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Old 11-27-2012, 05:55 AM   #21
 
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Young woman, a fellow curly alerted me to your post. Not that it matters, but I am a licensed professional counselor. This is a BOUNDARIES issue. Your father has NO right to be telling you to straighten your hair. I could understand his objection if you had a Mohawk and you were applying for jobs in corporations. Others may disagree with me, but sooner or later you will need to learn to stand up for yourself, and it may as well be now. Tell him that if you go against your principles of being true to yourself, you will not like or respect yourself, and as such, he should respect you enough to back off. It is YOUR hair.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:11 AM   #22
 
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I have read the other replies here and I have a few more words. to my fellow curlies: your responses are well intended but you are essentially advising this young woman to PLEASE an adult man, with whom there is a huge imbalance of power (he is her father); no one has identified this as controlling and abusive behavior. I am. Moreover, would the responses be the same if she was a male? well, if she was a male, this would not be happening at all, would it? So, the advise here is essentially to placate a controlling father; for her to be a "good girl" and do what she "needs" to do to calm him down. Sorry, but that sounds like the advise society used to give battered women to cope with their abusers. She needs to stand up to him. Sorry, thats how it is. If she doesnt start now, she will be bending to every man who wants to control her. My sympathies, Wavy, if you need more help with this, contact me privately.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:55 AM   #23
 
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Originally Posted by Myrna View Post
I have read the other replies here and I have a few more words...no one has identified this as controlling and abusive behavior. I am. Moreover, would the responses be the same if she was a male? well, if she was a male, this would not be happening at all, would it?
Um, did you really read the other responses? Because most of us identified this as controlling, and I don't think anyone said to placate him at all, except the original poster, who said that her mother wanted her to do so.

And yes, this does happen with males. My father, who is controlling, bullied my brother as much as me. He was maybe expected even more to keep a certain "macho" appearance, which is similar in vein. It's not a gendered issue.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:08 AM   #24
 
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What is his reasoning?? That is really strange.
This is my thought. But I will be blunt and go even further and say I think it is outright weird that he cares about this. Your hair is perfectly normal in your picture, and therefore I have to agree with Myrna thatthis is about some control issue. I am just ??? why wearing hair in any specific way would “please” a father. It’s one thing to say “I like your hair this way”…but to make it about “pleasing me”. Sorry, but odd.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:12 AM   #25
 
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Wavyshibby,

It sounds to me like you are choosing to take your stand on this, even at the loss of your permit. I think we're all in agreement about that.

Since you said the rest of your family is for your curls, could you talk to someone in your family who is close to your father, who he might listen to? It sounds like your mother is refusing to be a support in this, so can you find someone else who can be?

I also wanted to share with you something about me--when I was in high school, I was very ill and in treatment. My mother, who generally was the awesomist woman on earth to me, refused to admit I was sick. She wanted me to pretend the same. My grades fell (a lot), and I felt very alone. I didn't feel like I could tell any of my teachers what was going on, even though most of them asked (and some punished me) for my grades falling. I begged my parents for tutoring, which they blew off, saying I didn't need help and just needed to keep being the perfect student and child. So I kept it in, and I didn't get out of high school all that I wished I could.

I really regret not telling others and getting help. Your situation is similar in that I know that you really don't want to go against your parents in this, and you feel like you are disappointing them. It's probably making you feel miserable and like it's your fault, even though you didn't do anything wrong. One of the above posters is right, parents are sometimes wrong, and sometimes they need help seeing that. So, get help from your outside family, or even go to a trusted teacher or counselor if you need to do so. Perhaps even have them set up a mediation in this. Present all the evidence you can, about how it's hurting your self-image and how bad straightening chemicals are. But don't be afraid to ask someone for help like I was.

My father now can talk to me about when I was ill, and we can talk about it openly. He feels sorry and doesn't know why they didn't help me more. He regrets it. I think this is a situation where your father might regret his actions in the future, he just can't see that right now and might need some help to do so. It does unfairly leave the burden on you, but it's worth taking the steps to ask for help.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:28 AM   #26
 
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Yes, Rosewenthe, I did read the other posts, and while some did say the father was wrong, others advised placating behaviors, including that she should present dad with "research" about healthy hair. I am sorry but I dont think that is appropriate advise, nor do I think that is appropriate assertive behavior. Young people need to learn appropriate assertive behavior to be able to cope in life. I would feel a lot better if she had been told, Dad, I am sorry, but it is my hair, and I must stand firm on this, and if that mean I dont get my permit, then I will need to speak with the school counselor so that I can get more help with this issue.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:09 AM   #27
 
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I agree (and think I said? I at least meant to) that it's controlling, out of bounds, and borderline abusive.

For me the biggest issue is the message this sends. Wavy is being told by the most influential man in her life that he likes her better and thinks she only looks pretty when she straightens her hair. Those may not have been the words used precisely, but that is the message. It says she's not good enough unless she does this to please him. Furthermore, the message continues to say it's OK for a man to tell you how to look. And if you don't comply, you deserve to be punished.

Punishment is valid and important for parents to use as needed with their children. But to punish behavior, not appearance. It shouldn't be used as a manipulative tool to get one's way on this type of issue.

No punishment would be appropriate in this case, but dangling your permit over it is so overthetop, and very disproportionate. I agree maybe talking to a school counselor might be a good move.

I know it's like "it's just hair - calm down." but there really is a deeper issue here, an inappropriate message, and a situation I feel you should stand your ground on. It will help remind you that that message is NOT correct. And surprisingly enough, those messages like that will creep into your head for years - and half the time you won't even know it.

Take care, Wavy!! I hope all goes smoothly!!
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:55 AM   #28
 
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well said, Jas.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:30 AM   #29
 
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I'm sorry your dealing with this! When I still lived at home my mother once asked me to accompany her to the grocery store.....and then drove me to the salon, pulled out a tub of relaxer and told me I was getting a relaxer (chemical straightener)! Instead I convinced the stylist to cut my hair into a little fro....mom was not pleased! But anyway, the point is I know the feeling of having your family pressure you to have straight hair!

If you want to compromise, the bun idea is a good one. I know some people (and maybe yourself) are against the idea of compromising on this, but it is a way to NOT straighten your hair, but still have it be unquestionably presentable. To some people, loose hair in general just isn't very formal, compared to an up-do.

If you don't want to compromise, as long as you are ready to deal with the consequences go for it! You may even find that it is an idle threat (don't count on that though), because how silly would your father sound explaining to people why his of-age daughter doesn't have a license?? "Well you see, she refused to straighten her hair for the holidays!" What???

And finally, are you sure that you even need your father's permission to get a driver's license? I don't remember that being part of the process when I was in high school. You signed up for the class when it was time, and if you passed you got a learner's permit, and eventually you go to the DMV and take the test. Your father could certainly stop you from driving the family car, but not sure he can really legally stop you from getting a permit. I'm not a 100% on this though, it's been a while.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:20 AM   #30
 
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Parents here have to "give" permission for a license for anyone under 18. They have to sign on the application something about assuming responsibility for the minor or something. I don't remember...buy I do know they have to sign.

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Old 11-27-2012, 02:15 PM   #31
 
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I'm astonished by the amount of replies on this post as well as the immense support and concern you showed for me and this issue, and the personal stories of similar hurtful experiences. I appreciate them all. Actually, I have no other relatives really to talk to; my friends think its crazy but no one else sees the bigger picture except all of you.

My father is a wonderful man. I admit I portrayed him in a negative light in all most posts and I agree his behavior is questionable, he does love me very much and I just don't think he realizes(or refuses to see) the subtext behind his demands.!I am the quintessential "daddy's little girl"- I never really have any problems with him. And i know they're just trying to be the best parents they can be. And I know I don't know everything, and that parents are supposed to be controlling, but some parents are just overprotective and smothering-but what can you do, you just have to deal with it until you're 18 right? What I'm trying to get at here (sorry for the life story haha I'm not trying to gain sympathy or anything) is that while my parents are extremely controlling, it does come from a place of love and I don't feel like its abusive. This one incident with my father is out of character and over the line; but I just want to make it clear to the counselor here that he is not an emotional abuser or anything, just a parent trying to navigate his way to parenting a teenager for the first time, and he doesn't know or refuses to acknowledge that he makes mistakes or crosses a line.

I think Jas76 said something that really opened my eyes: "Punishment is valid and important for parents to use as needed with their children. But to punish behavior, not appearance. It shouldn't be used as a manipulative tool to get one's way on this type of issue." I feel he is doing this and I will bring up this point because it is so so true.

The only reason I don't want to wear an updo is not because of compromise, it's just that I don't like how my face looks when I wear my hair up (LOL). I want to wear it down either way because thats the way i like to wear it. I am just choosing to wear it curly as a stance that I am no longer complying to ridiculous demands and that I'm fed up with being controlled so much.

This turned into such a deeply personal thread! Thank you all for your input; I know I should probably talk to him but I just can't deal with it all right now. I'm such a passive and typically obedient person, so this little "rebell against injustice" thing is all new to me and nerve wracking, even if it is something so trivial as my hairstyle
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:47 PM   #32
 
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Wavy, no one is telling you not to love your dad. The concerns are as follows: that pleasing and placating are behaviors that wind women up in one abusive relationship after another. I know this sounds like a stretch to you, but I see teens as well as adult women who are in relationships with controlling men, and they dont know how it happened. Well, it happens a little at at time. My dad had a temper, and I learned to "work around him"; and I put up with bad behavior in men for most of my life until I realized that I had had early childhood conditioning to accept, justify, deny, and minimize behaviors that I should not have. Good luck, Sweetie, keep us posted. We are glad you love your curls!
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:04 PM   #33
 
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um...as EricaChristina pointed out, it was your parents who gave you the curls to begin with, genetically.

You might like to point that little scientific fact to your father....it was his gift to you, and you don't want to disrespect his genetic gift by straightening it, maybe...?
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:42 PM   #34
 
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Well I talked to my parents. Long story short, my dad prefers my hair straight and he wanted something fancy and formal for the holidays. He threatened to take away my permit after I became indignant about leaving it curly, as he felt that I "owed" him. He believes that if I really loved him I would sacrifice my convictions for his just to prove that I love him. I say this is selfish and that there are better ways to say "I love you" than self sacrifice, as it just seems like an immature and unnecessary way to me. Needless to say, We disagree. He says he won't hold it against me, but that he'll "always remember" that I didn't do this one thing for him and he is dissapointed in me that I didn't comply with his wishes.

I'd rather be a person of merit who stands by her convictions than one who forgoes personal beliefs in order to please others. If he's dissapointed in that well...I can't change that. I'll always remember that.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:50 PM   #35
 
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I think it is awesome that you are standing up for your personal beliefs, and for your looks - that you came by through his genetic make-up!! the only thing I can think of that should fit in here but isn't, is compromise...love is mostly made up of compromise, and that keeps love flowing smoothly...is there no compromise you two can come to? Just asking...neither of you need to completely give all your ground up, but you could perhaps meet halfway...?

But also, I can't believe that your otherwise loving father would so heavily emotionally manipulate you like this...I am sorry this is happening to you. And I am reassured that you understand that there is nothing wrong with your looks or your hair.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:01 PM   #36
 
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Wavy, you did great. You can be proud of yourself. I think your father's wishes for you are not those of a mature male, and I have just been discussing this with my husband who I am sure is older than your father. I am surprised that your father feels you "owe" him this; what you owe him is to have good values, and to be the best person you can, to have a character and integrity you and your family can be proud of. You do not owe him straight hair. You should NEVER sacrifice your convictions just to please another. It sounds like you get that really well. Good for you!
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:09 PM   #37
 
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Yeah, Wavy? I think that is just him trying to take a different approach to manipulating. The permit didn't work, so a guilt trip might. If he plays on your emotions, he might get his way.

You need to blow that off. This should not be that big of a deal to him. If he will truly "always remember this", he has some issues to work through. I honesty believe that he's layin it on thick, and this is just another manipulative tool.

Let me let you in on a little secret here - parents make mistakes, and are imperfect. I'm sure your dad loves you, I'm sure he's likely a great father. I didn't mean to say he was abusive on any general level. I certainly don't have any information to make a call there. What I CAN say is that THIS specific behavior is borderline abusive. It's possible this is the only instance of it. But certainly this instance is controlling, manipulative, selfish, and yes - borders on abusive. It is certainly disproportionate, inappropriate, and out of line. And sends a terrible message.

I think those of us who grew up with situations like this, many of which you've heard on here, know how this can effect someone. I have dealt with my own after-effects of these types of messages from my parents, and I have seen many young girls go through situations, as well.

It really can take only one instance to do some damage. I think we are all hoping to minimize this for you.

Again, I'm sure your father loves you and is a good man. But this is a bad thing he's doing.

One more thing - I'm proud of the way you've handled this! And you are incredibly well-spoken for someone do young!! Your dad doesn't know how good he has it!!

Ps - curls do NOT = informal. If he wants more formal, perhaps you can pull it half up and leave the back down, or pull the back up and leave tendrils down... There are lots of ways to do formal with curls. Just a thought!

Of course if you prefer all down - DO IT!!
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:35 PM   #38
 
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Thank you everyone! Even though my parents are doing something wrong, I'm glad I'm aware enough to identify this. And make up my own mind. Even if it kid of sucks...

Jas76- I wasn't offended about the abusive thing. It was my fault; I portrayed him in that way. It saddens and dissapoints me that he displayed a disconcerting behavior though, even if it's not going to work on me and thank you for everything and showing concern and trying to make it better-that goes for everyone. You were all super helpful
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:14 PM   #39
 
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Wavy thanks for explaining. I agree with the others, stand up for yourself and your father will see his "little girl" is growing up and becoming a mature, young woman.

At the same time, I still find it strange he is so adamant about straight hair!
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:26 PM   #40
 
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Might want to check this wiki page out, it might help to inform you on why your father is acting in this terrible fashion...often, the best way to deal with/counteract these actions is to understand the root cause of the behaviour...

Emotional blackmail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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