Babysitter cuts 11-year-old’s hair without permission from parents; parents furious

Lefty Graves

** This article is based on nonfiction by actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.

My brother, sister, and I were raised in a very conservative family. There were a few rules that were to be adhered to as we were growing up; the boys had to wear shirts with a collar; however, the rules especially applied to girls and their hair. Finally, we were to be “church ready” at a moment's notice.

Girls were to have long hair just as stated in the Bible in I Corinthians 11:6 “6: For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.” NIV

One weekend, my brother and I had some things going on for school that required us to be out of town. Naturally, our parents weren’t about to allow us to go without an appropriate chaperone, so both of our parents went with us. This meant that our younger sister, age 11, would have to go and stay at someone else’s house until our return.

Our sister had always wanted a cute pixie haircut. I’m not sure if her desire was to be more carefree or just because the word sounded cute, but she had repeatedly asked our mother and father for permission to cut her hair into a pixie cut. Of course, being the conservative religious parents they were, they cited I Corinthians 11:6 and made our sister read the verse and memorize it every time she asked permission to cut her hair.

Our parents were adamant that she not cut her hair, and they made sure that we all knew their stand on the matter. This information was also preached to us at our church on a regular basis, and everyone who attended church there had long hair. Thus, when the time came to leave town, my parents felt that a person from the church would be ideal for my sister to stay with while we were out of town. Our parents thought that they had chosen this person very carefully. However, what happened next was anything but what our parents would have allowed.

Upon our return a week later, my parents walked into the church lady’s house, and our sister was sitting in her living room awaiting our arrival. As they walked into this lady’s house, our parents didn’t recognize our sister. The lady had allowed our sister to get her pixie hair cut. I have to say that my brother and I were amazed, and her hair looked great on her.

Unfortunately, our mother was furious, and our father was very upset as well. They collected our sister's things that she had with her and escorted all 3 of us out to the car. Upon entering the car, our parents began lecturing our sister on sin and how God was frowning on her.

That Sunday, in church, the pastor mentioned at the beginning of the service that God was very displeased with several people in the church. He didn’t name our sister or the lady that had allowed her to cut her hair, but he definitely insinuated both of their names

Today, I’d be hard-pressed to say who I truly felt was at fault here. On one hand, my sister had the right to choose her own hairstyle; however, since she was a minor at the time, one would beg the argument that her parents had the ultimate say in her hairstyle choice. As to the lady in the church who allowed her to cut her hair, she should have known what was expected of her since she attended the same church. Today, my sister and I still laugh about the shocked expression on our parents’ faces when they saw her. Our brother laughs at how speechless mother was in that one moment (something we never had happen in other situations). Who do you think was at fault? The sitter? The parents? Our sister?

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Lefty has been writing online since 2000 on various topics, including youth mentoring, addiction recovery, parenting, gardening, advocating for seniors, sustainability, farming, and an eclectic mix of other topics. She resides on a farm with her family in Northeastern Washington state.

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