• Various/Onna Carr

I Was a Rebel

Post by Onna Carr

When I was fourteen-years-old, I rebelled by growing my hair out. It was not that I particularly felt rebellious, but I did feel that as a girl it was okay for me to have longer hair and to grow out my bangs. I also felt that at the age of fifteen, if I wanted to grow my hair longer, this was my decision to make, from a logical standpoint of self-expression. This caused about three years of quiet conflict with my mother and my paternal grandmother, who thought the sight of me growing out my bangs was bothersome to the eyes initially and that long hair in general was a bit odd.

I have wondered now, over sixteen years later, still with my long hair and bang-less, why this decision regarding my hairstyle caused such a quiet conflict for so long. I think the first reason for this is that if I feel that something makes sense for me, I will go ahead and do it, especially if the opposing party/parties cannot provide me with a good reason but only that they "do not like it."

I have come to realize that the main reason my mother and grandmother did not like me growing my hair longer was because they themselves kept their hair rather short and both had bangs, and they did not understand why someone would want to have their hair long, since they themselves did not. Also, I think it troubled them that I was growing up, and making my own decisions as a teenager on my appearance, and this was also hard for them as well.

Once I became an adult, my mother came to me one day. She told me that she could finally see why I decided to grow out my hair, and that overall it finally made more sense to her. I was glad we had this moment, and that the conflict around this issue was resolved.

As I get older and raise my own children, I realize that I too will have opportunities to engage in quiet conflicts with my kids. I think having experienced this minor conflict as a kid, I will be able to hopefully realize that some things are worth the constructive discussion, and some things, at least for me, never will be.

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