Re: Dealing with parent's discomfort over long hair

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Posted by native carolinian (other posts) on October 03, 2019 at 08:14:57 Previous Next

In Reply to: Re: Dealing with parent's discomfort over long hair posted by Avi on October 02, 2019 at 06:26:07:

: Thanks so much for the long message. I felt so much better after reading all that :) I definitely hope it will not be an issue in my field. Engineering is a diverse group of people of all appearance so I think I will be accepted there; indeed, my classes have plenty of other long-haired guys too.

: Ah, you're American Indian! Interestingly enough, everyone out here in Texas mistakes me for Native American; I have to specify I'm South Asian, which I didn't have to in San Francisco. They always cite my hair as the reason; they tell me that American Indian men are known for having straight, black, long hair; mine is also straight black and long. I wish I could grow a beard; I'm only 18, so hopefully I'll be able to grow one in time. As of now I can't, but my cousin who is 23 can, and he said to wait a year or two. I do find it difficult to meet women since I myself get mistaken for a girl a lot of the time, but hopefully with a beard I won't have as difficult of a time.

: My parents are 1500 miles away as you said, so I shouldn't be too concerned about it. I'm hoping to grow my hair to my waist so I'm going to have it for a long while, maybe even the rest of my life if I feel like its who I want to be in the end. They'll just have to get used to it. I just wish they weren't so offended by it.

: Anyways best of luck with your hair and career :) Thanks a lot!

Hey Avi, glad you enjoyed reading the tome I wrote. Thank you for the well-wishes in my career. I really appreciate it. I looked at your picture. You could pass for Dine (Navajo) or another Athabaskan tribal group. I am glad that you can fit in in your classes with your hair. I had tailbone length hair at one point. It took about 4 years to get to that length for me. Long hair is doable :)

I am glad that you were able to be re-assured by what I wrote. I think at this point looking at your photograph that you should just let your hair grow out. I think it is neat what you said about beards and such. I encourage you to be patient and listen to your cousin on this one. Who knows, you may start a beard sooner than two years.

On the mis-recognition as a woman issue, this only takes time to deal with. I deal with that to some degree. It becomes funny because you really get to know which guys do not respect women. In my experience one learns quickly how a woman must feel many times when she is being checked out by a disrespectful man. Having long hair will probably help you be more compassionate and empathetic with women. Hair is also a good filter for those women who are really interested in the whole picture of who you are.

I am so glad that you do not have any shame feelings to do with long hair. That is great. Maybe you can ask them why they find long hair offensive. It may be a beneficial segway for you into discussions about self-determination, self-differentiation and assertiveness. Parents can sometimes fail to register that a child of theirs is now an adult. In Cherokee, one of the languages I speak as first languages, there are two different words for child. One means a "non-adult child", and one means "a child who is an adult". The fact that there is a parental relationship does not change, the events in that relationship do change between being a non-adult child and an adult child. College/University is a great time to start that transition discussion. I hope it goes well.

Please keep us up-dated as things grow, change and progress.

Be well (standard cultural ending to letters/encounters in person, we do not have a way to say "good-bye" in most of our languages, so "Be Well" is how we end conversations for the moment in anticipation that we will talk or see each other again :)).

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