A Mom Sent Her Friend A 'Cute' Video Of Her 1-Year-Old Son Brushing His Hair And Received An Incredibly Rude Response

Can hair brushing be gendered?

mom brushing son's hair Kamaji Ogino & Thgusstavo Santana / Pexels

A mom took to the internet to let her feelings loose after receiving a rude response from a friend regarding her 1-year-old son.

One mom wrote to Reddit's r/beyondthebump subreddit, which defines itself as “a place for new parents, new parents to be, and old parents who want to help out.”

The mom ranted about sending her friend a sweet video of her 1-year-old son, only to receive a response that offended her.

“My 1-year-old son likes to take the brush out of my hand when I brush his hair, and do it himself,” the mom explained. She noted that while his fine motor skills aren't great, she still thinks it’s cute that he wants to try doing something himself.


“I let him explore his independence for a bit, before I finish brushing his hair,” she stated.

Hair brushing is an activity that can help toddlers develop their motor skills, as noted by Dana, a pediatric occupational therapist, who offered tips on hair brushing for young kids with sensory issues.

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The mom went on to say that she “recorded him while he's happily and proudly combing his hair and sent the video to a friend of mine.”


The friend replied by saying, “Haha cute, but you shouldn't brush his hair? He'll grow up to be womanish and girly, lol.” The mom was livid and confused by her friend's gender stereotyping, and wondered what “is that even supposed to mean?”

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Her friend's rude response to the video of her son brushing his hair left her upset and confused.

She explained that her son has long hair that gets tangled easily, then asked “Am I supposed to let my son look rough and unkempt just because he's a boy?”

She also asked about the larger question at hand, wondering, “Are men not supposed to look and feel nice and groomed just because they are men?”


Before having a son, she never paid much attention to the differences in how people spoke about boys and girls, but now she’s hyper-aware of the variance of attitudes around gender. She’s heard comments like, "Don't baby him so much, he's not a girl, nobody likes a mama's boy.”

She pointed out how she’s noticed “the rough handling of a boy versus soft handling of girls, because, well, boys are stronger than girls.”

“I will definitely take care of my son just the same way I would've taken care of him had he been born a girl,” the mom stated. 

The comments left by others on the thread were supportive of the mom and called into question the idea of gendering behavior like brushing one’s hair.


“Shouldn’t anyone with hair brush it? How is this a gender-specific thing?” wondered one person.

Another person commented that “pointlessly gendered things… only serve to strengthen and shrink the boxes that we put gender stereotypes into.”

“That is the poison we use on boys that grow into toxic men,” noted someone else. “Brush his hair and teach him hygiene and be proud of who he is.”

“He is lucky to have a mom that sees him as a whole person. And he's getting to enjoy developing those motor skills while also establishing healthy grooming habits. What's not to love?!” Commented another person.

Learning how to brush one’s hair is part of developing fine motor skills while also learning literal self-care, which is an important factor in developing young kids’ self-esteem.


Another mom of a son explains how she “literally can’t wait to paint his nails if he asks and grow out his hair to put in braids and space buns and play dress up, so that he knows that anything he enjoys is limitless and not confined to gender.”

Gen Z’s beliefs on gender are more fluid than past generations. According to a 2021 Gallup survey, 1.8% of Gen Z identifies as trans, the highest percentage of any living generation. 

As Gen Z ages into young adulthood and Generations Alpha and Beta are born and grow, these numbers are likely to increase, showing that future generations will continue to challenge rigid gender roles and definitions.


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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.