Different experience completely, but like the other poster commented, my father also made us girls have long hair. My mom had no patience to do all that brushing and would work fast, which hurt, and we would cry and protest. She’d throw the brush down and they’d have another argument about it. My dad would brush our hair that day, then the whole thing would start over.
When I was 12 I cut my hair chin length. My father’s disappointment was palpable. This is a common story among women I’ve met. Its kind of gross, the need for men to exhibit this control but also to make young girls into THEIR idea of beauty.
All women — all people — but especially young women who are vulnerable and bombarded with harmfully twisted notions of what they must be, need to have the space and freedom to look the way their bodies were meant to look.
If I am too young to brush my hair and it turns into matts of dirt because I play in the woods all day —let me cut my damn hair. If another child has big hair that runs wild and she loves it, let her wear it with pride. Children are not “mini me’s” for their parents or any other adults to mold in their image, they are human beings.
Your experience is of a whole other level of racially driven oppression of young girls and it is absolutely infuriating. Thank you for the enlightening article and window into your story.