A White mother married to a Black man found herself under harsh ridicule for brushing out their eldest daughter's curly hair.
The mother of two said that the oldest daughter resembles her "handsome" father and has curly hair that requires product and a lot of effort to maintain.
So she has resorted to brushing the child's hair regularly without objection from neither her husband nor their four-year-old.
But when her "woke" friends and family members accused her of making her little girl more "White," her guilty conscience led her to ask on Reddit if she was the a*****e for the grooming regimen.
"So I am white my husband is black and we have two daughters, ages 2 and 4. My 4 year old looks a lot like her (very handsome, if I might add) daddy. But she's got my texture hair with a massive amounts of curls that I usually am the one to take care of."
"Yesterday I brushed her hair in to a ponytail and put her in an old, very dated (but cute for the time!) outfit from when I was a kid in the 90's and recreated a photo of me when I was her age."
"I thought it was adorable but I received a lot of backlash from my 'woke' friends and family (on my side, for the record. I'm not close to his family and they all just 'heart' any pictures of my kids and rarely comment, if they do just to say they like the picture) accusing me of trying to make her 'white.'"
She explained the situation after feeling there was no way out.
"I've had underhanded comments before from them about 'erasing my kid's identity' for brushing her hair? She's a child. To maintain her curls to look good requires quite a bit of time and products."
"Often she just lets me brush the rat's nest out of it and calls it a day. Any time I style it, she sticks her hands in it and messes it up. What else can I do?"
"However, doing this does brush the curls out until her hair gets wet again. She HATES having her hair misted or dampened and it's too cold for that now anyway. My husband doesn't care. He's happy she's clean and fed."
"To wrap this up, I've had more than one person say I need to leave my more "black-passing" child's image alone and let her embrace being black, especially because, get this, my 2 year old is more 'white-passing' with wavy light hair and my blue eyes."
The concern evolved into one of sun tolerance, which affects her youngest daughter with lighter skin.
"Including what I feel is dangerous advice to let her play outside without sunscreen. We have no idea what her sun tolerance is and I'm not about to deal with a small child having a sunburn I gave her on purpose. I have a low sun tolerance and don't tan, just burn like a boiled lobster."
Even though her husband has had an active role in expressing what's good for their daughter, she couldn't help but feel judged by the hair police.
"I'm going to be honest, this all blows my mind a little bit. My husband has never said anything of the sort. I've asked him about it and he said I don't need to worry about it. I don't let these people anywhere near my kids in person and some of them I can't avoid or just cut off."
"So am I being an a*****e?"
Most responded saying she is NTA (Not The A*****e) and sided with her.
"NTA. They aren't 'anything-passing,' they're little kids and you're their mother. Their culture is what you and your husband want their culture to be and your friends are kind of being wildly racist saying that your daughter can't have her hair one way because she looks another way."
"As long as your husband is fine with the way you do her hair (or is willing to do it himself) then you keep doing you." – Foamsword21
Another user favored the kid, saying they should be allowed to sport whatever hairstyle they want.
"I'm a white girl and I used to do the craziest hairstyles. I got
flackflak as a kid for having corn rows. Because I was disrespecting another's culture."
"I just loved french braids and a bunch of tiny ones on my head sounded amazing. I also shaved the back of my head and had it longer in the front. People said I shouldn't try to look like a boy."
"I just liked playing with my hair. Like seriously, let kids be kids. I really appreciate that my mom let me do that. I do the same with my kids." – NakedAndALaid
"It's so annoying when people say someone can't have a certain hairstyle because you're disrespecting their culture. That culture doesn't own the hairstyle."
"It's only disrespectful if someone is wearing the hairstyle in a mocking way. Otherwise anyone can have any hairstyle they want and anyone who says otherwise can piss off." – Imconfusedithink
While some cautioned that White people should be mindful of cultural appropriation, others expressed that this scenario may be a non-issue for most African Africans.
"The problem arises when white people wear cornrows and people say 'Express yourself! Wear what you want!' but black people wear cornrows or natural hair or dreads and people say 'Just straighten it, it looks unprofessional, etc.'"
"There's also a line between appropriation and appreciation. If you wear cornrows because you genuinely like cornrows, fine (but you should be MORE willing to stick your neck out if you see black people with cornrows being treated differently than you are)."
"If you're Becky from Suburbia and you wear cornrows and start talking about being thug and gangsta and how hard your life is, you're treating it like a costume and that's not ok. It's a hairstyle, not a persona."
"Basically I agree with you but would like to add that there's nuance to the situation." – forget_the_hearse
"I'm white and had cornrows one hot, muggy summer. They were amazing. But my hair is so fine that they didn't last too long (they unraveled). I wore them because I appreciate the style and was not trying to appropriate anything."
"And in Houston, where this happened, it's very much a melting pot where the cultures blend together quite a bit. It's not uncommon to hear redneck white boys speaking Spanish or Vietnamese nationals making Cajun food, etc." – sillykinesis
"I'll prolly get downvoted for this, but I've noticed black people tend to expect biracial ppl to identify as black rather than biracial. Otherwise, they aren't considered black enough (meaning not black at all)."
"What's odd though is that white insecurity has permeated our culture so much now that the white people in this story are actually outraged on black people's behalf over this atrocity, when no actual black people seem to give a s**t. Hmmm..." – BanannyMousse
This biracial user supported mom.
"I'm mixed race as well and I had the same twists until the 7th grade cause I refused to keep my hair untangled. It's rough with these curls."
"Mama has to do what she can to manage it. The ones calling her out for it don't understand the struggle of mixed race hair. They are probably all one race. That's a different struggle. Let mama do her best." – Romazing628
The mother updated her post to acknowledge those with curly hair who voiced their opinions.
She also explained that it wasn't worth fighting her fussy daughter to meticulously style her hair every morning.
"It is not worth it to me or my husband to do that to her because she hates it so much and we are not willing to override her bodily autonomy just to make her hair look nice. It's just hair."
"What i'm doing is just getting the over-night matted rat's nest out. She does NOT have course hair. It is fine and smooth like mine and it because a matted mess just like mine, it can't be braided or put in a protective style, unfortunately. that will just rip her hair out. not that she would tolerate that, anyway."
Overall, mom received the verdict of NTA, not the a$hole from Reddit.
What do you think?
Hairdressers learn their craft on mannequin heads. For under $30, you can get HAIREALM Afro Mannequin Head with 100% Human Hair and a clamp to attach the head to a table or other work area, available here.
Other lengths, textures and styles of hair are also available. Whether to practice hairstyles for a child or just to have fun, these mannequins are a step up from the synthetic doll heads many of us played with as children.