her before. This time, she was adamant. If I didn’t do it, she was going to. So I shaved her head. I shaved off the beautiful red locks that everyone loved as she grinned and reassured me that this was what she wanted. I asked again, are you sure, she was sure. She was excited. Then one off glance from her sister, a comment taken the wrong way, and all the strength fled from her. She was ashamed of her decision, wished she had a time machine, knew everyone would hate her new look.
She had made the decision, this bold and brave six year old, only caring about her own wants, which is fine in this case because it is her hair, and not a permanent choice either, but that strength we hold to be ourselves is so easily broken by those we care about. So easily shattered. She was so vibrant in her crew cut beauty, until she wasn’t.
It has been a few days now, and her confidence has returned a bit. My hope is that she will carry the idea that she doesn’t have to be someone else’s version of beautiful, that she can boldly be herself without bending to opinions of others.
I grew up in a house where appearances were important. It always mattered how we looked. I did not have control over my own hair. It could be trimmed but never cut. Girls have long hair. Women who have short hair are less than feminine. Women should be feminine. Boys can have long hair though. That doesn’t make them feminine. It is silly. I struggled with cutting my daughters’ hair, still with the notion that girls should have long hair floating around my brain. Then they looked at me, saying I don’t want to have to brush it anymore. Why was I fighting this?
We all have our hang ups from how we were raised. We all have those lessons so engrained in us that we forget they are not truth. Our world is so awfully hard on women. There is still so much pressure to be something more than just you. Appearances are so very important to the world, but in the end they mean very little.
Be Courageous. Be Genuine. Be Yourself.
Thank you for reading,