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Celine Dion lets her son Rene Charles go short

Updated on July 27, 2011

Anyone who’s seen pictures of Rene Charles until recently would probably have mistaken him for a girl. His hair was well past his shoulders and halfway down is back. He didn’t want his hair cut and so Celine Dion took the “if you don’t want your hair cut then we won’t cut it” approach. At such a young age, hair length is often the only thing that clearly separates girls from boys. Especially since it’s normal for girls to wear boyish clothes (though not the other way round unfortunately).

With Rene Charles, though it was just left to grow without shape. It looked unkempt and had no shape or style which is what prompted so many people to say “Rene Charles badly needs a haircut”. Well that’s over now. His hair is now a typical boyish short and that must have been quite a loss for him.

Creative Commons License 3.0 source:
Creative Commons License 3.0 source: | Source

But it wasn’t a change of heart that made Rene Charles change his mind about not wanting a haircut. It was his school that forbids boys to have long hair. In an interview, Celine Dion said that she left her son to decide between staying at his school and keeping his long hair. But he could not have both.

Cutting off a whole lifetime worth of hair growth is a big step for anyone no matter how good the reason behind it. But to cut your hair short just because of school regulations has got to be the worst reason imaginable. It reeks of gender discrimination, conformity, pointless homophobia and outright stupidity. Now at least Rene Charles was given the choice by his mom. Many parents just cut their boy's hair whether he likes it or not. But still I don’t approve of it. Changing schools is also a huge deal for a young kid. It’s like an adult dropping everything, moving to another country and starting all over from scratch with a new social life and new job. Putting a young boy in the position to have to decide between changing schools and cutting off his long hair is still very harsh. No wonder boys don’t perform as well as girls in school if they’re under so much more pressure just to be accepted. In fact, I think the boys doing less well in school has nothing to do with lacking role models as everyone keeps suggesting but that is another topic.

I don't see what's the obsession with boys hair length anyway. It's amazing how much controversy it provokes. Just look at some of the parenting forums and see how strongly people feel about boys with long hair. Some people really think their son will turn gay if he's allowed to have long hair! Can you believe it? I just feel sorry for the poor kids who grow up with such parents and, sadly there is a lot of this. Is it any wonder girls do better in school? Others think it's doing boys a favor to forcefully cut their hair. They hide behind silly arguments that make no sense. For example many people seem to think that boys with long hair are undisciplined which is ridiculous since anyone who's ever had long hair (maybe there's the problem) knows it takes a hell of a lot more discipline and effort to handle than short hair. It's all just cover up for an innate fear of anything that might be thought of as feminine in boys. That's really what it boils down to. Perhaps, if Celine Dion is going to make Rene Charles decide between his hair and his school, then she should tell him why he has to make that choice. Maybe that would give him a chance to take a proper position in this ridiculous gender conformity game.

I think parents should not encourage this kind of thing from schools. Of course, if Rene Charles prefers to go to that school than keep his hair, then let him. But parents should not let that go without making an appropriately big fuss about it - to the school of course. He needs to know that an injustice is being done to him. Or perhaps that's taking a few too many chances...

Please tell me what you think.

What do you think about boys with long hair?

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    • profile image

      Ex-long hair boy 

      7 years ago

      As a guy who used to be the only boy in his school to have long hair - and a 14 year old at that - you cannot believe the amount of flack I got for it. It's not easy standing up to your beliefs in front of an army of teachers and students that are against you. I can no longer have long hair - hairloss has made my hair thin, so I have to keep it short - but gender binarism is really to blame here. You're right Lucy, girls have a very hard time in life conforming to ideas of femininity, but they are still sufficiently elastic to allow for emotional self-expression. Traditional notions of masculinity are straight out of boot camp and boys keep having to deal with that day to day. No wonder we don't excel academically: we're too busy trying to maintain an incredible degree of self-control. Self-policing takes a lot of your energy...

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I think that boys should be allowed to have their hair long without any input from society. My sons hair is long and well cared for and I refuse to cut it because his hair will cause more work for me than is necessary. My opinion is that if he's not your child shut up! Someone will always have an opinion but I will not allow anyone to hurt my child my sterotyping him because of his hair style choice!

    • Lucy83 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      You're right Nick. Long hair has nothing to do with being gay. But unfortunately, many people aren't as clever as you.

      When you ask them why they have such a rule and you keep asking until you get past the excuses, then they nearly always reveal that it's just down to that false association. They end up with the final argument "boys should look like boys".

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm not quite sure why you see this school rule as homophobic. None of my gay friends have long hair, and I very rarely see men with long hair in gay clubs/bars... I personally would not make any link at all between the two! I would be more likely to think of men with long hair as being rock stars or associated crew, if I was going to stereotype.

    • Lucy83 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Yes thanks Wendy you brought my attention to another point. Boys/men have quite a small window of opportunity to experience long hair. Some start loosing it in their 20s and if they were made to cut it short until they leave the parents' house, after which they try to establish themselves professionally (not exactly easy these days) which can take many years on top of that, they might have been denied the experience of long hair for ever. Very sad and quite evil really.

      Has anyone here been affected by that?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I think males should be able to wear their hair as they want before father time takes it away...but is hard to do with nagging parents, inconsiderate coworkers and bosses, and nagging spouses harping about it...


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