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Good Head on Her Shoulders

This is for everyone who has ever had someone try to keep them from making their own decisions. You’re not alone.

One day, I decided I was tired of waiting for my mother’s approval. I called her after school and said that I was going out to get my hair cut. After moments of silence she finally answered, “Well I disagree, but it’s up to you.”

I couldn’t believe my ears -- I knew that this would be the closest thing to approval that I was ever going to get out of her. Barely able to contain my excitement, I could only say, “alright, thanks.” She promptly hung up on me.

When I told the guy at the reception desk that I wanted to make a donation to Locks of Love, he was disbelieving. “You’re cutting it all off?”

He began assigning me to a hairdresser, but then changed his mind. “No, I wanna do it,” he said. He led me to a chair, measured off 10 inches, and asked several times if I was absolutely sure.

Snip, snip, snip, and it was all gone. I now had a shoulder-length bob. For a few seconds I was inwardly panicking, envisioning horrifying “bad hair days,” full of frizz and unruliness and general blah. But then JoJo set it right, spraying and clipping and snipping. He lectured me on split ends for a while, marveled at my hair’s natural curliness, and assured me of how cute it would look straightened. About 20 minutes later I was driving home, looking in the rearview mirror every few minutes to make sure that it had really happened. I couldn’t stop smiling.

I had timed the haircut in such a way that I wouldn’t have to confront my mother for at least 24 hours. I was expecting harsh words and wanted to give myself some time to get used to the new hair first. When she finally saw it though, she didn’t say anything. Not a word. Didn’t even acknowledge that anything was different. This went on for days. I was afraid to ask her directly what she thought of it, and she wasn’t about to give in and bring it up herself. A few days later, my sister told me she had asked Mom what she thought of my hair. My mother reportedly replied, “If Buddy [our family dog] had to get his hair shaved, I would still love him, but I wouldn’t like it. That’s how I feel about Gwen’s hair.” Needless to say, I was slightly upset.

To this day, my mother refuses to directly tell me what she thinks, and I refuse to make her. At this point, I don’t need her approval anymore. I am perfectly capable of making my own decisions concerning my appearance, and if all she has to say on the matter is “I disagree,” that is perfectly fine with me.

Besides all that though, I have had enough positive feedback from everyone I know, and plenty that I don’t to reassure me that I made the right choice. Everyone has said that they love it, and not just the obligatory, “oh, you got your hair cut... looks great.” Quite a few people have told me several times how lovely it is (to those people: thank you... your constant reassurance has been priceless). I was working one day and his little girl, about seven years old, whom I had never seen before in my life, came up to the counter, looked me straight in the eye and said, “I just love your hair!” No joke. It made my day.

With all of this in mind, how can I let the absence of my mother’s opinion bother me? Everyone around me likes it, I adore it and nothing else really matters.

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