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Mom And Dad Disagree On Whether There Should Be Consequences For Their Daughter Shaving Off Her Eyebrows

Photo: kryzhov / Shutterstock
teenage girl looking annoyed at her parents

Working as a team while parenting isn’t easy. Individuals naturally have different opinions and backgrounds that inform their decisions.

One couple ran into this problem while trying to decide what to do after their daughter shaved off her eyebrows.

A teenager’s parents disagreed on whether she should face consequences for shaving her eyebrows off.

A confused and concerned mother took to the Parenting subreddit to ask for advice after she and her husband were split on a major issue.

“My daughter (17) decided to shave off her eyebrows the other day just because she wanted to try a new look,” the mom wrote. “I don’t like them at all but it’s her body.”

Parents Disagree On Whether They Should Punish Their Daughter For Shaving Her EyebrowsPhoto: Zigres / Shutterstock

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Meanwhile, the girl’s dad thought something needed to be done to teach his daughter a lesson.

“Her father thinks that there should be consequences for her doing that,” she said. “I feel that the natural consequences (possible regret and having to wait for them to grow out) are enough, especially for someone her age.”

Children should be taught about body autonomy and self-expression from a young age.

According to the Alliance for Children, lessons about body autonomy should begin when children are toddlers, noting, “Body autonomy is the fundamental human right to be in control of your own body. You get to choose what happens to your body.”

Body autonomy is most often thought about in terms of consent; however, it extends beyond that. In fact, children and teenagers can also learn about body autonomy through their appearance.

“Kids at this age also start to have opinions about their hairstyle and clothing choice,” the Alliance for Children wrote. “Let them express their autonomy and individuality this way, as long as it is safe and allowed by their school.”

There are many more reasons why it’s important to allow children to express themselves through their appearance.

According to Aspire Counseling and Consulting Services, “Self-expression is a large part of a teenager’s personal growth and development. Encouraging teens to express themselves safely and respectfully can help them build confidence and self-awareness.”

“Teenagers have always used their appearance to non-verbally express themselves," they continued. "From the way they style their hair to the outfits they wear, this is the identity that they are claiming.” 

While shaving one’s eyebrows off might not be the wisest decision, it’s clear that this teen was just trying to express herself through her appearance.

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Most people agreed with the teenager's mom.

Commenters believed this was an expression of individuality for the teenager and that she would be punished enough when she began to regret it.

“You are 100 percent right — the natural consequence will be enough,” one person wrote. “Plus, at 17 she should have some autonomy over her eyebrows!”

“They’re her eyebrows,” another person pointed out. “Why should she be punished?”

A third user said, “It’s a bit weird that a father thinks he should have some say over his teenage daughter’s body hair. Natural consequences all the way.”

Parents Disagree On Whether They Should Punish Their Daughter For Shaving Her EyebrowsPhoto: style-photo / Shutterstock

Clearly, fellow Redditors understood that the girl’s choices were a consequence of her desire to express herself. They were also a sign of body autonomy that her father would be taking away by punishing her.

While she is still a minor and her parents do still have the right to discipline her, this teenager’s parents also have a responsibility to teach her important lessons about individuality and autonomy, some of which can only be learned through making what turns out to be mistakes.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.