I took Addie to get her hair trimmed tonight. She’s needed this for quite a while, but has balked at the thought of a haircut because she wants to have long hair. It was to the point, though, of looking scraggly and out of control, so I was happy that I finally convinced her to get the trim.
I started thinking about how obsessed we are, as a culture, with our hair. Too much hair, not enough, none at all. Too gray, too treated, too trendy, not trendy enough. Where does it end? When my seven year old has very definitive thoughts about how she should wear her hair, is that too young to care? We’ve tried to teach all the kids that how a person look doesn’t matter, but some of the cultural influences have obviously started to creep in. I’ll admit it, I’ve gotten on Ad’s case for messy hair, but that is because I want her to learn to take care of herself. If I say something to her, she brushes her hair, then slides a headband on or clips her hair out of her eyes, and we move on with our day. I ask that all my kids have clean and tidy appearances, and hopefully that isn’t feeding into a future unhealthy obsession.
We’re all guilty of having a certain fascination with our hair. We assign it a big piece of our identity. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with this; I’m just curious as to why this might be. It’s traumatic when we lose our hair, for whatever reason. Many of us put a lot of thought into how we wear our hair. I tend to change mine as often as I can, giving the guy who styles it free reign (almost) with the color and style. My philosophy is this: it will grow back, and if I’m going to pay that much money to have it done, then I want people to notice. Plus, it’s way easier and far less painful to change my hair style than it is to drop ten pounds. Right? Right.
I’m quite certain this isn’t the first episode Addie will have in dealing with her appearance. I’m all for letting her have control over it (as long as she is respectful), but I do hope she takes it easy on herself. Easier said than done, I know.