Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is more than skin deep. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.
We’ve all heard these idioms meant to emphasize the value of a person beyond physical appearance. While these phrases are true and often said with the best of intentions, beauty and one’s outer appearance often are influential aspects in life.
It’s why a bad haircut can make even the most confident person feel uncomfortable, upset, or even devastated. A bad haircut is an unfortunate incident, but could it be considered abuse?
A young teen’s story circulating the news and social media is about her hair, but it’s not only about her hair. Kelsey turned 13 in January and hoped to get a new look like a new teenager.
Her birthday gift request was to get her hair highlighted. Kelsey’s mother, Christin Johnson, agreed and took her daughter to get highlights for her birthday.
Johnson snapped a photo of Kelsey proudly smiling while showing off her new highlights. But things when awry when she later went to spend time with her father and stepmother.
The photos of her after that visit are both shocking and heartbreaking. Kelsey appeared to be too ashamed to even show her face.
One doesn’t need to see her face to observe how upset she was. Her long and newly-highlighted hair was gone and was replaced by an extremely short and choppy haircut.
According to a fundraiser created by Kelsey’s aunt, the teen’s father and stepmother cut her hair. They learned she got highlights and told her, “Actions have consequences.”
Apparently, the adult entrusted to care for the teen decided her consequence was to receive a drastic and unwanted haircut.
But now, Kelsey’s father and stepmother are facing their own serious consequences for their actions toward Kelsey.
They are both Middleton Township firefighters but were suspended and put on administrative leave. Johnson’s Facebook post insinuates that the couple cut off Kelsey’s hair for the purpose of humiliation.
Kelsey’s aunt expressed her belief that Kelsey suffered from emotional abuse because of this forced haircut.
Many people who commented on the Facebook posts about Kelsey are heartbroken for her and suggested hair extensions.
But when one person asked if the father would cut extensions, Johnson replied, “Yes! Or have them removed!”
Wood County Job and Family Services have since started an investigation. Hopefully, there will be justice for this young girl undeserving of such humiliation.
I cannot imagine being a 13-year-old girl with such a drastic haircut that was completely unwanted all because of highlights.
I hope Kelsey gets all of the support and love she needs while her hair grows back, and hopefully, to a length she is able to choose for herself.
UPDATE, July 1, 2019:
After Kelsey’s story went viral, she received messages of support and encouragement from strangers around the world. Lady Jane’s in Toledo, Ohio helped Kelsey “feel more like herself” again by letting her pick out a wig.
“When she first came in, she came in with her hood on. She didn’t want anyone to see her. She was feeling pretty embarrassed,” Shannon Vanderhorst, a stylist at Lady Jane’s, told Buzzfeed News.
Vanderhorst added that after Kelsey had her hair and makeup done that the teen “loved it — there was light in her eyes.”
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