long hair, don't care

He asked me to cut his hair a few weeks ago (finally?)!! It was so bittersweet for me but he was really excited and ready. His last haircut was a couple weeks before his sister was born, so this gorgeous blond hair took 2.5 years to grow ✨ we took him in for a trim one day and he refused...the lady didn’t talk to him much and came with the scissors too quickly for his comfort and so he just put on the breaks; like loud and very clear breaks. I attempted to cut it myself several times after, with all sorts of ice cream bribes, but nope. I felt myself getting pretty worked up about him not “cooperating” one day and then I thought - if he was a girl, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation, nonetheless this whole bribing and tense and counterintuitive situation. So because he is a boy and our culture insists that boys should have short hair, I am “encouraged” to impose this aestetic on him, when clearly he wants no part in it and doesn’t care whatsoever. What am I teaching him? That they matter more than him? That their perspective of who he is matters more than his own? That gender stereotypes will have power over how he chooses to express himself? - So his hair is his, and he will do what he pleases with his body. This is a part of his self-expression journey and bodily autonomy teaching...simply. Yes, people have mistaken him for a girl more times than I can count, and yes he would sometimes tell me that what bothered him the most about it was when they didn’t seem to believe that he was a boy. But when he was four he told me that what people think doesn’t matter because they don’t really know him anyway and he knows himself and that’s more important (yeah I was proud beyond words when he told me that). So he rocked long hair for 2.5 years and decided it was time for a change all on his own. I learned that when we resist who they are and what they are trying to say, what we’re really doing is protecting and projecting our insecurities, and unconcsiously showing them that conforming to what others expect of you, is more important than how you feel.

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