A couple of weeks ago, during our morning snuggle in the Big Bed, Gwen told me she didn't like her hair.
(I know! I thought I had about ten more years before I had to start fielding that particular complaint. But no, four years old is apparently time to start feeling dissatisfied with yourself, these days.)
There is a little Asian girl who goes to Gwen's daycare, and Gwen told me she loves this girl's hair and how it is "all flat like a waterfall". She wants to have hair like this, too.
(And how clearly I remember spending many months and years wishing MY hair were as curly and voluminous as Gwen's now is.)
I told her that her hair was lovely just the way it is, but that if she wanted me to, I could straighten her hair with my straightening iron. To be honest, I thought she'd be totally against the idea once she understood just how long she'd have to hold still. But no - she wanted hair like a waterfall. So she sat ever so patiently and I straightened her hair.
But on the other hand, as much as I don't want her subverting her own image of herself to be someone else - a sweet, quiet Asian girl with waterfall hair - I don't want her to be who ~I~ want her to be, either. I've got the responsibility to teach her grooming and self-care and basic rules of decency, but I don't get to tell her how to dress or how to look. (Again, kind of thought I had another decade before pondering these things.) In general, she picks her own clothes and I don't get in the way of that, other than making sure she is warm/cool enough and, as I said before, decent.
So my response to this is that while her hair was straight, I commented often that she is beautiful with straight hair and she is beautiful with curly hair. I make sure to tell her each day while I comb her (now curly once again) hair that it is so lovely, and that lots of people wish they had such beautiful curls. I try not to make a big 'thing' out of her choices. Hopefully by the time she *is* fourteen, we will both have had a lot of practice at this attitude, and we'll be ready.