It is really quite amazing when you think of the role hair plays in our self-esteem. It is why the wig and hair extension businesses are recession proof. And why receding hair lines and the emergence of bald spots are such traumatizing experiences for men, and women. And when we think of sexy, beautiful women, it is rare that the image does not include long, flowing locks. And think of the power of blonde hair in our society, the color conferring both positive and negative traits on the person.
So if hair is so important for everybody in our society it is not surprising that it also plays a very important role in the psyche of Mixed kids, whose hair can run the gamut. Why would they be immune?
I noticed my son, whose hair is an interesting brown, curly-straight combo, has been dying for his hair to be long and seemingly straight, as is the style of so many of his teen friends, many of them being White and Asian, so therefore most have straight hair. Being that his hair is somewhat curly, it is hard for him to accept that it just won’t grow into a style that is similar to some of those friends.
I don’t think this is a sign that he is having problems being Mixed, but rather, like for most in our society, he is a person who wants to have the look that is the most popular or wanted at the time. And being a teen, that pressure is even greater. And it exists for kids of all colors who happen to have hair that is not the style most common or popular.
In time I suspect my son will grow to love his hair and its distinctiveness, much as he says he loves being Mixed. But for now, dealing with all those differences, including hair texture and style, is just another thing to deal with in recognizing that we are all different and yet we are all the same.