In a recent Reddit post shared to the “Am I the A**hole?” subreddit, a mother worried she was the “a**hole” for combing out her biracial child’s curls.
The mother went on to explain that she had brushed her curly-haired daughter’s hair into a ponytail and recreated an outfit that she herself had worn in the ’90s. After posting the image, she “received a lot of backlash from my ‘woke’ friends and family.”
Mom Combs Out Biracial Daughter’s Curly Hair, Gets Called Out by Friends and Family
Her post begins:
So I am white my husband is black and we have two daughters, ages 2 and 4. My 4 year old looks a lot like her (very handsome, if I might add) daddy. But she’s got my texture hair with a massive amounts of curls that I usually am the one to take care of. Yesterday I brushed her hair in to a ponytail and put her in an old, very dated (but cute for the time!) outfit from when I was a kid in the 90’s and recreated a photo of me when I was her age. I thought it was adorable but I received a lot of backlash from my “woke” friends and family (on my side, for the record. I’m not close to his family and they all just “heart” any pictures of my kids and rarely comment, if they do just to say they like the picture) accusing me of trying to make her “white”.– Reddit
Her daughter, she writes, has very fine-textured hair like her own, but also has a “massive amount of curls.” She wrote that in order to truly maintain the curls, she would have to use “quite a bit of time and products” which she and her daughter don’t want to spend time doing. She noted that she, her husband, and her daughter don’t care either way — they’re all just happy if her daughter’s hair is up and out of the way.
However, the mother writes she’s had multiple people tell her she should leave her “black-passing” child alone and leave her hair as is.
I’ve had underhanded comments before from them about “erasing my kid’s identity” for brushing her hair? She’s a child. To maintain her curls to look good requires quite a bit of time and products. Often she just lets me brush the rat’s nest out of it and calls it a day. Any time I style it, she sticks her hands in it and messes it up. What else can I do? However, doing this does brush the curls out until her hair gets wet again. She HATES having her hair misted or dampeded and it’s too cold for that now anyway. My husband doesn’t care. He’s happy she’s clean and fed.– Reddit
Most people sided with the poster, confirming that she is not an asshole.
“They aren’t ‘anything-passing,’ they’re little kids and you’re their mother,” one poster wrote. “Their culture is what you and your husband want their culture to be and your friends are kind of being wildly racist saying your daughter have her hair one way because she looks another way.”
“If what you’re doing works for her, that’s all that is important,” another wrote.
The mom later added an update to the post, which says in part:
My husband and i both have worked hard to figure out how to care for her hair. He does play an active role in coming up with what she needs and i execute it. If i was willing to fight her tooth and nail every morning, i could style it into pretty curls, sure. But it is not worth it to me or my husband to do that to her because she hates it so much and we are not willing to override her bodily autonomy just to make her hair look nice. It’s just hair. What i’m doing is just getting the over-night matted rat’s nest out. She does NOT have course hair.– Reddit
It sounds like, no, this mom is not the “a**hole” in this situation. She’s doing the best she can.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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