I almost considered abandoning this blog as I just had no desire to write any more, then without warning, BAM along comes something I can’t stay silent about.
Today we are going to talk about the fact that on Tuesday my 8yo twin girls are going to shave their heads and how apparently this is offensive to some people. If you are one of these people you can read on, or bite me.
Yesterday our twins decided they want to shave their heads. Not for any cause, they are too young & niave to know anything about that. Nor are they paitent enough to wait to do if for a cause (if we did tell them about that). As it is their hair and their body I said yes. It is much easier for me to do this knowing they are homeschooled and the homeschooling community and the people they choose to be friends with are generally pretty accepting. I posted about in on twitter and mentioned it to a few people and forgot about it. I thought some people might find it odd…but what I wasn’t expecting was people to think we were evil in some way, to think that we are bad parents for this decision. Actually I expected that from hubbys mum & sister, but thanks to their comments we won’t be attending his mums 50th birthday next weekend. Again, they can bite me.
Now before I go trying in my terrible way to reinvent the wheel I am going to link directly to my husbands tumblr post on this matter where he explains it all awesomely.
Now readers of this blog will be well aware of our marital issues. They may even be aware of issues he had as a dad early on that I still haven’t forgiven him for. BUT he is an awesome dad. He adores his girls and fights fiercely for their rights to be just who they are. And for this I will always love him…not in a romantic way, but in a way that I know I so made the right choice in parenting, even if I made a sucky choice in a relationship.
But if that post wasn’t enough this afternoon I was in my room when I heard him talking to the twins about our next homeschool park day – where they can’t wait to tell everyone they are shaving their heads. He was warning them that people might try to talk them out of it and that if that happens they should say:
“It’s my body & my hair and I can do what I want with it.”
I totally started tearing up and started thinking what a profound statement that is. I mean we all tell our kids that, but can we live by it? Imagine if every little girl was told that statement by their parents (though I personally think it had so much more power coming unsolicited by a man, the most important man in their life) and then reinforced it as they grew up. Imagine the generation of empowered girls we would have. Imagine them being able to say that with complete confidence to everyone and anyone and believing it.
I know for years after my own hair cutting trauma (my dad hacked all my hair off as punishment) I wouldn’t let the girls cut their hair above shoulder length, but after being bugged repeatedly and being asked why I gave in. Especially as the only answer I had was “but then you won’t look like a girl” (which is the same one that gets showered upon us everytime my girls go to the hair dresser) I realised it was lame, horribly sexist (girls don’t look just one way) and I didn’t even believe it myself. It is just hair. If they don’t like it it will grow back. If we don’t make a fuss there will be no reason for them to think they have made a bad choice.
Rather than get a lecture from a hair dresser again I learnt to cut the girls hair thanks to youtube. On Tuesday we are hunting a pair of hair clippers and their hair will be coming off. They may change their mind between now and then, but given how excited they are I find that highly unlikely. They really don’t care what the rest of the world thinks and I love them so much for that.
I watched this video before halloween and it made me sad and angry all at the same time.
So before you tell me that you think our daughters should think twice about shaving their heads because “zomg what will people think/say” or “but then they won’t look like disney princess versions of what girls are suppose to look like, I invite you to think about what this is really saying to girls.