My son has long hair. Beautiful, curly, long hair. He LOVES his hair, and other than some washing dilemmas we face at bath time… He seems to really enjoy and understand that he likes his hair. He knows boys with short hair, he knows girls with short and long hair… But he does not recognize yet that long hair tends to be a “girl” thing.
That’s how I know all the comments he receives, references he is a girl, have nothing to do with him. These statements say much more about the person making them… these kinds of statements come from anyone, really. I don’t think they’re malicious, or said to make him (or us) feel bad, I think that he’s just pretty and no matter how “boy” or “girl” his clothes are, people see a girl.
1) We are letting him be in control of his body… At an age when he has moments where he seems wildly out of control, this seems like a simple win-win. I have encouraged him towards another hair trim (he had one when he was about 2.5) and I have blatantly threatened a hair cut when he won’t wash it… I’m just trying to paint the truth for you. All in all, those are such empty threats (another blog post entirely…) I could never stand how I would feel if I forced him to cut his hair when he didn’t want to.
2) Why is long hair a girl thing? The same questions stands for painted nails, hair in a pony tail holder, wearing anything besides blue… I just don’t get it. I am a girl, but there was a time in my life when I was frequently mistaken for a boy. I had NO interest in being a girl, I had a boys hair cut and wore baggy plain clothes. It was nice my parents didn’t make me choose the way to look… I can look back, and although I don’t think they were great looks, they just let me be.
3) My husband is first to jump out and say “I don’t care if anyone calls him a girl because there’s nothing wrong with being a girl.” And that’s a fabulous person to be married to. It’s also a really great human lesson to our child.
I knew the day would come when he would respond to such comments, “I’m not a girl, I’m a boy!”…And that day happened, but it was slightly different than I envisioned. We were out on Halloween, trick or treating, when someone commented “Oh, she’s so cute! I LOVE her costume!!!” Sure enough, without missing a beat August responds “Oh, hahah, I’m not a girl, I’m a rescue bot!”
Which, for those who do not know, there is a transformers show called rescue bots and August refers to himself as one of the rescue bots, Heatwave. He IS Heatwave. He didn’t need to dress up on Halloween as a transformer rescue bot, because he IS one.
I couldn’t have been prouder for how innocent that response was. I love that little guy, and we are going to support his desires- especially in regards to HIS OWN BODY.