Not just hair, but long hair.

My son has hair down to the middle of his back. Now for me, I have accepted this and he looks like Calvin with his long hair. However, I am worried that his long hair is affecting his social life and could affect his job opportunities this summer. With recent University events that required his monetary contribution, he REALLY needs a job this summer.

If his hair was a thick and wavy as Thor’s, I don’t think this would be a problem. However, Calvin’s gene pool dictates that he has straight fine hair that just hangs there. So, I have started a campaign of trying to get him to bring it up to a “longish collar length”. I even enlisted a young cute hairdresser to help, but he was dogmatic about the length of his hair and amount she trimmed off.

I have to say that my campaign is not going well and it goes against everything I stand for. I do not believe in going along with the crowd just for the sake of belonging. However, I do think that those of us who want to be individuals have to think about a few things:
1. There are “norms” that we still should operate under.
2. If you are different from everyone else, you have to accept the consequences.
3. The consequences may be that you don’t get as many dates or the ideal job early in your career.
4. Back up being different by being excellent in your career field, manners, and everything else.

Even with my “rules”, looks do matter. Apparently, we are endowed with an evolutionary history for categorizing things into “threatening” and “non-threatening” and that’s why we have survived all these years. So, certain things have become the accepted norm for each of these categories. Take these norms and add in the fact that over time, it is easier to change ethnic stereotypes than it is to change gender stereotypes, my son is fighting an uphill battle.

I am proud of him for creating who he is and how he looks. However, I know that at this time in his life, things would be a little easier on him, if he just modified his look a little……like by 6 inches of hair. We’ll see about that as the job search continues and the need to build up savings overrides the need for long hair.

Cheers to all you other individuals out there. What do YOU do to be different from others? (Keep it clean, please)


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