As our little buddies over at Gawker pointed out–is this the kind of scoop that Nick Denton redesigned for?–some children get very expensive haircuts. They quote a particularly odious example in Los Feliz called La La Ling Salon, which advertises “trendy designer haircuts, hair styling (think spray-on hair color and hair tinsel) and kiddo-friendly beauty services, including funky nail design and glitter tattoos.” From La La Ling’s website:
Getting a haircut is a momentous experience for any child… and it doesn’t have to be mayhem and tears. Rest assured, crying is sparse, and mullets and bowl-cuts forbidden at La La Ling, a salon that is happy, bright, modern, and most of all… fun!
These businesses aren’t necessarily news to me, as I live in occupied Cozys Cuts for Kids territory. There are three of these $50-a-pop cutcutters on the Upper East and Upper West side. I’ll say this for them: they manage to look enough like a toy store from the outside that my kids actually beg to be let in when we walk past.
But we do not go in. My children may be on the path to yuppie ruin for a thousand other reasons, but at least they get their hair cut where a kid should: in the fucking living room.
I mean, seriously. Have our relationships with our kids become so distant, so mediated by commerce, that we can’t even groom them ourselves? That’s what a haircut is for any kid who’s not actively trying to get laid: grooming. It’s like cutting fingernails, making sure they wash behind the ears. Should we say fuck it and start looking for a baby-bathing salon?
I can see the ads now: “Does your child fidget in the tub? Are you tired of all the tears and screaming when you wash their hair? Well, now you can just bring them down to BabyBath salon, where bright, modern stylists will bathe your child–no tears!–while they watch all the latest Nickelodeon hits on Hulu!”
I know there are some of you out there who think that children need nice haircuts. And my wife, who does the cutting, spends a fair amount of time making sure her work is at least symmetrical. But in general, the nicer your kid’s hair, the bigger an ass they look like. Because no matter how spiky/glittery/Biebery your little kid’s hair, they’re still going to stick their fingers in their nose, and run around in public places shouting MY BUTT ITCHES. Your dreams of creating a perma-chic kid are doomed from the outset.
Besides, in your vanity and foppishness, you’re really no better than the parents of those kids with the permed mullets–the sorry kids whose pictures go viral every once in a while. Sure, those kid-mullet photos are funny in a hey-lets-laugh-at-poor-people way, but they’re also funny because you know that the parents really cared about how their kid’s hair looked, because you know, that mullet and perm takes time. Just like little Declan’s faux-hawk.
The part that I find most odious about all of it is that it tries to push up the age where kids start being valued for aesthetic reasons. I mean, I am no fan of the awkward teen. They should be shunned and mocked. I was an awkward teen, and I accepted my ostracism like a man. But the awkward four-year-old with the shitty haircut? That’s different. They’re worthy of love. I mean, four years is not that far removed from those amazing newborn months where you love this incredibly weird looking pupae based at least 50% on its musty little newborn smell.
That’s my big problem with beauty salon for kids. Children are beautiful as they are. Leave ’em alone.