Mum of five boys forced to defend sons' choice to have waist-long hair
6th May 2023

Following common decency and general human compassion, we really shouldn’t be judging anybody based on their appearance – let alone children.

But here we are, in 2023, and apparently not everybody has quite got the message.

Rachael Cresswell is a mum of five boys, two of whom have flowing blonde locks.

Far from admiring their long hair, though, trolls have taken issue with it, with some accusing Rachel of refusing to cut her sons’ hair because she wanted a daughter instead.

Rachael, 42, is a stay-at-home mum to Jaxon, nine, Noah, seven, Cole, six, Bodhi, three, and Leif, aged one. The family, from Torbay, Devon, share their adventures on social media, sparking outrage among certain vocal followers.

Jaxon and Bodhi have both chosen not to cut their hair, and despite avoiding playground taunts, have been subject to adults online voicing unwanted opinions.

‘I’m told to cut their hair and strangers say they look like girls and that I’m suffering from gender disappointment, which I have never had,’ commented Rachel.

‘I find it crazy that people are so bothered by the length of a child’s hair, the judgement from grown adults about a child they don’t know is ridiculous.’

The mum says she knew Jaxon would be born with a full mane as she’d suffered badly with heartburn during her pregnancy. His fluffy hair grew quickly, and by age two it was at his shoulders.

Rachel explained: ‘When he was younger, he sometimes was mistaken for a girl, but now he can correct people himself and he’s not bothered at all.

‘He has never experienced any negativity from other children, but adults have often asked when he is going to get his hair cut.

‘Older generations seem to have an issue with the length of his hair, simply because he is a boy.’

When he was old enough, Jaxon was given the choice regarding his hair, but decided he wanted to keep it long.

Rachel and her husband Daniel, 39, believe children should have agency over their bodies, adding that the nine-year-old’s tresses suit his ‘surfer dude persona.’

If he did choose to get the chop, Rachel said: ‘Part of me would be sad, only because I’ve always known him with long hair, but we actively promote body autonomy.

‘He said he would donate it if he did cut it off, and then just grow it again.’

As dad Dan, who works as a sea fisher and enforcement officer, has dark hair, the couple initially assumed their children would have the same. Yet all five are blonde like Rachel, and each brother has a unique shade or wave pattern.

‘I’m always asked about what products we use and our haircare routine,’ said Rachel.

‘I just wash their hair every other night and ask the boys to try not to get food in it.’

Shutting down some of the criticism online, she added: ‘TikTok can be brutal, but I am happy to be a boy mum, despite some ridiculous online comments claiming I must be desperate for a girl, or wish one of the boys was a girl.

‘Their hair is part of their body, and it suits them perfectly.

‘The boys like it and want to keep it long – and that’s all that matters.’

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