A woman has allowed her daughter to shave all of her hair off to prove that girls don't have to conform to the usual notions of femininity.
Paige Lucas-Stannard is a blogger and author of Gender Neutral Parenting, so when her six-year-old daughter, Aellyn, asked if she could shave her hair off like her brother and her dad, Paige said OK.
Initially, Paige said that Aellyn (pictured above, before and after) had asked but she didn't really think the little girl would want to go through with it. And, while she's been an advocate of treating girls and boys the same, she said she still felt apprehensive about letting her daughter shave her head.
“I really, really, REALLY wanted to talk her out of it," admits Paige. "I wanted to fawn over how beautiful her hair is. In fact, I knew I had that power over my daughter. What I think – as her primary caregiver and friend – has a huge impact on her. I could have used just the right words to talk her out of it.”
But, realising that she couldn't hold her daughter back, and the fact that Aellyn kept talking about it, so clearly she meant it, Paige and her husband set about getting rid of her hair.
As the mother-of-three details in her blog, Aellyn's own perspective wasn't one of fear of losing her hair but of excitement.
“This wasn’t a hard decision or even a big deal to her. She’s never been told how ‘girls are supposed to look/act’ because we parent outside of sexist stereotypes whenever we can* (I wrote the book Gender Neutral Parenting if you are new here). We talk about sexism a lot and I told her the morning before we cut it that some people think girls shouldn’t have shaved heads. She said, ‘no way. Girls can have their hair anyway they want.’ I said I know but some people might say something about it or call her a boy. She said, ‘That’s ok mom, I’ll just tell them I’m a girl’.”
Ultimately, the idea is that this little girl has the right to decide how she wants her hair without having to feel constrained by rigid societal ideals of how women should look.
As Paige points out “I will take the discomfort of seeing my daughter without hair over teaching her that she is a doll to be dressed up for others’ pleasure or that any future relationship she is in she should allow someone to manipulate her or dictate her appearance.”
Read the full post on babydustdiaries.wordpress.com
Pictures courtesy of Paige Lucas-Stannard