PHOTO: VIRGINIA MELLEN
Every parent has their own unique way of teaching their child how to be a decent, nonjudgemental human being.
Some parents let their kids give money to the homeless. Some parents volunteer with their kids. Some explain the concept of right and wrong through hypothetical situations.
Virginia Mellen, a mother-of-one from Maine, shaved her head.
Mellen, 27, who has been shaving her head since high school, posted in the Facebook group that she almost didn’t go through with her latest haircut because that’s supposedly what a mother isn’t "supposed" to do.
"I always felt most comfortable, confident, and attractive with a shaved head," she told . "Over the past few months I wanted to do it again, but I kept hesitating—'Is this Okay to do now that I’m a mom?' 'What will people think now that I’m older?'"
But Mellen began to think less about society’s expectations and more about how she wanted her son, 15-month-old Avi, to see his mom making a choice for herself.
"I want my son to grow up with a mom who doesn't make decisions about her appearance based on what other people think,” she wrote in the group. "I want him to know that there is no particular way a mom or a woman is 'supposed' to look.
"So last night I shaved my head, and you know what? I don't think he noticed."
Mellen’s decision—more importantly, the reasons behind it—has received an onslaught of praise from mothers and non-mothers alike.
"I like the idea of [Avi] becoming accustomed to different appearances and styles in his daily life," she told Spring.St. "[My husband Eli and I] both hope Avi will grow up with an understanding that our worth is not centered around what other people think, and there is no 'right' way for women or men to look."
Mellen's decision to shave her head was also as much a personal decision—as a woman, outside of the title of "mom"—as it was a lesson for her son."The hardest part about becoming a mom has been society’s expectations of what it means to be a mother," she continued.
"It is easy to get overwhelmed by constant messages telling us we are not enough. [But] if I’m ever feeling self-conscious, I have this wonderful reminder to take a step back and remember what truly matters is how I care for myself and my family."
H/t: , Refinery29