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Samantha Turnbull Writer, mother, anti-princess

Libby

‘Only boys have short hair’

I make bald babies.

Jonah is almost nine months old and pulls off the baldness well. He has a big, perfectly round head with a teeny, tiny smattering of white, blonde hairs on top.

Bald bubbas

Libby was just the same. It took her about three years to grow enough fine, wispy hair to pull up into a piggy-tail half the length of my pinky.

She is three-and-a-half now and, in my humble non-biased mumma opinion, she has a head full of beautiful honey-coloured curls.

Libby

But she’s starting to feel a little different.

Libby is still a year or two off needing a cut. Her hair is still thin and it sits just below her earlobes.

At her daycare centre, at least three of her best friends have long, flowing hair that falls beneath their shoulders.

“Mum, why is my hair short?” Libby asked this week.

“It’s not that short,” I said. “It’s growing every day.”

“But it’s not as long as Sophia’s.”

“Well, we’re all different. We all have different hair. Different colours, different lengths. You have beautiful curls and Sophia’s hair is straight.”

“Am I a boy?”

“Of course you’re not a boy, you know you’re a girl.”

“But only boys have short hair. Girls are supposed to have long hair.”

I paused to think of girls or women with short hair I could use as examples to prove Libby wrong.

I started thinking of celebrities like Halle Berry, Ginnifer Goodwin, Michelle Williams… Miley Cyrus… hmmmm. Libby wouldn’t know who any of those women were. Hopefully.

What about cartoon characters? Lisa Simpson? I guess those yellow triangles don’t really count. Velma from Scooby Doo? A bit too retro.

Then it came to me – Dora! Libby loves Dora the Explorer.

“Dora has short hair,” I said.

Libby’s eyes narrowed.

“Not my Dora dolls,” she said. “They have long hair.”

She was right. For some reason, the merchandising gods of the world decided to glamourise their Dora dolls with waist-length hair and ridiculous lashes. Great.

Dora doll

The moment passed and I checked my Instagram feed.

A childhood friend I hadn’t seen since primary school had just got married. She posted a picture of herself in a vintage-looking lace dress and, lo and behold, a cropped pixie-style haircut.

“Libby come here,” I said. “Look at my friend. She’s wearing a lovely wedding dress, and she has short hair.”

Libby grabbed my phone and studied the picture.

She was sold.

“She’s beautiful,” Libby said.

Thanks Amy (Instagram bride).

Instagram bride

One response to “‘Only boys have short hair’”

  1. Leanne says:

    I know of another ‘stunner’ with short hair – Emily W (I wont post her full name!!) from our American camp days. Show Lib a picture of her – she will be even more sold!! Xs

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