Or maybe 1 1/2.
When I was in Assumption in the mid ’80s, I got called to the principal’s office a couple of times for wearing my skirt too long (the prescribed length was knee-) and my school shoes were witch’s boots.
When the principal questioned my fashion choices, I said that I was actually being conservative with the long skirt, and if Laura Ingalls wore boots to school, why couldn’t I?
Guess what? I actually got away with it. The following year, four other girls lengthened their skirt to mid-calf, and the year after that more girls followed, until it became the norm.
The boots I eventually gave up for penny loafers.
Thirty years later, I have two teenage boys in a Catholic school. Mark is 14 and Ben is 15. They now refuse to have their photos posted on my blog or social media.
Both sport long curly hair on top, shaved short on the sides.
Ben’s bangs are so long, he could actually sport this hairstyle if he wanted to.
But no, Ben doesn’t want to be weird. He is actually just following the norm hairstyle.
So yesterday I heard that both got a warning from their teachers to cut their hair. One of them even threatened Markus, “Pag hindi mo ginupit yan, kakalbuhin kita!”
Honestly, I’m appalled that an educator would use those words on my son.
I can’t believe we pay tuition fee to have people like that threaten our kids in such harsh language. Surely there must be a better way of talking to him.
Mark asked me, “I don’t understand what hair has to do with education.”
So I told him the story about my skirt and boots and the principal’s office. I also told him, during the ’70s, long hair was the norm, so I’m pretty sure boys could go to school with hair like this. I have a La Salle yearbook to prove it.
Ben went ahead an had his hair trimmed today, but Markus was sick and had to stay home.
This has to be my karma, I thought. It is partly my fault because I kept their hair super short as kids and they are traumatized by their kiddie photos. Personally I want them to have shorter hair. But the kids don’t want what their parents want. So help me God.