Golden Curls, Long Lashes, Big Eyes, Rosy Cheeks
My son is so pretty.
He is often mistaken for a girl, despite wearing the same Nike “soccer” clothes nearly every day for a month.
(He is obsessed with the Nike swoosh, which he’s grown up seeing on his brothers’ soccer uniforms. Brand loyalty starts young, people.)
I’ve considered exploiting his looks, ruining his life, and contradicting my anti-consumerist tendencies by signing him up to be a child model.
I mean, hey! He’s the youngest of four. He needs a college fund!
His being mistaken for a girl doesn’t actually bother me
I want my children to have access to the full-range of gendered activities, clothes, and ways of expressing themselves. The balls, blocks, and trains he plays with are hand-me-downs from my daughter. His favorite color is pink (just check his toenails); he loves to play soccer and basketball; and he takes care of baby dolls and “cooks” at his pastel kitchen. There’s no reason for these things to be incompatible. He’s preparing to be a modern, new-age guy.
It’s true that he is more physical and less verbal than my daughter was, but he’s likely to want to wear a skirt and spin after trying to fight me with a “weapon” he’s made from a spatula.
But back to his hair! His beautiful, golden, curly hair!
I just love it.
He was bald for a loooooonnnng time, and his hair grew in random wisps and tufts. I removed a long wisp that made him look like an oompa loompa, and another when it got stuck in the wheels of a motorized toy train.
He finally had his first official haircut a few months ago, at age two and a half.
It was truly just to even things out. I couldn’t bear to let go of the curls. I told the stylist, “Not too short, I want him to still look like a baby.”
His haircut grew out into beautiful, perfect Goldilocks curls–the kind mothers can’t bear to cut off.
Despite countless hints from my husband and others, I’ve resisted trimming them.
However, the past couple weeks, even I’ve had to admit he needs a hair cut.
Because I keep, um, “forgetting” to take him to a salon, I decided to take matters into my own (unskilled) hands today. I was just going to lop off a couple curls in the front that made his hair look like a typical little girl’s bob.
But cutting those resulted in a mullet. A mullet!
I told him I’d have to cut more, all the while thinking, “What the hell am I doing? This is a classic mistake!”
“But I WANT a mullet!” he ignorantly countered.
I told him, “No. You really, really don’t want a mullet.”
I took him into the bathroom, stood him in the sink so he could watch in the mirror, and began cutting.
In a few fateful minutes, we went from a sweet, golden baby to a big, tough boy. What have I done?
How do you feel about long hair on boys?
Do you cut your children’s hair?
Do you think there are innate gender differences?
How much is hard-wired (genetics/nature) and how much is cultural (created, enhanced, and reinforced by friends, family, and advertising)?
- Ten Devastating Mullets (manolith.com)