Every time I see a photo of Gwen Stefani’s unbelievably adorable son, Kingston, I cringe a little.
What’s with the bleach?
I understand it’s Gwen’s trademark (although I don’t understand how she’s not bald by now) but why does a little boy need bleached hair? I’m pretty sure she’s been bleaching Kingston’s hair since the little guy was barely 2-years-old.
I don’t fancy myself judgmental, I’m not the finger-wagging type and generally subscribe to the theory that one should mind one’s business when it comes to the raising of children – but bleaching a toddler’s hair, what is that about? And don’t give me any crap about how Kingston wants his hair like that. Ain’t no 2-year-old that I know asking mama to give him Marilyn Monroe blond. And even if Kingston, or any child, is a precocious fashion maven at the tender age of two, it’s up to parents to draw the line. My toddler likes to experiment with my lipstick but I don’t line her lips, top it off with gloss and take her out on the town. Why? Because A – it sends her a very wrong message and B – it’s just plain creepy.
Really, this isn’t about Kingston at all. This is entirely about Gwen and her reputation as a cutting edge designer and rock chick; Kingston’s simply another accessory, just like her platform shoes and red lipstick.
So what about other very young children I see with bleached hair? Yup, it’s all about their parents too. You’ve got these tiny kids, dressed to the nines in Converse All-Stars, skinny jeans and the perfect t-shirt with bleached hair. All that screams to me is mom and dad are WAY too concerned about image and are using their children as accessories to better display their cool factor.
Sure, we all dress our kids in ways that please us, but they have to wear something, don’t they? They don’t HAVE TO have blond hair. Dragging a kid to a salon or into your bathroom at home and slathering chemicals onto their hair is another matter entirely. Dare I say it makes me think it’s something Hitler would do if his kids turned out brunette, which, considering his hair color, would’ve been a very distinct possibility. I know, I know, you’re going to give me grief for the Hilter anecdote, but seriously, people! Bleaching a tiny child’s hair is jacked up and the fact that so many people think it’s “cute” or “adorable” freaks me out. Either I am officially old and out of touch or society really is that messed up. I don’t know which one I’m hoping for.
We’d all cluck our tongues at the moms who bleach their daughters’ hair for those abominations that pass as beauty pageants, right? So what’s the difference when you bleach you kid’s hair for kicks? And no, I don’t care if your child is six and is old enough to ask you if they can bleach their hair. What are we doing to our children? What are we teaching our children? To change their appearance to impress society? It’s a slippery slope from a little hair bleach to Botox for kids.
It’s all in fun, you say. It’s only hair, you say. Would you feel the same way if Kingston were a girl? I daresay the world would gasp in horror if some middle America mama were bleaching her 3-year-old daughter’s hair, curling it to high hell and parading her around the local Walmart. What kind of values is that mom teaching her daughter, we’d all wonder? So why is it different and “cute” as I’ve heard some people say, for a boy?
I will say this: I’m on the fence about hair color for kids old enough to ask for it. Not a total change of hair color but if my daughter turns eight or nine and wants to put a purple streak in her hair for fun, I’d have to think about it but I’d probably say yes. I’m all about self-expression when it’s the expression of self and not the expression of some toddler’s wacky parents, looking to impress the world with their astounding fashion sense.
What about you? What do you think about moms who bleach their kids’ hair? Does the gender of the child make you feel differently even though it’s a double-standard? Do you, like me, feel like hair color is slightly different?
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