Ms Independent

I know this is kinda old news at this point, but I love the sentiment here, and want to hop up and cheer when people, parents, etc. stand up for women’s rights, and the awareness of, and ability to stand up for this for ourselves, well, I would definitely say it suits us better when it starts early, when the example and support are provided before we are women.

The question why I would let Willow cut her hair. First the ‘let’ must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are her domain… Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the right to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be.

Yes. Oh yes. I have oh so much respect and admiration for Jada and Will for being outspokenly supportive of their child’s right to be her own person, and for treating her like an independent human with a mind, and respecting her ability to make her own choices. And for making this about women’s rights, because it is, folks, it is. Pink hair and a buzz cut, and people freak out about this kind of shit? It never ceases to amaze me, because it seriously seems so tame, yet people wring their wee hands about it and tsk tsk and judge, judge, judge. News flash: unorthodox hair color is not a gateway drug for prostitution, gambling, drug use, excessive drinking, and traffic violations. Sure, some people who do or have been known to do these things have or had multi-colored hair dos, but there are also plenty of people (plenty more, arguably) who dabble in or even regularly do these things – some or all, occasionally or often – who are “pillars of the community” and dress the part. It’s not by any means a causal relationship so let us not treat it as one.

Three cheers Willow’s M & D for respecting her right to make a choice about her mode of dress and her hair do. These choices, small as they may seem (though people seem to be freakin’ out, so I guess they’re not “small”), are a vital part of learning about the world and yourself and your part in it and your relationship to others in it. When it comes to articles like this, I try not to spend much time reading the comments, because they tend to make me lose faith, because isn’t it absurd and sad how, yes, it’s so true, “femininity” has some pretty strict parameters, according to well, far too many, and doesn’t everyone who thinks so want to let you know just how right they are. And yes, there are obviously a lot of judges out there. And that’s another part of growing up and making one’s own choices. Huzzah! You also learn to accept the consequences of your actions (eventually, eh?) and hopefully it strengthens you to learn to ignore your critics when you stand firmly by your own beliefs and ideals. Hair, so superficial when it comes down to it, is obviously quite pivotal to so many. Yes, myself included, but I don’t need to beat this one to death.

I hope more parents will follow suit and show this kind of loving support to their offspring. It’s a big deal, when you’re a teen especially, to know you can count on your primary means of support to accept and love you for who you are, and to not feel judged or smacked down by arbitrary authoritarianism. Boundaries and parameters are important, and oh so very, very different from telling your child how she must be to gain your and everyone’s acceptance. And that in itself is problematic, which leads me to another post for another time.

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