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View Full Version : My Mother's Rude Comment - how would you have handled it?



kc
November 16th, 2010, 08:32 AM
First, I've got to say that my mother hates long hair. She was in beauty school when I was a young girl and she chopped my hair off every chance she could. In fact, I did even have long hair until I moved away from home. To give you more background on me, 23 years ago I married a man who grew up in the LDS Church. No, I did not convert to become Mormon, but he does not go to church or practice the religion. Over the weekend, when I saw my mother (I wore my hair down that day), she said, "you cannot possibly like having hair that long - what is that a Mormon thing." I told her no that it wasn't a Mormon thing and I loved wearing my hair really long because it is different and I do not look like everyone else.

Have you ever received rude comments like this from family members or others? How do you handle it? Yes, she said it with a smirky tone and hurt my feelings like normal.

aenflex
November 16th, 2010, 08:39 AM
I wouldn't let it bother me that badly. Everyone has their own opinions. It wasn't exactly nice of her, I agree totally, but at the same time it's your hair and your choice. So opinions of others can be just that, opinions of others.

chelles2kids
November 16th, 2010, 08:46 AM
"Mom...I love you *BUT* I am not here to decorate you're world!";)

Marjolein
November 16th, 2010, 08:49 AM
Unfortunately the people closest to us can hurt us the most. My grandma absolutely hates red hair (and I'm a henna head). She seems to think that red headed women have loose moral standards, to put it decently. Thanks, gran!

Nae
November 16th, 2010, 09:01 AM
OP, I thought that you handled it quite well. You told her it wasn't religious and that you enjoyed it that way. Good on ya!

Do what I do, when you see a hair complainer coming just try to........:meditate:

Coan-Teen
November 16th, 2010, 09:06 AM
Ask her if she accidentally cut off the filter on what not to say when she last cut her hair. =P I can be very rude when people make rude comments and I see your point of view on this one. Alternatively you could try talking to her about how comments about your hair make you feel rejected because your hair is very important to you.

mrs_coffee
November 16th, 2010, 09:10 AM
I think your answer was good. I would have answered the same way, "Nope, I just like it" and changed the subject. Lots of times people make comments like that because they want to get under your skin and provoke a reaction. If you seem unaffected it takes the fun out of it for them.

Siava
November 16th, 2010, 09:15 AM
My mom is notorious for snarkiness when it comes to my hair. What's strange is, when I was a teenager I had hair to my waist. She gushed over it and griped when I started dying and playing with different haircuts. My hair was still past the shoulders, but she wouldn't shut up about it. Then, when I divorced at 28, I chopped it all off - almost shaved. She griped about that. When it started growing out it was super curly and she went back to gushing. When she realized I was letting it grow out to get long again, she flip flopped back to griping. She's finally shut up about it now because I told her off on more than one occassion to give it a rest already. I'm NOT cutting it and I DO like it. It's MY hair so stop already! She hasn't peeped a bit about my hair in a few months. :D

kc
November 16th, 2010, 09:26 AM
Saiva - Do you actually think that it's possible that mothers can be jealous of their daughters? Sure sounds that way in your case.

virgo75
November 16th, 2010, 09:56 AM
Kc, I think you handled your mother's comment very well.

I love my mother and respect her, but she tends to be very negative and mostly has negative things to say. I've learned to pretty much just let it be when she says something negative because I know that's just how she is.

The only time I put forth the energy to respond is if she says something negative in reference to my children. She hasn't said anything snarky about or to my children in years. ;)

phistash
November 16th, 2010, 10:15 AM
Saiva - Do you actually think that it's possible that mothers can be jealous of their daughters? Sure sounds that way in your case.

It's very possible, and I think jealousy is part of why my mother has never gotten along with my older sister. My mother appears to people outside of the family to be a sweet, harmless, lady, but to her children? Nope. She has more insecurities than anyone I've ever seen, and she simply can't resist aiming potshots at her children to make herself feel better. She even had the nerve to tell me a couple of years ago that I need to watch my weight. The problem with this is that I was severely underweight most of my life, and I've only recently gained a few healthy pounds. I am nowhere near overweight, and most people would call me skinny, with a butt. My mother just can't deal with the fact that I haven't had to struggle with my weight like she has, so she has to bring me down. The other day, she kept insisting that I was "getting old", and that that was why I was so tired all the time. I just turned 34! And I'm working a full-time job, doing an internship, and taking a class. But no, I'm "old". She also told my older sister that women like her, who are "big-boned", can't be sexy, so she should stop trying to look so good. My sister, by the way, is not big-boned, she just has 4 children, and still has some baby weight. Goodness.

So yes, mothers can definitely be jealous of their daughters.

ETA: I agree with others who recommend not letting her get to you. I think I infuriate my mother sometimes because when she says terrible things, I call her on it, and then just continue on with what I've been doing.

little_cherry
November 16th, 2010, 10:15 AM
I would have chuckled and said "oh thank you..I really needed to hear that."

Then again, I fight off rude comments with sarcasm as a method of coping. :o

enfys
November 16th, 2010, 10:18 AM
While her comment was rude on several levels, your reply was level headed and calm, so well done!

I think it may be best to just wear your hair up when you're around her and hopefully she won't see fit to bring it up again.

I'm sorry she hurt your feelings with what she said :grouphug:

kabelaced
November 16th, 2010, 10:25 AM
It's your hair and your life, and she's probably feeling frustrated that she can't "fix" you up like she used to.


"Mom...I love you *BUT* I am not here to decorate you're world!";)

Quoted because I love the way you said it!

Toadstool
November 16th, 2010, 10:32 AM
I would say "You probably don't realise how rude you're being."

FrannyG
November 16th, 2010, 10:33 AM
My standard reply is a look of shock, as if someone just made a racist remark, and I say "I can't believe you said that!" Usually I don't hear another word.

Armelle
November 16th, 2010, 10:37 AM
Yep. My mom, granny, and aunt have all complained about the length going so far as to say it looks better cut real short (as my mom kept it til I left home). My mom and aunt have complained about the color when I colored it. *shrugs* I don't say much at the time except mumble that I like it the way it is. I just remember that many other people COMPLIMENT my hair's length and color and have urged me to never cut it. :) That, I think, outweighs any negative comments from the family.

GRU
November 16th, 2010, 10:40 AM
When my brother and his wife announced their third pregnancy, my mom's comment was, "What, did you turn Catholic on us or something?" :rolleyes:

Stupid people say stupid things, and unfortunately, the world is pretty much overrun with idiots.

I know it hurts, but just tell yourself that she was out of line and you're not responsible for your mother's happiness.

Purdy Bear
November 16th, 2010, 10:44 AM
My standed come back for these type of people is 'Would you say that to your mother, if not then you shouldnt say it to me!'

spidermom
November 16th, 2010, 10:44 AM
I think you handled it very well.

It has happened to me. My father made rude comments about my hair the first time he saw it (he lives thousands of miles away). He said "It looks like a big old mess," then handed me a pair of scissors. I laughed and said "I'm not going to cut my hair!" He said something else later, and I told him, "O.k., I'll cut one. Which one do you hate the most?"

The last time he saw me, he told me it was kind of pretty.

MsBubbles
November 16th, 2010, 10:53 AM
Well that was hurtful! I'm sorry. I am upset on your behalf. It's a unique kind of hurt when your own Mother says bad things about your hair.

These days I simply give people the Clint Eastwood glare: a silent mix of incredulity and volatile rage (mostly nowadays as soon as I think they are even just dancing around hurling an insult at me about my hair).

pepperminttea
November 16th, 2010, 10:58 AM
Wow, OP, you handled that a lot more calmly than I would've - good for you. :grouphug:

I rarely get comments, since I wear my hair most of the time; I find that's the best way to avoid them. But really, never mind them; wear your hair how you like. :)

Tia2010
November 16th, 2010, 11:08 AM
I think alot of sterotypes can come into play when people see or hear about someone wanting long hair. I am growing my hair out right now and if I tell anyone I want really long hair I hear (almost without fail from everyone so far) .... " what , like cultish hippie long?" I have no idea why that is their first image , but most times it is. That was even my dh's first thought.

I think you handled yourself well with your mom and I wouldn't let her off the cuff remarks get to you. Just tell her " I like my hair long and your comments wont change that, they will just hurt my feelings so lets discuss other things instead"... and just point blank change the subject.

skaempfer
November 16th, 2010, 11:14 AM
My standard response to comments like that was always "I'm relieved you don't find me attractive." Would be a bit weird to your mother though, I guess.

At the end of the day, if all she has for you are negative remarks, remember you are not required to visit her. If she's otherwise nice, it might be worth talking to her- you understand she doesn't like your hair, but many people do including yourself and your opinion of yourself outweighs hers. If she still won't stop, well- :pins:

Mairéad
November 16th, 2010, 11:16 AM
You handled it very well.

Usually when provocative comments are made in my house I act very level-headed, but it's always my mother who keeps trying to upset me. I've always been very resilient to remarks but sometimes she'll cause me to break down and I'll get into it.

She's never made remarks about my hair as far as I know. But, she used to pick on me about my weight even though she was much heavier.

SilvraShadows
November 16th, 2010, 11:24 AM
kc... you did well. Your answer was perfect. I do know all too well the hurt of family rudeness. I don't understand the purpose of these remarks. As if to make us change our ways to appease them?

Never!

Sometimes I am on the flip side. My daughter had the most beautiful hair and now she keeps it short. It is as cute as can be, but I miss her long hair. She was constantly complimented on her hair by everyone... strangers, classmates, family... because it was so beautiful. And I do love her ever evolving style, not just her hair style, but in clothes, etc. It's just I think her hair is prettier when it is long. But it's not about me... right? It's her life and she is loving being a teen and creating a look that is unique to her. As it should be. So I keep my thoughts to myself and tell her the other truth, which is I love her cute hair and style!

Avvoltoio
November 16th, 2010, 11:30 AM
my mother don't like it too, she always used to have short hair, and like short hair on girls and boys. So she every day told me my hair is ugly, but i don't care about her opinion.

bedazzlecat
November 16th, 2010, 11:37 AM
The reply was completely appropriate.

It seems to me that some people associate negative things with "hippies" and automatically associate long hair with either hippies or religious fundamentalists (of various stripes). My mother has a lovely picture of herself from the 70's in which she is wearing a Gibson style in her nearly black hair. Whenever I tell her how much I liked her hair that way, she says "I looked like Penny Pentacostal!"

Her hair is short now. She prefers it that way and has tried several times to influence the way I wear my hair. She once took my daughter to the salon without my permission and had all her hair cut off, "to get it out of her face". She won't do that again... I was SO mad! And my daughter cried because she thought she looked like a boy.

Parents...:rolleyes:

nemileo
November 16th, 2010, 11:40 AM
I must agree that you handled it very well. My family seldom try to tell me what do do or not, and does not care about my looks, but the few times they have done I tend to "bite their head off". I get very angry. I feel very strongly people should be able to do what they want as long as it is not harmful to others (or to them selves I guess, but even that should be up to one self to decide if the person is in good mental health) And ecpecially it should be one`s own choice to decide what to wear and how to look.

You are very nice with your mother! It is not fair that she makes you feel that way, but it seems like you are able to be the bigger person and rise above it.:)

curlymarcia
November 16th, 2010, 11:53 AM
Well, long hair is not equal to religion. And as long as you know that you have long hair because you like it, you shouldn't be bother for what your mom said. There are people who don't understand why we looove long hair, and you won't to change theirs mind. So enjoy your hair, and don't care about rude comments (even from mom).

CrisDee
November 16th, 2010, 11:54 AM
Hmmm, sometimes, there is the mother/daughter jealousy thing - but I think more often, at least definitely in my case, when a mother makes a snarky or rude comment about her daughter's appearance (or choices of any kind), she's mostly saying "you are not living up to my expectations of you." I'd handle it the same way others have suggested - just kinda look at her as though she has two heads, and say "because I like it!" :)

DreadfulWoman
November 16th, 2010, 12:16 PM
Haters gonna hate. Seriously though, it sounds like you handled it really well. You should keep in mind that nothing you say in that situation is likely to change someone else's preconceived notions (even your own mother's).

Angelica
November 16th, 2010, 12:21 PM
My parents, especially my father, have never liked my hair. They don't mind long hair if it is thick, which unfortunately mine is not, but my father behaved as if that was my fault and even at times twisted his face in disgust.

It used to upset me. But not enough to make me cut it or anything.

Haldir
November 16th, 2010, 01:05 PM
I agree with everyone - you definitely handled your mother's snide remark very well!

I get rude remarks from family members all the time. Most of them are very conservative and like when the rest of the family looks extremely proper (they're rude about my tattoos/piercings as well obviously). I've gotten compared to unpleasant things... from being called a witch to a hobo. My mother also told me that my hair leeches all of my nutrients and is a major contributing factor to why I'm so unhealthy. She really wants it gone.

Siava
November 16th, 2010, 02:13 PM
Saiva - Do you actually think that it's possible that mothers can be jealous of their daughters? Sure sounds that way in your case.

I think it's possible. Absolutely. As for my mom, it's a control issue more than a jealousy thing.

feralnature
November 16th, 2010, 02:27 PM
My mother annoys me sometimes. But I remember that I will not always have her and that I am especially lucky to be in my mid-fifties and to have a mother to be annoyed with. And my father is still here too. I am very conscious of that. But my mother can still say things that perturb me. So I try to let it slide like water off a ducks back.

phistash
November 16th, 2010, 02:33 PM
Hmmm, sometimes, there is the mother/daughter jealousy thing - but I think more often, at least definitely in my case, when a mother makes a snarky or rude comment about her daughter's appearance (or choices of any kind), she's mostly saying "you are not living up to my expectations of you." :)

Yes, this can certainly be the case also. I most definitely do not live up to my mother's expectations. No matter how well educated I might be, or happy I am doing the things I like to do, my mother will always be disappointed that I'm not married with children and attend, not just any church, but her church every Sunday. She actually is offended, and where I used to be her precious, favorite child, she now favors my younger sister, who lives far enough away that it is difficult for her to upset my mother. She takes the favoritism so far that the other day, she posted on Facebook that she was thankful for her beautiful, youngest daughter, and added a picture of her. Then, as an afterthought, she wrote that she loved her other daughters also. Ummm? Gee, thanks, Mom. And how about that son of yours?


My mother also told me that my hair leeches all of my nutrients and is a major contributing factor to why I'm so unhealthy. She really wants it gone.

That is an interesting perspective on long hair. :rolleyes:

patti
November 16th, 2010, 03:18 PM
Your response was great, by the way. What I would do? Having been a person who has gone out of her way to stand out in a crowd, one way or another since birth, I get tons of unsolicited commentary. When someone makes a not so nice comment I smile broadly and say "thanks". I really mean it! I have had a lot of people get dumbstruck by this because they were trying to insult me and I treat the remark as a compliment. I figure my hair, or whatever earned the comment attracted the person to me ... attraction is good - they just didn't know how to handle themselves. I put on a big beautiful smile - I refuse to be insulted. Long ago stopped caring what other people think, but have no desire to get all nasty back to them - being angry makes me feel ugly.

Toadstool
November 16th, 2010, 03:24 PM
. My mother also told me that my hair leeches all of my nutrients and is a major contributing factor to why I'm so unhealthy. She really wants it gone.

An Occupational Therapist once told me that her hair drained all her strength unless she cut it short every now and then.

Anje
November 16th, 2010, 03:32 PM
Wow... anti-long hair comment AND xenophobia! Next she'll be making derogatory-meaning comments that you look like you're trying to have hair like someone of a different race!

Honestly, I think I would have called her out on the anti-religious undertones of her comment. As well as explaining, exactly as you did, that I wear my hair the way I like it, whether she likes it that way or not.

curlylocks85
November 16th, 2010, 03:35 PM
I think you handled that situation well. Not everybody is going to like everything about another person. This also includes family members. Try and take it with a grain of salt. If she says negative things try and change the subject. If she does not let it go tell her in a firm voice that that your hair is how you like it and nothing and no one is going to change that and then change the subject. You could also wear it up when you are around her and maybe she won't mention it.

No matter what happens between you and your mom, you can always come here and get support. :)

Tressie
November 16th, 2010, 05:39 PM
I'm sorry your Mom hurt your feelings about your hair! As others have said, you handled it well. So, I suggest looking through the hair albums here on LHC and making a point of "forgetting" your Mother's rude remarks.

You like your hair long, and that's all that matters really! Just be happy and enjoy your hair! That's the best revenge on all the "hair downers"! (o:

CaityBear
November 16th, 2010, 06:43 PM
I would've pretty much done the same thing you did.

I try to react politely to people I know. Unless they are constantly snarking then I might start to get a bit nasty in the way I tell them to shut up.

If she keeps at it just say it's your head, your hair, and you happen to like it this way.

rusika1
November 16th, 2010, 07:20 PM
...The other day, she kept insisting that I was "getting old", and that that was why I was so tired all the time. I just turned 34! And I'm working a full-time job, doing an internship, and taking a class. But no, I'm "old"...

Wow, did you ask her if that made her a fossil?:D

kc, sometimes it's difficult to break out of that parent-child mindset. Maybe the next time you talk to her you can say something along the lines of 'Mom, I like my hair this way, and it really hurts my feelings when you criticize me like I was still 10 years old. You don't have to like it, but you do need to accept that I'm not going to discuss my hair with you anymore. Remember, if you can't say something nice about my hair, don't say anything."

And then, if she 'forgets' and gets in some sort of dig, you can remind her with an 'Ah, if you can't say something nice!' or 'Hey mom, remember--silence is golden'.

(worked with my mom on an unrelated subject years ago.)

ETA: There's always the "Mom, I am SO HAPPY for you!" response to snarky comments. Because then, when she responds with the obvious "Huh? What do you mean?" you can tell her that her life must be completely worry free if the length of your hair is the biggest problem she has.

AnnaJamila
November 16th, 2010, 07:22 PM
Well, I have a pretty snarky mom myself, and when she gets that smug, "Oh won't this cut HER down a few pegs," tone I've learned to just tune out whatever it is she's saying. Most of the time it's steming from a problem she has with herself. She probably isn't even that concerned with what it is she's criticizing. My mom was super angry for a while when I first married my husband (who was born a muslim in Turkey) and converted to Islam. To this day she doesn't believe that I had become interested in reverting BEFORE I met him. He just kind of sealed the deal, I was on the fence and really wanted to convert because it just made SOOO much sense but I just was afraid of having to tell my family and having to deal with everything that goes along with it. Then one night, there he was! And we've been together since. Um, well, that went off topic... Anyway, I started wearing hijab after a while, and my mom was pretty much cool with it. But one night she was in a REALLY bad mood and called him up and started saying that what he was doing to me wasn't fair and he should be ashamed of himself and he wasn't there to control me, etc.. She said some pretty nasty things but she really didn't have a big issue with me wearing hijab; it was just something to harp on so she could make herself feel better by making someone else feel horrible.

It's really hard but you need to distance yourself from her criticism. Nine times out of ten, in all actuality it isn't aimed at you. She just has something going on in her life that's making her feel like lashing out and handing on the feeling. Sort of like hot potato but with misery and angst! :D The most effective way to brush it off is just act as if what she said was completely normal and unoffensive. She won't get a raise out of you so eventually she'll move on from the topic and try needling you somewhere else that (hopefully) isn't as sensitive. To let out steam I recommend cardio or boxing. Also I like to b**** aloud when alone in the car; it's almost as effective as actually griping to the person without the resulting tension.

But she is your mother, so deep down under all the ponds and disapproving glowers, she does love you. Just smile at her next comment and say something along the lines of, "I'm flattered that you think my hair is long enough to entail religous fanatasism, but no, thanks, I'm crazy all on my own!" Then just act like its all a big joke you share together, which is probably the exact opposite response she had in mind. I can't tell you how many fake jokes about hiding bombs under my khimar I've had to grimace through before everyone lost interest...

Anyway, long, beautiful hair is fantastically gorgeous so just do your own thing and let her have to spend the extra 30 minutes to look halfway decent from the neck up! Love and peace, my long haired sista!

just_ace
November 17th, 2010, 07:17 PM
I get rude remarks from family members all the time. Most of them are very conservative and like when the rest of the family looks extremely proper (they're rude about my tattoos/piercings as well obviously).

I understand that completely, I've always been the 'weird' one in my family and none of my mods are even all that extreme. I tend to cover up and hide my tattoos/piercings from them (septum is easy to just flip up and the rest are covered by clothing).

Same goes for my hair, I am naturally blonde and spent much of my teen years dying it various shades of brown and black to purple etc. I never got any remarks at the time, but am always told these days that my hair "looks so much better blonde" which is pretty much saying they didn't like the way it looked before.

Let's see what they have to see when my hair gets to a longer than 'normal' length...

Gvnagitlvgei
November 17th, 2010, 07:54 PM
First, I've got to say that my mother hates long hair. She was in beauty school when I was a young girl and she chopped my hair off every chance she could. In fact, I did even have long hair until I moved away from home. To give you more background on me, 23 years ago I married a man who grew up in the LDS Church. No, I did not convert to become Mormon, but he does not go to church or practice the religion. Over the weekend, when I saw my mother (I wore my hair down that day), she said, "you cannot possibly like having hair that long - what is that a Mormon thing." I told her no that it wasn't a Mormon thing and I loved wearing my hair really long because it is different and I do not look like everyone else.

Have you ever received rude comments like this from family members or others? How do you handle it? Yes, she said it with a smirky tone and hurt my feelings like normal.


Since you're fully grown, you need to tell her that her comments hurt your feelings, which she already knows. But hearing it this way from you in a calm but stern manner will make her realize the harm it's causing. She has no right to say this to you. I'd tell her that you love your long hair and wished you'd had it as a child but that she continually cut it off. Something in her life has made her this way...I don't know what it is but she does. But she needs to hear that you will not take those types of snarky comments again. Sorry to hear you are going through that type of thing.