Saturday, March 6, 2010

Little boys with long hair

True story: Dave Matthews walked into our neighborhood coffee shop with his kid. As I was pouring cream into my Americano, I asked him what her name was.

Oops.

In his Dave Matthewsey way, he muttered, “He’s a boy.” Then he kindly added, “He is wearing sort of a girly hoodie.” It was lavender. As I commented on how evolved his son was, I was thinking that it wasn’t the hoodie that confused me. It was his long hair.

August—that’s his name—had silky blond locks. They weren’t Ryder Robinson long but they were mos def in need of a haircut.

I understand the need to keep your little one a baby as long as possible. However, babies don’t have hair long enough to dust their playrooms. Most don’t have any hair at all. Maybe you were wishing for a girl. Maybe you really, really like Bo Bice. Whatever the case, this look is not making the cut. It drives me as crazy as Gymboree on a Saturday morning.

Set your kid on a path to proper grooming and gender identity, and chop his mop. Otherwise, I might have to crash into you or send some fire ants marching on your ass.

(photo: knockedupcelebs.com)

51 comments:

Jedi Mom said...

My son has long hair because he chooses to, he is 10 and I believe it is his choice. It isn't harming anyone and children should be allowed to make some choices regarding their own bodies. It violates them to force them to cut their hair when they don't want to. I demand respect from my children, I don't allow any back talk, they get good grades and help around the house and don't get money for doing so. I am not one of those mamby pamby parents but on the hair issue I am not going to force anything. Children deserve to be respected as people.

SikeChick said...

And then there's this: http://jezebel.com/5485722/glaad-weighs-in-on-the-shiloh-haircut-drama

I think people should back up off the gender stereotypes and stop trying to force others (children AND adults) into gender roles.

SkitzoLeezra said...

If your boy looks like a girl, then don't get upset if folks think it's a girl. Moms with boy toddlers sporting long silky locks are wanting to prolong the baby stage and will surely exact even more reality evading behaviors on their kid. The long hair is the first sign of future psych patient with mommy issues.
Boys old enough to make their own decisions and beat up the bullies get a pass from me. A kid at my church had really long hair, always looked like an orphaned hippie, finally had his hair cut and morphed into a handsome young man but turns out, he was growing his hair for Locks of Love.

Cameron said...

My son has long hair because that is how he gets his power from God.

Jewels Diva® said...

Seriously, anytime you let your son grow his hair, he's going to be called a girl.

Deal with it or get their hair cut!!!

apoorva said...

gender identity? this is a really weird way to think. they're kids. they have weird hair. let it be. we don't have to gender our kids so fast.

Cameron said...

Why is mine the only serious comment on here?

Eveline said...

I completely agree! It seems that especially sons from celebs are afraid of having their hair cut. Or is it because Mummy and Daddy are too busy to make sure nanny makes an appointment with the hairdresser?

Once your child is in his teens and decides that long hair is cool it's fine. But when you're boy is still a toddler or young schoolchild under 10 and he has long blond hair that hangs just above his shoulders, don't be offended if he is being addressed as a girl.

SkitzoLeezra said...

Cameron said...
Why is mine the only serious comment on here?


Perhaps because no one here can fathom the belief that God's power travels through your son's hair. If it does, you should consider selling the pubic hairs found on his toilet. That's money in the bank, my friend.

Cameron said...

Yeah, I thought a Samson reference and sarcasm would be a tough mixture. That is my bad. But then you have to go and mention the pubes. Sheesh.

And my son actually shaves his head, except for one long braid. He passes out religious pamphlets to other toddlers outside of subway stations.

KlevaBich said...

Holy hairballs, Batman. Are you people serious? Cutting your kid's hair violates him? Gender stereotypes?

I wonder what my mom was doing to me - she always kept my hair short because she did't want to have to deal with all the tangles and such. I may have been scarred for life! Who knew?

And Cameron, thank you for the laugh.

Jamy said...

Aw...doting mamas have been hanging on to their little boys' golden locks since...well...forever. Check out little Lord Fauntleroy and his baby sibling (I can't tell WHAT sex the infant is). http://histclo.com/imagef/essay/ringlet01s.jpg

Hell, boys wore dresses too during their toddlerhood during some eras. In fact, there's nothing more exciting than seeing a good lookin' guy in a kilt and a long, windblown mane, a' la Diana Gabaldan.

Oh well...as long as we are on the topic of child hair-dos and don'ts, I'd be curious to hear what's your opinion of Maddox Jolie Pitt's mohawk? :o)

serendipitously.create said...

O...M....G......ROFL!!!! This is awesome!!! My husband was married before and the witch refused to get his son's hair cut - even when their son was complaining that he was tired of being called a girl!! One worse is a three year old with corn rows in those long, silky locks - oh yes she did. Because nothing says taking care of your little one like them constantly scratching and crying about their hair...geesh.

Camille said...

Oh yeah, I did that on the first day of school to my son's classmate's "brother." I had to do a double take and I swear Henry still looks like Henrietta. So, I've been secretly studying him every time I see him. He has lovely long blond locks, the kind that women would gladly pay big bucks. I guess he does wear blue and green an awful lot which should have tipped me off.

Ineke said...

So, I go to my coffee shop, order an americano and a bagel. I see the person in back who will be making the bagel and say to the cashier, oh, can you tell her to put 1/2 the cream cheese.....shit, it's a dude. Damn you androgynous people! I don't give a crap what you look like but then I refer to you as the wrong gender and I feel like an ass. So let's make a deal, you look however you want, and I call you whatever I want. Everyone's happy.

godchick said...

Wow, you people are taking this subject waaaay too seriously. O_o It's little kids' hair, for cryin' out loud.

My son has his hair about chin-length. Meh, who cares? He's three. That random adults could work up this much concern over a three-year-old's haircut is . . . well, kinda silly.

That said, I absolutly agree with not getting offended if someone refers to him as a girl. I totally understand that people may assume a kid without a buzz-cut must be a girl. I'm never offended or snarky with random people who tell me what lovely girls I have (I have 3 girls and 1 boy). But Dave Matthews didn't seem offended in this post, either. He just said. "He's a boy," and acknowledged that the boy was wearing clothing that might seem girlish (though I understand it was more the hair that made him look so). But that's not being offended. That's just stating a fact.

Now, if he had rolled his eyes and said something like, "Geeze, can't you tell a BOY when you see one?? Why does everyone keep calling him a GIRL?" I would see that as a reason to be annoyed.

I honestly think that most of the people who have a problem with this issue are people who feel stupid when they realize they've called the kid by the wrong gender. It's not that the parents are getting *offended* and treating you like you're stupid -- you just *feel* stupid, all on your own, because of the mistake, and you feel you were "tricked" into making such an error. In that case, I think it's time to just own your own feelings about this and stop trying to blame them on little kids or on parents who did nothing more to you than have a child whose haircut you don't like.

Be the adult; don't let things like toddlers' haircuts hold that much weight for you.

Anonymous said...

You'll be too busy wondering where the food to feed yourselves will be coming from in awhile to have time to bother writing this crap.
Any one who has ablog proposing violence will find themselves in trouble with the law one day

Anonymous said...

my son is 10 years old he has long hair and he doesn´t care if they call him a girl cause he knows he is not a girl and i told him that long hair are also for boys too. i cut his hair when he was 5 years old and he start it to cry so much because i cut his hair pretty short,he hates short hair. he told me that he felt that he was missing something, since then i never cut his hair because now i know is his personality. he is very mature for his age and he knows exactly what he wants and likes. people never mistake my son for a girl because he dresses like a boy, with jean, dragon ball z shirts etc. so if anybody here sees a boy dressed like a boy, with dragon ball z shirts or any male cartoons on his shirt, don´t mistake him by a girl cause you know exactly he is not wearing nothing pink and none feminine cloths. i don´t understand why some people mistake boys with long hair and say they look like a girl if you dress your son very manly how can you say he looks like a girl? are you blind that you can´t see how he is dressed? i never mistaken a boy with a girl.

Anonymous said...

I know a little boy who has chosen to grow his hair for year after seeing a program about childhood cancer...he's having it cut this fall to donate to Locks for Love. Punch that in the face.

Jamy said...

My son grew his hair out for two years and it was all the way down his back when he decided to cut it off and donate it to locks of love. It was the most luxurious, thick, gorgeous hank of hair you ever saw. Some child is going to be very happy with that hair and I'm so proud of my son for doing it.

http://365happythings.blogspot.com/2011/03/77-max-cut-off-his-hair-too.html

ddd said...

You are the kind of person "I want to punch in the face". I stumbled upon this trying to find something totally unrelated and more important than your opinions. You must be very bored with your life.

Terra Shishido said...

Wow, some of the criticism is ridiculous! No need to be committing fallacies. I do believe in setting gender specific guidelines so that children are not confused.

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand why would someone care about this. It's hair. You don't need haircuts. You do need other stuff, like air or water.

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand why would someone care about this. It's hair. You don't need haircuts. You do need other stuff, like air or water.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon this crazy blog and I need to weigh in. I have a son who is 16 months and he has long hair. He has been called a girl since the day he was born when he just had alot of hair but it wasn't long, so what. Sometimes I correct people and sometimes I just don't respond bc I don't care what people think! Look, If you want to cut your childs's hair have at it but if I choose not to cut mine please forgive me if I don't care what you think. My son's hair is more beautiful than most of the girl's his age so why should I cut it?

Unknown said...

Boys have as much right to long hair as girls. Can't understand why some people have to keep harping on boys hair length. Seems the battles of the 1960's have to be "re-fought" all over again. It's a simple statement of fact that for almost the entire span of human history (as homo sapiens), males have had long hair too. You'd be hard-pressed to find many groups of humans during the last 50,000+ years in which the males had short hair for any length of time. This current "dichotomy" of short hair for males and long for females is really of relatively recent vintage. Consistently short hair on males has really only been an invention of the 20th Century. Even then, younger boys (up to 5 or 6) usually had long hair for the first two decades of that century. And, of course, even the prevalent short hair for most of the 20th Century became severely disrupted starting in the mid-1960's with college-age boys. By the early 1970's most boys and young men (up to 30-something) wore longish hair, a trend that lasted throughout the Seventies and most of the Eighties. Longer hair has made a come-back on youth from the mid 2000's to now. So for those who keep ragging on long-haired boys -- get over it, already!!!

Anonymous said...

what I find super funny is that the author is a woman that looks like a man, even if you let your hair grow you would prob still look like a man trying to pass as a woman.
Sounds to me that you are jealous of these girly looking boys,is it because you were confused for a boy you're whole life?

Rachel said...

Many cultures around the world had men wear long hair just like the women. They were neither traumatized, over mothered, or gender confused. It was only mainly European countries who thought men should have short hair (and only after the wig wearin' days were over). They invaded those other cultures and tried to erase all of their old beliefs and traditions, imposing their own ideas and beliefs on them and one of those was short hair for men.

Many male lead actors in romantic movies sport longer locks because women find that sexy and appealing.

I have a one and a half year old son. He was born with a head of beautiful black hair, he also has long lashes and milky skin. Since he was born the nurses would say he was "such a cute girl". Even when he had short hair they still thought he was a girl because of his facial features. By the time he was five months old I gave him his first hair cut, but he moved so much during the haircuts that it always looked choppy and kind of funny for a couple of months. But even with short hair people still said he looked like a cute girl. After the third haircut I just decided to let his hair grow out and it's past his shoulders and he is not even two yet. He has beautiful hair, he looks very handsome and I am a proud moma. It is not because I am trying to hold on to his baby days at all. It is because I love him and I think he is just the cutest thing on the planet. His hair is part of who he is and it makes him special. It doesn't bother me one bit when strangers comment "she's so cute". Because really they are just admiring his good looks and that's all that matters to a parent. :-) The only reason I reply "Thank you, he's a boy", is out of respect for my son. I would not want people to say he is a cute girl and I do not correct them because then he really might actually grow up gender confused. (lol)

I tell him things like "Wow you can do something new now, you're a big boy", like when he learns to do something new. Or "What a sweet boy!" when he comes over and gives me a hug. But he doesn't even know he is a boy yet, he has no idea there is a difference between boys and girls. Once he is old enough to wonder or ask questions about the difference between boys and girls I will tell him all the differences I think there are. But having short hair or long hair is not one of them.

There are many beautiful women who wear short hair and many handsome men who wear long hair. His hair will be his own personal choice and it is my responsibility as a parent to help him find his own identity and to be sure of himself and have confidence.

More parents should teach their children tolerance and respect for people who are different than them. It would reduce the instances of bullying in schools and playgrounds.

I will teach him that he might meet people who are not tolerant, or just plain mean and will judge him on his appearance alone. And that there might be jobs or careers where he might have to present himself in a certain way like If he decides to be a lawyer he might have to wear a suit and cut his hair a certain way. Or if he decides to be a cop he will have a uniform and certain appearance requirements, etc. But it is up to him to decide where his life takes him and how much of his own ideas and beliefs he is willing to sacrifice to fit in or conform to the situation.

~Blessings to all~

Jennifer Worick said...

Rachel, that is a lovely comment about your son and his hair. This post has obviously touched on a sore sspot for many women and while I don't prefer it, it's obviously just my personal opinion and I might feel completely differently if I had a son of my own.

Kristi said...

I always thought would cut my twin boys hair at a young age, they're 3 now and have the prettiest blond curls that I haven't been able part with, my husband included! And hes as manly and redneck as u get!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Really? Is a another person's child's hair really that big of a deal to you in your life? Seriously? Get over it. Like I tell my 5 year old, stop worrying about everyone else and focus on you. We you are perfect, then you can start looking at others.

Anonymous said...

i was a kid with long hair like the kid in the picture, but only like neck long. i think i was mistaken for a girl twice by strangers. i got it cut at like 14. i think im messed up or not normal now because i had it. i dont like parents who do this to children. its like treating the kid like a pet or a doll maybe.

Anonymous said...

People who cut their boys hair short to make sure he is never mistaken for a girl are stupid! My son is 3 today, long blonde curly locks and he looks like a boy with long hair! I've asked him and he said he wants to keep it long. I don't care what other people think. .gy son made a choice and he has that right. If you have a problem with it and think its causing him problems them maybe YOU NEED evaluating .

Sarah said...

My son has long hair. And people mistake him for a girl. If you are too stupid to look at his red, blue, or green shirts with blue jeans then don't say anything please! Some people need to use their brains and think before they speak.

Anonymous said...

my 9 year old has long hair,always gets mistaken for a girl.I dont care and neither does he lol

The OriginalPsyn said...

My 5 year has long hair. Even though he is always where clothes with Dinos, Skylanders, skulls etc. people make the mistake of calling him a her. I usually don't even have to correct them, he does that himself. We've dealt with some bully issues at school, but with the few choices he gets make for himself his hair is one we allow him to make for himself. I have often suggested a short cut but he is stubborn about keeping his locks. We have explained to him by having the long hair other people will not always approve. That some people feel that it is their place to criticize him for his choices. He responses that it is their problem that they can't see how awesome he is, and that if mom and dad like it what does he care what some person that doesn't know him thinks. People need to stop worrying about other people kids and worry more about their own.

Socratic Method Man said...

If the gender of someone else's child matters to you to the point where you feel justified blogging angrily that other people owe you strict adherence to arbitrary social gender markers so you can tell just by guessing, you have some work to do on your social skills and their place in the world.

What someone else does with their body and which pronoun they prefer is not up to you! Really! And nobody owes it to you to hang a sign on them telling you their gender or their sex. Why do you need it? Will you treat them differently?

I know it's been a few years since you made this post, and I hope you've learned some stuff in the interim. If you have, wouldn't it be nice to update it accordingly?

michelle said...

Those that are so consumed with how other ppl are styling their baby's hair....go f yourself!!!! Are you serious??!!!! Sorry Dave Mathews "fan"....don't be so angry because you produce ugly babies and Dave's kid is cool!!! I have a beautiful little boy with the prettiest curls you can imagine....he's all boy and he totally rocks it!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree, my idiotic brother lets his one year old boy have his hair long, it gets in his face and he runs into things causing him to get terrible bruises on his face and he gets mad when people mistake him for a boy. Why would anyone let their boy have long hair when they are so young and all look like girls. It's like shaving a little girl's hair. What the heck is wrong with people?

Anonymous said...

wow. with all the progress we've made in trying to abolish gender roles and stero-types you gotta come in with this offensive piece of closed minded crap? you should be ashamed. how dare you want to punch little boys in the face for having long hair. it's just hair. who are you to decide how little boys and little girls should look. grow up. i want to punch YOU in the face.

Unknown said...

To "Anonymous" who posted on March 1, 2013: FLASH! One-year-olds tend to run around and bump into things, and to fall down, alot. Duh! And if it was merely his hair that was causing him to bump into things all the time, then why aren't you for girls having to wear their hair short, as well? After all, under your "logic" (and I use that term guardedly) wouldn't girls bump into stuff all the time because of THEIR long hair? You are a hypocrite and a blithering idiot.

Anonymous said...

Thank you..u said it all! Can't believe some people have nothing better to do..come on really??? Adults putting down children for something that is none of their business?Whether it's the child's choice or simply because the parents want or choose to keep them looking young is their perogative. I have a gorgeous 4 year old son that has golden curls to his waist and he always gets compliments and more than half the time ppl are aware that he is a boy...usually it's the older generation that tends to confuse him for a girl. I blv I have kept his hair long simply because he has always looked so cute with his curls and partially because I do still want him to look his age...I mean what mother wants their child to grow up? My son is known for his hair...it fits him perfectly and he loves it and I would never change a thing about it unless he asked me to!!!!! My son is well aware that he is a boy and understands that there is no such rule that boys must have short hair and girls long hair. He is only 4 and seems to understand better than these grown ppl!

Anonymous said...

Nicely put Godchick!! Exactly what I was thinking. Just couldn't put into words.

Ed said...

I don't know if you're a troll or just an intolerant douchebag, Jennifer. Either way, grow up. You're the one with the problem if you think that boys have to wear short hair and girls have to wear long hair.

Elizabeth W said...

Things I want to punch in the face...you, Jennifer. You sound like an intolerant egotistical douche. How does HAIR make a kid gender confused or unclean? Do you also think that it's wrong for girls to have super short hair? Why not take a look in the mirror instead of criticizing others?

Anonymous said...

It is always mothers with separation and control issues that want to feminize their boys...oh look, some of you are here! Hihi

Unknown said...

"Anonymous" claimed on 4/3 that the only reason some boys have long hair is cause their mommies want to "feminize" them? Hmmm... so was the same true in the days of our nation's founding? Seems like long hair on males was the norm back then (check out the portraits on the currency in your wallet if you doubt me), so were they all the result of being "feminized" by their mothers? As for this day and age, I have friends who's sons wanted long hair because they regarded it as "cool" -- and are definitely not the result of any "feminizing" by their mothers. In fact, their mothers didn't always like the long hair, but at least they didn't have any big hang-ups about it -- like you, "Anonymous", seem to.

Anonymous said...

I think I just took a time machine to 1950

Anonymous said...

People who automatically perceive gender based on hair length are at least a tad stereotypical.

Dylan Burdette said...

I had shoulder length hair until I was 12. I got called a girl a lot, so I either rolled with it, or fought if the person wanted to make an issue of it. I got really good at fighting, and became very aware of gender stereotypes and their harm. Now, I have a son. He will have long hair. It will teach him, and make him strong. I would have thought he would not learn much, but after reading these comments it turns out he will learn a lot

Anonymous said...

It is trendy now to have short hair. For the last 4,000 years it has not been. I have an 18 moth old who remains as God made him, sans dorky, short haircut. Anybody judging me or him about this needs to punch themselves in the face. Worry about about people forcing/allowing their children to do things that are actually problematic.