To all the moms who complimented my daughter’s first haircut at four and whose eyes widened in delighted horror when I admitted she did it herself with her little scissors–with my knowledge and blessing. To all the strangers who tell me my child has the best outfits and who quickly find out she puts them together herself. To all my girlfriends who I love: be you as you want to be because I love you that way. To my daughter who still does her hair and outfits the way she pleases but who, now that she is six and vaguely self-aware, slyly looks around to see who notices: may you always posses yourself as you and express yourself as such. You don’t need to make sure anyone notices. They do. And they love you for it. Trust me.
When Jada Pinkett-Smith was asked why she let her daughter Willow shave her head, this is what she said:
“This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete.The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power, or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit, and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes, and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be.