Teenagers and HairstylesTeenagers and their Never-ending Crusade to Hairstyle Liberation
Teenagers and parents argue about everything and anything. From homework to housework, parents and adolescents will quarrel tirelessly about the serious to the ridiculous. It is part of being a teen and part of being a parent.
Youngsters' hair, or more precisely how not to wear their hair, regularly comes into the realm of debate, as some teenagers find that "rebelling" with their hair is a way of expressing independence and freedom, much to the dismay of their parents.
At What Age Should Parents curtail from controlling their Teenagers Hair?
Small children rarely worry about what clothes they wear, what sneakers to buy, or what color hair they have and how they style it. One of the most noticeable signs that a child is "growing up" is when they start to be conscious of their appearance and start stating what they want to wear and what they don't want to wear.
This initial enthusiasm towards their appearance usually begins when they first become teenagers and gradually deepens throughout their teenage years, as the pressure to "look good" also intensifies. This desire to dress and wear their hair and makeup the way they choose is a natural response to growing up, and any teenager who is not conscious of their appearance would be considered a little "odd". In this sense, when children reach the age of 13, giving them the freedom to decide when and how to cut their hair is a positive step in accepting that they are no longer "babies".
Allowing teenagers to perm their hair when they want to, cut off their long, flowing locks they have had since they were two years old, or dye their hair another color should be encouraged, not discouraged, as it will give teenagers some of the freedom that they crave and will be one less thing to argue about.
Although giving teenagers their own space and allowing them to decide their own hairstyle is all very well when a son or daughter is happy to go along with the fashion, without springing any "hair shockers" on their parents. Problems arise when a son or daughter dramatically enters the room with deep purple locks, or worse still a completely shaved head! Surely then it is acceptable for parents to "step in".
“You Can’t Go Out Looking That!”
Teenagers who "go against the rules" and drastically change their hair are usually doing so as some kind of statement, which in a society that is fashion-crazed and sheep-like, dramatically disobeying "the rules" is perceived as abnormal and that there "must be something wrong." Parents recognize this popular view as they too are wary of their offspring befriending the long-haired, nose-pierced, Gothic-dressed boy from down the road.
Parents are also often worried about how they will be judged as parents if their son or daughter shows up at the school gates with hair as pink as raspberry bubblegum, as schools usually have a strict code of appearance, which includes little makeup, no short skirts, and no "flamboyant" or "radical" hairstyles.
While it may seem unfair that parents and teachers should bully teenagers into adhering to a set of standards regarding appearance, which has been deemed as "acceptable" by society, and that adolescents should be allowed to wear their hair any way they choose, it is arguably for "their best interests."
Given the "unstable" or "unreliable" connotations of a teenager with dreadlocks or purple hair, potential employers are less likely to employ them, they are less likely to gain entrance to a university which requires a face-to-face interview, and potential partners might be "scared off."
As pitiful as it may sound, we live in a culture that relies heavily on first impressions, and our parents recognize this and the potential risks a drastic hairstyle may pose and want to protect us from the discrimination their physically "wayward" offspring will almost certainly experience.
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