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The GEM Debate: Would You Let Your Daughter Do THIS?


Creative Commons: Prodigy’s Makeover

The GEM Debate:
Would You Let Your Daughter Do THIS? 

Jada Pinkett Smith has her flak jacket on and finds herself smack dab in the crosshairs of one of the most common parenting battles; the fight over fashion. But this time it’s not with the kids, rather The Internet. I like Will and Jada even if attitudes like this make me (struggle to) raise a Botoxed brow. But I have to say on this one, I’m in complete agreement.

Jada is taking some heat over her parenting style, more specifically, why she allowed her daughter, Willow, to cut and die her hair.

Now you know hair is a big damn deal to  me;  I’ve had issues with mine and struggled with my daughter about hers. But the fact is… it’s HAIR! A hair cut will grow; color will grow out. We’re not talking about plastic surgery, which is a whole different ball of wax. It’s hair.. so why are people stressing over this?

I wrote about this in   Good Enough Mother: The perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting for two reasons. The first is that kids have so little control over their lives, why not let them express a little bit of themselves in how they look? I’ve been letting my kids dress themselves since they could toddle over to the dresser and pull something out, as long as it was weather and age-appropriate. The result is that now, as teens, they have a style that suits them and reflects who they are.

Secondly, who’s life is it anyway? Who’s hair is it? Are you, as the parent worried about how their appearance will reflect on you? Does a pink streak in the hair mean you’re a bad parent? I don’t think so, in fact, I think it’s just the opposite. When I see a parent letting their toddler pair cowboy boots with a bathing suit and a ski hat, I don’t think, “Oh my gosh what kind of mother does that?” I think, “Oh my gosh, that kid is lucky to have a mom who fosters creativity.”

So for all those people condemning Jada for being a bad mom for letting her daughter control her own hairstyle, the message is pretty simple and a little hardcore: Get a grip. And remember, it’s not about you.

Okay what about you guys? Would you let your daughter (or son) control their appearance to this extent? Have you? Why or why not?

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  1. Tami @Colorado Mountain Mom

    November 28, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I agree with you. I’m always impressed with Will & Jada’s family and parenting style… so I trust them on this call. (Those two were bound to end up with some creative offspring!)

    My 7 yr old daughter looks a bit disheveled and/or colorful at times, but I too think it’s better for her to have her own sense of self and style, then for her to display a coiffed, polished, “perfect-pretty-daughter” look. 🙂

  2. Erica B.

    November 28, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    It’s only hair. My daughter couldn’t do the green part. No “unnatural” colors allowed at school. But back in the 80s, I rocked a Salt n Pepa asymmetrical bob, shaved in the back with a platinum blonde tail. My grandmother HATED it, but it was MY head. So I would never be a parental hypocrite over something like hair. When should they play with their hair? When they’re grown and trying to be employable?

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