Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pink Hair

Mini Me has pink hair. She LOVES it!

I do admissions and marketing at a private school. In my job capacity, I see a lot of children. Most of them are very cute. It is so easy to comment on a child's looks or clothing. It involves no thought. It involves no effort. "You are so cute!" or "What a great pink dress!" Child smiles and we move on.  Instead of talking about a child's appearance, I ask what their favorite book is, or what book they are currently reading, or what their favorite sport is. These are things the child has control over. These are things that do no focus on looks but on a child's knowledge or interest.

By focusing on a child's beauty, especially a girl's, we are perpetuating society's focus on physical beauty. Some children are beautiful. Others are not.  We have no control over our facial features (until we are old enough for plastic surgery).

Same goes for a child's clothing. The child may get to chose what he/she wears from day to day, but most often, the parents went on the shopping trip and chose the clothes the child gets to pick from. A child has little to no control over the cute outfits their parents purchased. This once again is focusing on something a child has no control over.

Mini Me gets LOTS of comments on her appearance. For her entire life, the message she has been receiving from well-meaning strangers is that she is beautiful. Mini Me is smart, funny, caring, generous. None of these attributes are being highlighted. Only her looks.

Until we dyed her hair pink! J asked Mini Me if she wanted to color her hair. "Yes!" was her response. Then he asked if she wanted to dye her hair pink, purple, or blue. Mini Me chose pink. She had control over whether or not her hair was dyed. She had control over the color of her hair. And whenever we ask her if she still wants pink hair, that gives her continued control over her hair color.

Now, when we go out, people comment on Mini Me's hair - not her beauty. Coloring Mini Me's hair was the perfect thing to do to draw the focus away from an unchangeable to a changeable. 


Daniel said...

I really like your thoughtful breakdown of our very surface society. I think your mini me is a beautiful you girl that will grow to be as thoughtful, patient and honest as you. I am glad that you share your family with all of us... STRANGERS...some of us stranger than

Mr. Mac said...


I love what you said and totally agree with giving our kids options and control, bit by bit. How are they going to function as adults if we make all of their decisions for them? I especially love the choice of hair color. I think her choice has made her appearance just that much more striking, and she seems to really love it, which is also so important! I do not know her except through Jason's fb posts, but if I know her parents, then I am sure she truly is beautiful inside and out!


Tom McClung