Parents, appearance, and opinions

This is a repost blog.

Original posts by Letter Writer #688 at Captain Awkward. Only the letter writer’s content is reproduced here; to read Captain Awkward’s advice, click through to original links.

13 Apr 2015: #688: Parents, appearance, and opinions

Hi Awkward team,

Last fall, I decided to get an undercut — long hair with a side shave — and I love it! It looks super cute on me and it feels really good to be able to signal my queerness in an additional way. When I went home for Christmas, my mother was aghast. I said that it was my hair, I liked it, and she was welcome to cut her hair in whatever way she chose. She pouted and mumbled something about how at least it wasn’t a tattoo. (To which I responded, I reserve the right to do that if I want to, too.) I thought this would be the end of it, but almost every time I’ve talked to her since, we have this conversation”:
Mom: [out of nowhere] I just want you to know your hair will grow back.
Me: …. I’m aware? But I like it this way, and I’m going to keep it like this for a while.
And then she spends a while trying to convince me that I am going to get tired of the maintenance or I’m going to find that’s it’s not professional enough.

I don’t know exactly what her deal is, but it doesn’t matter, because I am super tired of talking about it. I’m 30! It’s my hair!

What’s a good script to squash this conversation the next time it comes up?

At Least She’s Not Bugging Me About Grandkids This Week

5 January 2017: UPDATE on an Open Thread

I’m LW 688 aka My mom hates my haircut!”

I found everyone’s comments INCREDIBLY validating.

The next time I was on the phone with my mom, she brought up my hair again, and I said, I don’t want to talk about my haircut.” She was stunned into silence, and then changed the subject. I was like, OH MY GOD, is it really that easy?????? (It was not). At the end of the conversation, she was like, I just want to leave you with this wisdom: You’re gay, and that’s not going to change, but you can still be cute.”

And I was like, …I AM cute, but the way that I look and feel cute as a gay woman is different than if I were a straight woman.”

And she said, Well, when does it stop being different?”

I said, Mom, it’s always going to be different.”

She had one more extinction burst via text message, which I did not respond to. But then she actually did stop bugging me about my hair! This root issue here — my mom wanting me to look more feminine / not gay / her definition of cute — has not been solved, and it has definitely popped up in other ways ( the latest being around clothing). It does kind of feel like whack-a-mole, though I feel like I’m getting better at whacking, and I think that’s a success!


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August 31, 2023