Recently, in an interview when asked why she let her daughter Willow shave her head, Jada Pinkett-Smith had this to say: "This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this 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. More to come. Another day."
I cut my hair really short a year after my first baby was born. I looooove having long hair but always find one reason or another to chop it off. This particular chopping, however, was the shortest I had ever gone. Total pixie cut. It was very liberating as I felt I was detaching from the difficult challenges of the past year. But very soon after, I regretted it. I felt ugly and blah and, paired up with all the weight I had lost from breastfeeding, I felt unattractive. Then the growing out part... oy! I wonder if I don't like short hair because of societal programming or if I just truly prefer really long hair. Honestly, sometimes I can't tell what my soul truly wants because I feel so lost in marketing, advertising, and public opinions. Growing up with Victoria's Secret models, on Hollywood movies, and Seventeen magazine does something to a young girl. So, I applaud Jada Pinkett-Smith for her revolutionary mothering and for allowing her daughter to go with her own flow and find what her truths are.
In this vein, I also applaud Sesame Street for these two excellent songs, getting little girls started early in different ways than Barbie and Bratz dolls do:
The dancing in this one is awesome :) ...
And of course Miss India Arie, who has always been a beautiful example of loving oneself. Such beautiful words to this song:
I want to always show my girl and boy that they should never live to anyone's expectations but their own.