Dear Small Minded People Of My Hometown
I feel so sad to be writing this because you all made my 6 year old daughter feel so uncomfortable when we went out the other day. Why did you feel you had to make her feel uncomfortable and different? because she was different from you. She dared to go out with coloured hair!
Tilly is a lovely kid and she has the most amazing imagination, which makes her the person that she is today. She has had a crap few years and has had to deal with more than any 6 year old should have to deal with, but she is making her own mark on the world and I love her for that. So she is always asking for coloured hair, yes she wants it permanently coloured but that is a big NO! so I bought some sprays and asked her what she wanted. She actually wanted to have hair coloured the same as a mermaid crossed with the tail from her My Little Pony.
So yes, I coloured her hair with the sprays before we went out on Saturday to get some shopping. I guess I thought that kids have their hair coloured with spray for school all of the time. But what we received was absolutely not what I expected! People stared at her, but then she was different, she was out of the ordinary and she was not how you Stepford six year old would look. The staring wasn't so bad, she likes being different so she is used to people looking at her. When she was younger and she used to go out with her hair sprayed pink and wearing a tutu, we were told she was cute. So what was so different this time?
The stares we could cope with but the bitching comments of ''OMG that poor child'' and ''Her hair is ruined'' left her feeling sad and ashamed of what she had done to her hair. The worst one was a group of two women and a man in Poundland who stared at her, then walked down the next aisle before one of the women said in a clear loud voice ''Did you see that kids hair'' and her friend replied, just as loud ''Yeah I did, poor kid'' Luckily Tilly never heard because she was busy talking to her friend. But I find it hard to understand why she is a 'poor kid'.
So she dared to be different, she dared to be who she wanted to be for a day and it went against society. Why should she (and I) be made to feel little with all of the little comments? Why should she be made to feel ashamed for the way she wanted to express herself? If you slam a child and put them down for wanting to be different, then you are going to ruin their self confidence and make them too scared to do something else in the future. You have no right to take away a child's confidence with the comments that you make. You have no right to take away a child's pride in the way they think they look good.
I know that I am biased but I think she looked cool in her mermaid/My little Pony hair. Not one person dared to ask me if it was a wash out colour or a permanant colour. They just assumed it was permanant and judged us for it. Tilly has older siblings and as much as I try to keep my child little, she is going to always going to want to be like her older sister who is 24 years old.
So next time you see someone different in the street, don't criticise them for their choices, don't go out of your way by making them and their friends/family feel uncomfortable because thats how you feel in their company. They may be different but they are so much bigger and better than you because they dared to be different.
Next week my child might want to wear spots in her hair, then she can have spots in her hair, I will then encourage her to go out and have confidence to show off. Because our kids need words of encouragement and praise for what they do, not discouragement and rudeness.
From a cool mum
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