Growing up my mom always encouraged me to be myself, rather it be the toys I liked or the clothes I wore (and boy, some of the clothes I wore were insane- Lucky for me I cannot easily locate any pictures). Actually in 9th and 10th grade I was “goth”, I wore dark black makeup and baggy grunge like clothes and my mom always encouraged me to do what made me happy.
Now that I have kids I am also trying to teach them to do what makes them happy, because as far as I see it you should do what makes you happy and not worry about what others think about you.
Last week whenever Ethan asked me to dye his hair a fun color for the last two weeks of school. So when we were in target the other day and he saw the purple hair dye he asked me if I could dye it for him, and since his behavior has greatly improved over the past few weeks I said yes. I proceeded to spend the next few hours bleaching his hair and then dyeing it purple (and making a massive mess in the process). In the end Ethan loved the purple and thats what my goal was with letting him dye it.
However by mid afternoon I got a text from Ethan and apparently he had been picked on most of the day by numerous kids, apparently quite a few people asked if he was gay because of his purple hair. Naturally I proceeded to try and make him feel better and even dug up photos of a ton of cool celebrity men who have had purple hair. I think it made him feel some better but I told him whenever he got home we could run to the store and get a different color if he wanted. So we ended up at Walgreens buying blue hair dye (apparently blue = more manly), and while I was there I had to grab a few other things and in the process Ethan looked up to the mirrors (that are all over the back walls) and then sat the hair dye back down and said “Im not going to change it, I like the purple”. I was so proud that he stuck with what he liked regardless of what the other kids said.
Later that night we went to a local ice cream parlor and unfortunately quite a large amount of people were equally as small minded about his hair. There was quiet number of people starting and pointing, it was just about all I could do not to make a massive scene.
At this point I had it with people. I mean when I was younger people would start at my dark eyeliner and crazy hair, but I never let it bother me. In fact I actually made a game out of it to notice who was making a big deal about my looks and then make faces at them or wave (you would be surprised how it really makes people embarrassed to be caught starting).
I will continue to support Ethan in whatever kind of hair makes him happy, rather it be bright purple or dirty blonde.
I do have two things that I have to say though……
1.) How on earth does him having a different color hair affect his sexual preference? Also can we PLEASE stop using the term “gay” as a derogatory term, it is NOT a bad thing that we should feel shameful about being.
2.) Everyone is different, thats the whole purpose of us not being born looking identical. Don’t look down on other if they don’t look just like you, and heck why not just try something different too? You might find that its much more fun!
Would you even let your kid have fun hair if they wanted it? Why / why not?
*** UPDATE ***
Unfortunately Ethan went to school the following day and was picked on again so he ultimately decided to change his hair color to teal blue. Which was apparently a “cool” enough color to get people off of his back.