“I think she looks fabulous, but people sure have a lot of opinions about it.”
My 9-year-old daughter has never been shy about her preferences and opinions. Right before she began kindergarten, she asked if she could cut her hair short.
Since then, it has varied in style, but has stayed pretty short. Over the summer she tried to grow it out to a chin-length bob, but once it began touching the back of her neck she demanded the adorable pixie cut she’s sporting now.
I think she looks fabulous, but people sure have a lot of opinions about it. I recently had a fun run-in with Twitter’s merry band of MRAs, and they hunted through my social media streams and found pictures of her, talking at length about how I “dress my daughter like a boy.”
Setting aside tired definitions of gender, my kid tends to prefer clothes in the “girls” section of most stores, often choosing things like pink leggings covered in kittens or tees covered in pretty flowers. So, really, I don’t dress her like a boy — she simply has short hair.
And it’s not just emotionally stunted MRAs who fixate on her short hair. As a semi-public web person, I’ve seen forum threads with comments from women discussing my daughter’s “awful” haircut. I’ve deleted comments on my Instagram account from women I know poking me by referring to her as my “beautiful son.” I’ve also had grocery store clerks say, “Oh, she’s a girl? But where’s her hair?”
It’s generally accepted that Caucasian women in the United States embraced short hair for the first time in the 1920s. Opera singer Mary Garden, famous for both her voice and her sense of drama, wrote about why she chose to bob her hair:
“When I consider the achievements of women in the past few years in the field of athletics I find it impossible to do so without taking into account the tremendous freedom-giving changes in fashion that have accompanied them. And enjoying the blessings of short hair is a necessary part of those fashion changes.
To my way of thinking, long hair belongs to the age of general feminine helplessness. Bobbed hair belongs to the age of freedom, frankness, and progressiveness.”
Mamamia’s co-founder, Mia, recently got herself the “Sliding Doors” haircut. Check it out. (Post continues after video.)