This Friday, June 7th my son will celebrate his 3rd birthday...and he looks like a girl. 

For the past year Deran and I have been back and forth about cutting his hair. His hair is long. I mean longer than his 6 year old sister's hair...long. Everywhere we go no matter if I have dressed him in all the "boy" attire and all the "boy" colours in the world, there is a 99.9% chance people will think he is a girl.  I don't get upset mind you like I've heard some women do.

See....Here is my beautiful baby boy, Aindreas

An appointment has been made today to have his first haircut but Deran (and me, some of the time) is against cutting it.  His feelings are there ought to be a purpose, a real reason for it. Hmmmm....I respond to that with..."maybe the purpose is for him to look like a boy!?"  

But then we chatted about one of the points I touched on the other day in my post about Life. The point that society dictates what we should do from what we shouldn't do and that what we should do is cut his hair so he "fits" in with the other little boys.  And then I am torn again.  

So what to do?!  This appointment is today!  I would be telling a lie if I said I didn't want to see him look like a boy.  Also, it would make my life a lot easier not having to do his hair in the mornings on top of my daughter's hair...lol.  Yet, I am incredibly nervous about cutting it.  Don't let Deran hear me say that...lol  

I asked Aindreas last night, "are you ready to get your hair cut today?", he responded with a big horizontal shake of the head.  That means no.  He says he likes his long hair.  Oh gosh.  While he does not understand the complexity of cutting his hair his simple answer stopped me in my tracks. I know he doesn't understand but it made me think even harder.  I'm sure many will disagree with my feelings and suggest that I cut his hair immediately but once again I ask...

Are we so stuck as a society that little boys can't have long hair?  When I send him to big boy school I will be asked to cut his hair so that he can conform and look like everyone else. Yes, the obvious reason to cut his hair is so that he doesn't look like a girl to others.  Yes, other kids will be rough on him, and a stigma placed on him would be much for him to bear.  And you know what...that sucks.  Truly sad.

What other reasons does society feel it necessary for boys to have short hair?  Do we feel that this will create identity issues for him later on?  Are we still of the belief that little boys with long hair is a precursor to him becoming gay? Or like we say it here "a little soft".
Really, why should I cut this boy's beautiful hair? What are your thoughts on a boy having long hair? 

A torn Candilaria


Giavana Jones said...

ahhhhh a tough decision indeed. I'd cut for the sheer ease of the getting ready routine (if it makes it easier because some hair textures would require as much work short as long) but honestly don't see the "need" to cut. A girlfriend of mine's son hair is about this length. He's 4 and in school. She usually keeps it in a ponytail or a couple big cornrowns going back and I'm almost positive she just uses a light product to keep it in place when its in a pony so it doesn't have to be done every morning.

MWMs said...

Hello Giavana! Thanks for your comment. It is a difficult decision and the post was to show just how back and forth I am about it! I'm not opposed to a boy having long hair, however, children can be brutally honest and unfortunately can be quite cruel (sometimes without knowing it) when it comes to other children and teasing them for looking different, even at this young age. I guess it's a matter of whether you as a parent are willing to allow your child to go through it by deciding to keep his hair long, even if he looks like a girl. What to you think?

Giavana Jones said...

I didn't even thinking about the teasing part of it. Ack. So many factors in decision-making. I'm loving your blog as its getting me thinking ahead a little bit as to my personal views on certain things...I've worked with kids, have nieces and godchildren and even studied child development but its all getting real for me now that my own baby is incubating in me. ;)

MWMs said...

Yes! The teasing! Which isn't easy for any child to deal with. And with bullying being on the rise it gives you a lot to think about. Decisions, decisions, decisions! When are you due, if you don't mind me asking! Please do keep us updated! And if you have any questions or topics you would like for us to discuss, please feel free to let us know by e-mailing us at marriedworkingmothers@gmail.com. Breastfeeding is the first that comes to mind! :):)

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean, I have faced the same decision with my son. He is a little older, he's seven, and his hair is every bit as long. Causing further problems he is an exceptionally pretty little boy. And it probably doesn't help that my partner enjoys putting his hair in all kinds of elaborate braids. It really doesn't bother us that he is mistaken for a girl in fact, we have gotten some girls shorts and tops so that when we go out people just assume he's a girl it don't ask embarrassing questions. I know someday we will have to cut it, but right now he's not terribly insistant that we cut it so we're going to keep it because I know we will miss it when it's gone. Unfortunately, gender neutral only lasts so long.

Milkshaken said...

Hey MWM, my son is 10 and is hair is long (not as long as your sweet baby's) but long enough that people very often mistake him for a girl. The twist? My daughter has short hair and people think she's a boy. *eyeroll* My children both understand the reasons this happens and they're fine with it. Though they, too, will eyeroll.

The question I pose is why does it matter of people mistake a child's gender? Will they treat shim differently based on xx or xy? If so, why?

I see that this post is almost a year old but I'm curious, what did you end up doing?

MWMs said...

Hey Milkshaken...hehe...It has been a while since this post and unfortunately I succumbed to the pressure of him needing to look more like a little boy. I cut his hair after his 3rd birthday and he's going to be 6 this year. Sigh. The sad thing is I would have had to cut his hair regardless when he went to a "big boy" school (whose rules don't call for boys with long hair). So basically I I would have only prolonged the inevitable. It really shouldn't matter in my opinion, but society is built a bit differently. It's hair for goodness sake!!!!