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Mother considers labeling son ‘nonbinary’ to keep his long hair

A mother in the UK is considering extreme measures to prevent her son from being kicked out of school over his prized hair.

Bonnie Miller, whose 8-year-old son Farouk James has more than 260,000 followers on Instagram, says she may declare the boy “nonbinary” just so he can keep his lush, waist-length locks while in school. Miller is putting schools on blast for the “outdated practice” of barring boys from having long hair, she tells the Daily Mail.

“Applying for a mixed[-sex] school, I may just put him down as non-binary,” says Miller, 41, who had been searching for the right school to place her son. “I have been trying to think of loopholes, and think how can I get him in.”

She claims the dress code, which is common among secondary schools in the UK, is sexist: “The mixed schools I have been looking at have policies which clearly differentiate between boys and girls.”

Miller has launched a petition asking Parliament to prohibit schools from enforcing the policy, which has nearly 1,000 signatures already. She also claims to have the children’s psychological well-being in mind: “I thought, ‘I have to do something about this, children’s mental health is more important.’ ”

“We are told we are supposed to be tolerant, and embrace diversity,” Miller, from Fulham, West London said. “However this policy teaches children that they cannot be different.”

She continues, “Why are we teaching — at such a young age — that long hair means there is something wrong with these children?”

Miller, a photographer, added that her son also has no interest in cutting his hair.

“Parents have shown me they have had to chop their child’s hair off, and the devastation it has caused,” she explained. “It’s a part of their identity. You are asking someone to take away a huge part of themselves, to fit into what is socially expected.”

Farouk has already traveled to cities such as New York and Florence, Italy, to showcase his enviable mane on behalf of children’s fashion brands such as Guess.

“Farouk globally can be himself, and be appreciated for who he is through Instagram,” says the mom-of-three. “But locally he is not accepted.”

According to Miller, strangers have mistaken her son for a girl, but Farouk is unfazed by the gaffe.

The young model was just 2 years old when his mother set up an Instagram for him, after another Instagram influencer allegedly used his image without their permission. Now, Miller and Farouk take great pains to preserve his curly coiffure, including washing with Evian mineral water.

“He’s become a role model for children, for boys with long hair,” said the mom-of-three, who also runs the Instagram account @BadMotherBlogger with some 10,500 followers. “Parents say they refer to Farouk’s page to give their child confidence.”

She says, “I’ve cried numerous times because, just from me allowing him to be himself, he has changed other children’s lives.”

https://nypost.com/2020/01/13/mother-considers-labeling-son-nonbinary-to-keep-his-long-hair/

stella Posted on January 16, 2020 09:44

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