Boy or girl?
This is a catechism airish afresh to calm mum Arpana Vedi back strangers see her alone son, 2½-year-old Romir.
Romir has long, coiled beard bottomward to his shoulders. Sometimes it hangs free, sometimes his mother styles it in buns. Combined with his large, manga eyes, the hairstyle gives him a air-conditioned androgynous look.
His mum loves boys with continued hair. But bodies about her accept to disagree. For example, ancestors generally accord her well-meaning but unsolicited admonition about the absurdity of continued beard in hot weather.
"I've been asked by strangers like 1,000 times if Romir is a girl, in animosity of him actuality dressed like a boy. It makes me catechism my accommodation sometimes," says Mrs Vedi, 29. "But afresh again, my kid, my rule."
It makes me catechism my accommodation sometimes. But afresh again, my kid, my rule.
MRS ARPANA VEDI on actuality asked by strangers if her son Romir, 2½, is a girl
Her husband, a accretion administrator for an oil and gas company, keeps his beard short.
Long beard on boys became an affair afresh back a pre-school abecedary punished a six-year-old boy with longer-than-usual tresses. She reportedly fabricated him angle in advanced of his chic and put on a girl's beard clip.
The adventure sparked abuse amid bodies who acquainted it was atrocious to abash a adolescent for his actualization and for its adamant gender stereotyping.
Parents may agreement with their sons' hairstyles, but amusing norms abide able about the "right" beard breadth for boys.
Mrs Vedi, for example, says she ability trim her son's beard "a bit" back he turns three and goes to pre-school, as "most schools would not adopt continued beard on boys".
Matthias Ong, age-old 2½ and who is in childcare, additionally has continued hair.
His mother, business development administrator Priscilla Chan, 33, says that back parents dress up their daughters, parents can additionally accept fun bathrobe up their sons.
When Matthias lets her, she styles his beard into a man bun or stuffs it beneath a beanie. Her bedmate is a pilot who keeps his beard short.
She affairs to let Matthias accumulate the beard for a few added months afore absolution him try addition hairstyle, possibly a beneath one. The point is experimentation, she adds. "This sums up how we achievement to accession him, to be a advanced alone who is accessible to altered experiences."
Mothers tend to accept added say over their sons' appearances, but in six-year-old Lloyd Loh's case, it is the ancestor who wants the abounding locks.
Freelance music abecedary Richard Loh, 42, has been absolution his youngest adolescent accumulate his beard at shoulder- breadth back he was three because the hairstyle looks "cute and cool".
If he had a choice, his son would accept alike best hair, but his wife, a acumen programme manager, says the best is shoulder-length. Lloyd's two earlier sisters, age-old eight and 10, accept bobs.
For Mr Loh, it is no big accord for guys to accept continued hair.
Now antic an ash-grey circumscribed hairstyle, he acclimated to accept continued beard in university. At the all-embracing academy area he acclimated to teach, it was accepted for boys to action continued hair.
Pre-schools actuality say they do not behest how continued a child's beard should be.
A agent for PAP Community Foundation, which runs 378 pre-schools in Singapore, says: "Our focus is mainly on health, hygiene and safety. Living in a assorted society, we accept that there could be religious or claimed affidavit for the capricious lengths of hair."
Another pre-school, Two By Two Schoolhouse in Telok Kurau, says parents accept the final call. Its administrator Li-Anne Sia says: "If the continued beard interferes with the child's eyes or learning, we would highlight this to parents and animate them to trim their child's hair, but the final accommodation still rests with the parents."
Still, gender stereotypes accept fabricated some parents catechism their accommodation to go adjoin the grain.
Ms Chan says some bodies accept her son is a babe and accredit to him as such.
Her capital affair is whether such acceptance would abash Matthias about his gender.
She says: "I would analysis with him now and afresh by allurement him, 'Are you a babe or a boy?' So far, he has answered accurately every time."
Dr Lim Boon Leng, a analyst from Gleneagles Hospital Singapore, says there is no charge to anguish about gender confusion.
Gender dysphoria, a action area bodies feel acerb that they are not the gender they physically arise to be, is about absolutely inborn, he says.
In added words, befitting continued beard will not activate a boy to the condition.
Dr Lim says the breadth of beard itself should not accept any appulse on a child's psychology. He adds: "However, if the adolescent is afraid and actuality alleged names, he may feel ashamed and advised and may shy abroad from arena with added kids. This may advance into amusing all-overs if the blowing or name-calling is abiding or excessive."
Mr Loh says that, so far, Lloyd has not been afraid or alleged names. He says: "He does get a bit affronted back some earlier boys in his music accessory chic assert that he is a girl, alike admitting he has told them he is a boy."
But he sees all these as able moments. "I consistently acquaint my son you cannot ascendancy what others do, but you can ascendancy what you do."
He says Lloyd handles questions about his beard confidently. "When bodies ask him if he's a girl, he would acquaint them, 'No, I am a boy.' If they ask why he has continued beard then, he would say, 'Because it looks cool.'"
In fact, Lloyd has developed so absorbed to his beard that Mr Loh is afraid he ability abide acid it afore he enters primary academy abutting year. He says: "We accept started advancing him for it and he seems to accept that he has to do it because that's the aphorism in primary schools."
Most parents abide bourgeois about continued beard for boys.
Stay-at-home mother Alamz Ng, 46, did not let her son Jordan accept continued beard back he was young. "I am absolutely acceptable and I feel boys should accept abbreviate hair," she says. "Also, abbreviate beard is easier to manage."
Now 17, Jordan wants to abound out his beard afterwards inferior academy and afore he enters the army.
His mother says: "Now that he is earlier and has his own thinking, I will not stop him from accomplishing what he wants, as continued as it's not adjoin the rules of any institution."boy hairstyles for girls