Teaching my kids about identity through blue hair

This morning, I was looking through pictures from the last year on my instagram account, laughing at the silly ones and smiling at the memories. To be perfectly honest, I was going back to look at photos from last February because I couldn’t for the life of me remember what in the world we did for my eldest’s birthday last year. oops. Does anyone else use social media as a memory organizer? In my defense, it’s been a year and she couldn’t remember either!

As I was scrolling through the ones from last summer, I saw several of me when I had blue streaks in my hair. I stopped and looked at them, because I feel like I have had so many conversations lately about me putting blue in my hair and how crazy it seems to most people…since I am a 30 year old mother of three, heh. But, for one, it sounds more extreme than it actually was, just look. You could barely see it unless my hair moved just right, or I had it up.

But also? I loved it. I think it was super neat looking and if it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg AND take up a whole saturday of bleaching and dying and washing, I’d totally keep it done. But mostly? It was not about what I thought of it…or anyone else above the age of seven, actually. It was done with a very intentional purpose.

You see, there are three young people living in my house who have HUGE jobs of kingdom work to do one day, and I needed to send them a clear message.

We live in a lovely part of a lovely city. We really do love living here. But, it cannot be denied that it’s definitely a more affluent, white-raced area. It doesn’t mean the people here aren’t awesome. It doesn’t mean the people around us don’t need Jesus and love and friendship. It just means that most of the people around here look like us. And after living here less than a year, I began noticing the way my children noticed people who didn’t look just like us. Suddenly, people who weren’t dressed nice or who looked eclectic in taste or flat out down on their luck seemed not as approachable to them as people who stepped out of an suv wearing chacos. And, Disney and their marketing and princesses hasn’t helped matters, even though we love Disney.

I am grateful we live on a safe street. I’m grateful we live in an area with a good school zone (yeaahh we homeschool, but you never know ;)). But, that’s just where we live. It’s not our identity. And I really needed to drive that fact home with my girls. Talk after talk didn’t work, because? it’s just talk. So, I decided to try something I’ve wanted to do for years and been too afraid of what some might think. I dyed my hair. (honestly, it was between that or a nose stud, but I figured the metal detectors at the prison would make that one an issue.)

My girls thought it was weird, and then they thought I looked like a mermaid. (do mermaids have blue hair?) And several of my friends posted heart eyed emojis to my pics of it, and it was cute. But I remember the first look I got of disgust in front of my girls. My oldest especially noticed, and asked why a woman gave me such a weird look. I laughed and explained that she didn’t seem to care for my hair, and had actually even said something about it. But, I told her that it really didn’t bother me. That it’s just hair, and there will never be a way to make everyone happy, and you never should even try when it comes to appearances, or anything else for that matter! Plus, that it’s truly crazy for someone to care about what another person’s hair looks like. crazy.

I told her we ask ourselves if what someone says about us is true, then if we’ve been selfish or hurtful. If so, we apologize and repent. If not, we shake it off and remember that God made us uniquely, He made me to love crazy color in my hair and others not to. She smiled and said, “like how I like to dress in sweats or comfy clothes, and other girls like to dress up?” Exactly, baby. You. Be. YOU.

Something I did notice? I noticed how disarming being myself was to some. I got compliments from cashiers and women working in restaurants. I had something to talk about when the women in the prison noticed it, and talked about wishing they were out and had the freedom to do something fun in their hair, or just cover their roots!

When we ignore the fear of what others might think of how we look, we can embrace the opportunity to love others no matter how they might look.

Because? I have a seven year old who loves to wear whatever is comfy. She is my wild bird of a girl, and she hates to be constricted by anything. What if she is called to live in a third world country? What if she’s called to marry a boy who will live out his life serving God in a meaningful work that builds up treasure in heaven but not so much money in the bank here? What if she never marries and that’s her purpose?? Good. Great! But I don’t want her held back in fear of what she looks like.

Because? I have a six year old who doesn’t understand why a tiara isn’t an everyday accessory for everyone. She has four she wears interchangeably, depending on the outfit. And that’s great! That is just so her. But, does that mean that she should always look like that? That when she sees people who aren’t dressed up in whatever the adult equivalent of a tutu, tiara, and fairy wings are, that she’ll view them as not as great as her? Should it be the gateway of pride in her life? heck. no. She’s a warrior. She has passion and an eye for detail. That girl can sit for hours focusing on one piece of work, losing track of the time. The rest of the time, she can’t sit still! She’s got to go and move and live! God has great work for her to do, and if she wears a tiara while doing it? well, He and I both won’t be surprised at all.

and Because? WHO. KNOWS. what that little one will do. a mixture of storm and quiet all balled up in one. I pray that she uses her passion to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves, and she uses that quiet to love and speak words that bring life.

Is any of this possible if they think a woman looks less because she has blue in her hair? probably not. Sure, they can still serve and love, but I am putting all my eggs in three baskets. I am loving Jesus and chasing Him and hoping so hard that they catch the same bug and chase after Him. and? it’s just hair. It’s just shoes. it’s just stuff. it’s just right now….but oh, eternity.  and? I hope all my hair is blue there 😉

3 comments on “Teaching my kids about identity through blue hair

  1. Laurel had electric blue streaks put in her hair when she was your age, and people promptly lost their minds. Some loved it, some gave her a side-eye, and some of the mothers with kids Kenzie’s age at church were quite, well, judgmental. Like you, she just shook her head and laughed. And she asked the judgmental ones why it bothered them. After all, it was just hair. They had no good answer. Kenzie is twelve now and sports a lot of bubblegum pink in her curly hair. Because she doesn’t get fussed over what anyone else thinks. Because her mom once had blue hair. You go, Heather. You’re doing it right.

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