I do not get the current hairstyles of today's male youth. We work with the teens at our church, so I see the variety of "styles" weekly at least. The bushy hair that has no shape and hasn't seen a styling product in who knows how long. Or the plastered-down-over-the-forehead-and-ears-like-a-helmet look. Or the long "bangs" swept to the side, which are possibly a worse contribution to society by Justin Bieber than his music. I understand buzz cuts, spiky crew cuts, even long hair that is washed and conditioned, but this completely unkempt, not long and not short, as bushy on the sides as it is on the top business is utter nonsense to me. I know I sound like a crotchety old woman, completely resistant to change and the fashion choices of the next generation. But that's not it at all. I just don't like it- I think it looks sloppy and lazy. I remember a kid in high school who would routinely not comb or style his hair, because "Why should I? I don't have to look at it." He was a cool and funny kid, and we all laughed with him about his choice to deviate from the norm in that little area. But his hair did look awful. My point? Almost every teen I know right now has hair that looks just like that kid's did, only it's supposedly their "style."
C-Ray was due for a haircut. His hair was looking very much like the "styles" I have just described. I had been telling him for several days that it was time, but just hadn't found the time to do it. I helped chaperone a field trip with Faithie's class yesterday. I noticed that, even in third grade, the boys were sporting this supposed "style." I have been trying to let my 3 older kids start making some small decisions about their appearances. I have hopes that if I don't dictate and over-regulate the things that really don't matter, like hairstyles, my kids won't be as likely to rebel later on in the areas that do. I'm not talking about compromising standards, just choosing the battles that will actually impact their futures, their testimonies before the Lord, their ability to become productive members of society. I had the thought that maybe C-Ray didn't want his usual short crew cut, that maybe he felt self-conscious that his hair was shorter than his peers. So I asked him, "Hey buddy, do you want me to cut your hair? Or do you want to keep it longer, like some of your friends have it?" I held my breath a little, waiting for his answer, and the thoughts raced through my mind, "Oh, how I hate those hairstyles. I hate how shaggy you look right now. I'm gonna have to do some fast talking with your father to let you keep it like this. Why did I just put that option out there?" I didn't have to hold my breath for long, as he answered, "No, I want a haircut. My head is always sweaty and my hair keeps sticking up funny." Smart kid. I know a whole bunch of teens that should take notes ;)