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Teen Model Fired After Violating Her Contract By Cutting Her Hair While Grieving Her Friend’s Death

Carol Yepes / Getty images

Navigating the complexities and emotional trauma of adulthood isn’t something that you’re supposed to expect of children.

Sometimes there isn’t much of a choice, but other times it’s someone’s fault.

Redditor ItsBrittanyBetches explained her difficult situation. The responsibility and guilt for so much falls on her shoulders.

She went to Reddit’s “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to ask for judgement.

The original poster (OP) asked:

“AITA for cutting my hair after a friend’s death despite a contract that dictates what I’m allowed to do—or not to do—with my hair?”

Her post reads:

“I’ve ‘lost’ my job and have been ostracized by my family, so I figured I’d come to the court of public opinion.”

“One of my best friends of over ten years lost her battle with the big C word on Christmas. F’k cancer, y’all.”

“I’m not handling it well, to be honest. I feel like a really crazy person. I literally haven’t stopped crying.”

“Through all the tumultuous emotions, I decided that I wanted to cut my hair.”

“I don’t know why, but I felt like I wanted to get rid of a psychological weight and my hair was suffocating me.”

“I ‘model’ and I’ve been doing it pretty much my whole life. My family is upper middle class due to my income.”

“My parents ‘work’ as my managers, even though I had actual, hired, experienced managers throughout the years. My dad works part time elsewhere, but I am the main breadwinner in the family.”

“Part of my current contract was that I can’t cut my hair without prior consent from managing parties or else my contract could be rendered void. It wasn’t really an issue until now.”

“For a week, I tried to get consent, but nobody wanted to give it. So, over the weekend, I locked myself in my bathroom and chopped off almost all of my hair.

“I didn’t go as extreme as 2007 Brittany, but I was definitely channeling her energy.”

“Now I look like Steve from Stranger Things.”

“I don’t feel a lot better, but it was kind of cathartic. I’m glad I did it. My life changed, and I physically reflect that now.”

“Now I’m unemployed, though, cause I was released from my contract and as soon as I’m done with high school, my family wants me gone.”

“I know that I jeopardized my family’s financial security, and my parents are scrambling to figure out how to pay the bills because I may have been an immature a**hole, but, I dunno, maybe it’s grief, but I feel pretty apathetic about it.”

“I wanted to grieve in my own way.”

“Am I the a**hole for that?”

Some more context was requested from OP to understand her situation a little better.

“INFO: how old are you and how long have you been supporting your family?”

“My inclination is NTA. Your parents are not entitled to financial support from their child.”

“Many people find cutting their hair cathartic. This could mean big changes for you since it impacts your finances but you’re not an a**hole for making the choice.”

“If you’re young, you’re hugely NTA because you should be focusing on grieving and living and embracing your autonomy” – Maximum_System_7819

The OP responded:

“I’m 17, and this has been how it’s been since… forever. I got ‘discovered’ at a junior pageant when I was three or four, and it’s just been the way it is.”

“I never really questioned it.”

Another Redditor asked:

“So, as soon as they can’t profit from you, you have no value to them?” – Wumbletweed

To which the OP quipped:

“Yay, capitalism?”

Judgement on the AITA subReddit is passed with these acronyms:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

It was determined OP hadn’t done anything wrong here.

“NTA, it’s your hair! also get a lawyer.”

“Your parents should have been saving money in an account for you! They should have lived off their portion of income and saved quite a bit of yours.”

“When you leave, you shouldn’t be leaving with nothing. Plus hair grows back. Get a cute cut, and new management.”

“This is why a child should not be the money earner in a family IMO. It’s just a dependency that should not be created.” – MommaLa

“NTA. It sounds like you’re a literal, actual child?”

“Not to knock children or anything like that, but there’s some pretty heavy sh*t being picked on top of you and none of the people that have been exploiting you for cash did the very basic work of responding to you and making sure you were okay, including your damn parents.”

“That is job 1 with a kid, I would imagine it goes doubly so when you are relying on that kid to maintain your lifestyle.” – rmric0

“NTA. Keep in mind, making mistakes is part of life. If in the future you see this as a mistake, that’s fine. Doesn’t make you a bad person.”

“Mental health is important too, so I hope cutting your hair helps you” – AnonAndHappy

“NTA my wife died of cancer just 5 months ago at the age 27. F’k cancer.”

“The wound won’t heal fully but it will get better with time. Make sure to be easy on yourself. I get the catharsis as well.”

“I feel the same way about the tattoos I have in honor of my wife. Transferring my emotional pain onto something tangible.”

“Also the sh*t your parents are pulling off sounds mega mega mega sketchy” – kachol

In an update, OP had much better news. Her contract wasn’t exactly “terminated,” but rather she was released from the remainder of her current contract.

The agency wanted to give her space to heal mentally and released her, fully willing to take her back after she finished high school.

Her old manager put her in contact with a lawyer along with copies of her contract documents to see what shady things her parents were up to.

OP has realized the responsibility of being her family’s bread winner should not have been placed on the shoulders of a teenager.

Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.