Self expression isn’t always about painting, sculpting or filming.
Sometimes, it’s the smaller choices that truly express who we are.
Whether it’s the haircut, the shoes or the wardrobe, we express ourselves in a variety of ways every day.
What happens, though, when our self-expression isn’t to the liking of someone else.
Should we change? Should they?
This puzzle brought Redditor and Original Poster (OP) h-fgw to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for a possible solution.
“WIBTA (Would I Be The A**hole) if I didn’t dye my hair?”
She began with the background.
“I (Female -21) have been dyeing my hair various colours since I was 16.”
“Before I moved out of my family home my mother (F52) used to ‘approve’ the colours I would choose.”
“Eventually I moved out of her house and stopped having to live my life by the rules she set, however, I moved into the same city where my mother works, only a short commute from my family home.
“Because of the close proximity, my mother feels entitled to continue to have control in my life.”
Then she explained the problem.
“She recently came to me with a ‘request’.”
“She wants me to dye my hair a ‘natural’ colour for Christmas so that she can take family photos. I told her that there was little chance of that happening.”
“She didn’t take kindly to that.”
OP explained her point of view.
“On one hand, my hair is currently blue (a hard colour to remove) and I’m not planning for it to be normal anytime soon.”
“Dyeing it a normal colour wouldn’t be cheap, and also wouldn’t be very easy.”
“Also if I continue to give into my mother’s ‘requests’, I continue to let her run my life.”
“It would also be an untruthful representation of myself and our family.”
But acknowledged that there were two sides in this.
“On the other hand, I could just suck it up and do it.”
“I don’t want to upset or hurt anyone, and after all it’s just hair.”
“Is it worth potentially being TAH?”
She was left conflicted.
“WIBTA if I left my hair the way it is?”
Having laid out the problem, OP turned to Reddit for their feedback.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some gave examples.
“My daughter was newly married and pregnant with her rainbow baby.”
“She shaved one side of her head and dyed her hair.”
“Got a nose piercing and eyebrows pierced.”
“Her FIL(Father-in-Law) made a stink about it and happened to ask me what I thought of it.”
“Said he didn’t think an adult woman who was pregnant should look like that.”
“I told him that what she looks like has no bearing on her ability to parent.”
“What you look like has no bearing on who you are.”~Possible-Tadpole6004
“My (34F) hair is currently blue.”
“My dad and I recently went to visit some family friends recently.”
“One of them knows my dad pretty well and said to him ‘how do you feel about this?’ (referring to the hair) and my dad said ‘it’s immaterial. She likes it’.”
“My dad is not a big fan of unnatural hair colour/makeup but will go out of his way to be appreciative if I look like I’ve made an effort with blue hair/green lipstick/whatever because he knows it’s about how I feel about it, not his opinions.”
“I am admittedly biased but I think this is not just the reasonable reaction but the bare minimum expectation.”
“You should be able to expect not just acceptance but a lack of hostility, especially for something as inconsequential as hair colour.”
Others praised the power of modern science.
“With all of our wonderful technological advances, cameras now function in the presence of blue hair so your mom doesn’t have to worry about not being able to take a picture.”
“Seriously though, your mom has no say.”
“This is not a normal request for one adult to make of another.”
“She has overstepped and will continue to do so if you allow her to.”
“Have a very merry blue-haired Christmas!”~FireballisMyFriend
Responses were very supportive of OP’s position.
“You are 21 years old and out of the house.”
“Look behind you.”
“Do you see anything that looks like an umbilical cord? No?”
“Then keep telling her nicely that it’s your hair, your choice.”
“My daughter had the mermaid blue hair in graduating colors and it’s ridiculously hard to remove.”
“It takes hours and hours to strip it and more hours to get another color to take and look good.”
“Stand your ground. I’m sure you’re beautiful just the way you are and if she can’t accept you as you are for some photos, she’s the one with the problem, not you.”~LoveBeach8
“Sure, it’s just hair, but it’s YOUR hair, not hers.”
“As for ‘ruining’ her photos, I really don’t understand what is up with people today acting like snapshots of get-togethers need to meet some standard of magazine photoshoot quality.”
“Photos from family parties should be meant to remember the people you live and the way they looked when you spent quality time together.”
“It shouldn’t be about rewriting who they are so they better fit some ideal in your mother’s imagination.”~moonebeam
There were even suggestions on how to compromise.
“Or, the mother could purchase a wig for her daughter to wear in the pictures, though I personally would turn that down as well, but it might be a workable compromise”
“…or a cute hat, scarf… the whole family could wear cute hats!”~Beginning-Monitor-17
Concerns were raised about the controlling nature of the request.
“I’d go a step further and suggest that laying down these boundaries loud and clear is necessary at this point.”
“Now that you are living near her, she needs to get the memo that her efforts to control your life need to stop or you will be having these battles for years.“~missbossy
Self-expression is vital to a healthy life.
Be wary of those who try to stifle your expression.