It started two months ago. At first I was delighted that my six and half year old was actually brushing his hair. On his own. Without his mother having to YELL AT HIM. I prayed that his sudden interest in groomed hair would lead to other hygienic improvements. Like not whining when it was time for a shower or actually brushing his teeth instead of just sucking all the toothpaste. By last week I knew that this had nothing to do with personal hygiene.
It was his sad attempt at imitating Justin Bieber.
In some ways, I feel sorry for the kid. With more than one cowlick, his hair lies only forward and flat. No matter how much he tries to get the famous wave, it always ends up the same: flat and forward. He’d be better off wanting Harry Potter’s hair. At least in the story books, Harry’s hair is just as unruly.
In other ways, I wish my son wouldn’t be so drawn to the Bieber hairstyle or any style that is popularized by some mainstream outlet, for that matter. I want him to be himself. I don’t want him to just pick something because his friends at school think it’s cool. And I know that his desire to have “the wave” is just that. My son didn’t even know who Justin Bieber was until school started. He’s never heard Bieber’s one hit wonder of a song unless some first grader has smuggled in an iPod to school. This is our first dip into the pool of peer pressure and I don’t want him to the swimming here. Not at six years old.
I also remember being so jealous when Shannon got the Madonna bob of the 80s. I so wanted that hair. I WANTED THAT HAIR. And I didn’t get it. Shannon did. Turns out it wasn’t such a bad decision on my parents’ part to not let me get that style. There is only one Madonna. The hair cut just didn’t work for Shannon and she eventually grew it out again. But I still remember that feeling of being told no. Over hair. Something totally not life-changing. Something that can be cut or grown out in no time. Something that really isn’t worth the battle.
In the end, I told my six and half year old that he could grow out his hair a la Justin Bieber but it couldn’t fall into his eyes. And that if he ever does that annoying head flip to keep his “wave,” I will immediately buzz cut his hair faster than he can say “I’m a Belieber!”