We Need to Talk About Childism


I recently got my hair cut. And I mean CUT cut. It was halfway down my back and now it’s just above my shoulders! I knew I’d love it so was pretty confident when the time came for the big chop.

The hairdresser, on the other hand, was a little wary.

It actually seemed like she didn’t quite trust my judgment and was worried that I didn’t understand the decision I was making. As I sat myself down in the chair and inhaled, ready to launch into an explanation of what I wanted, she broke eye contact and instead asked my husband ‘how would she like it cut?’ He, of course, directed the question back to me, and I explained how much I wanted off.

She got everything prepared, picked up her scissors, held my hair in her hands ready to cut, and then paused… again, turning to my husband, ‘are you happy with this length?’

Now he was really confused and again redirected the question back to me. You know, the actual owner of this head of hair. I replied I was happy with it. With another glance at my husband to double check his approval, she began to cut.

Are you outraged yet? The thought that my husband should get the final say on what I should do with my own body is enraging right?

But what if we replaced me with my 5-year-old daughter, and my husband with me. How do you feel now? A little less angry? A little more accepting?


Why is it unacceptable for my husband to have such a major say in my appearance, but it’s fine for me as a parent to dictate how my child’s body should look?

Because we all recognise men and women are equal (hopefully). We recognise sexism, we recognise racism, we recognise homophobia, but we don’t recognise childism.


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About S. R. Zelenz 119 Articles
S.R. Zelenz has worked in education for 20 years. Working with students from all walks of life, cultures, races, and social diversity, Zelenz’s research in Educational Leadership led to finding a better way to approach learning for students with trauma histories. Many were juvenile offenders, gang members, diagnosed with varying behavioral disorders, or had family histories of violence, murder, or narcissistic parenting. This research could not be effectively accomplished without further understanding: how epigenetic trauma inheritance may be impacting these students; how brain development from trauma may be impacting their behavioral and emotional development; as well as deep understanding of psychology and its varying classifications for behavioral and personality disorders. The goal is to find solutions for changing the conversation and making a real difference for these students. She has also worked with nonprofits of varying focus areas for the last 25 years. Her undergraduate degree in Arts Administration and Music prepared her for managing nonprofits of any size as well as procuring funding so that they can achieve their goals. Pairing her nonprofit background with her education background, she has been able to make a difference for over 200 nonprofits worldwide, written curriculum for schools across the globe, and assisted many arts organizations through performance and management.