Open Letter to Jeff Laxamana: Now That She's Dead, I Guess She Won't Be Doing THAT Again
What Did Izabel Do To Deserve This?
What you did was unforgivable. And I'm not talking about the video.
You cut off all of Izabel's beautiful hair. You killed a little part of her. You assaulted your beautiful daughter. And then you justified it by saying it was her fault.
I'm trying to figure out what she could have done that was so horrific that you thought destroying her beauty would be the appropriate punishment. Did you justify it by telling yourself it would grow back? Before you cut off all that beautiful hair, did you justify your actions, going through all the misdeeds she'd executed in the past few months, emotionally girding yourself to perform this assault?
I'm sure you got this idea online, probably while looking for more sick rims for your car. You probably found some other parent that had cut off all of their child's hair as punishment for something similar to what Izabel was doing and thought it would send a clear, albeit temporary, message about not crossing you, ever.
But, I wonder: Was she planning to sacrifice a friend to Slenderman? Was she poisoning her mother because she took away her phone? Because even if she was doing those things, what you did was wrong, and I would never even think of doing that to my daughters.
I know how terrible she felt after you did this to her, because it was done to me. The difference was that for me, both times, it was done out of incompetence, by strangers.
I honestly can't imagine my parents ever doing something so humiliating and abusive to me, even on accident.
You May Not Have Been The Cause, But You Were Definitely A Factor
Two times in my life, I have had very long hair cut short. Once, when I was about Izabel's age, I agreed to do a hairstyling show with my friend. My mother never let me have long hair when I was little, so when I reached the age that stylists listened to what I wanted and ignored my mother, I greedily chose long hair. At the time, it wasn't even as long as Izabel's, just a bit past my shoulders, but that was the longest I ever had it in my life. The stylists in charge of the show promised that they would only trim, and maybe slightly layer, my hair, but that was a lie.
They gave me an asymmetrical cut, a cut that was popular in the 1980s. On one side, they nearly gave me a buzz cut above the ear. The other side almost reached my chin. It was a monstrosity of a haircut. I cried for 2 days over that haircut. My mom took me to our regular stylist and he fixed it a bit, but I was embarrassed for months and months afterwards. I still remember the grief I felt over losing my hair those so, so many years ago.
Fast forward about 15 years, to two days before my wedding. My hair was over three feet long, a dark honey color, and it had been around the world with me. It had been to hell and back with me. It was a part of my identity and it was beautiful. I usually wore it up in a bun, but on special occasions I would do a kind of "reveal" and let it all down, to the delight of all my friends. And then two days before my wedding, I went in for a trim. Maybe even get some layers put in, because it was taking on a life of its own back there.
Under the careful supervision of my mother, the stylist cut off about 2 and a half feet of hair. I was devastated. And the worst part? Everyone telling me it would grow back. Everyone telling me that it was only hair, there was nothing to be so upset about.
I grieved for that hair. Some people will get it: It was the same grief you would feel if you lost a beloved pet. My rational mind knew my hair would grow back but my heart was deeply saddened at my loss.
So Jeff: In an instant, you took away that fragile sense of teenage femininity Izabel had and replaced it with utter humiliation. There were hints that she was acting out. Did you ask what was wrong? Did you lend a father's shoulder to cry on? Or were you too busy working on your car?
This was obviously a girl screaming for help, and not only did you ignore her cries, you punished her for them.
Izabel has already punished you far more than anyone else possibly could, but maybe there's another parent out there who thinks this kind of punishment isn't that bad and is considering it for their own child. If there is even a whisper of an idea in your head that includes cutting off a piece of your child's body, listen to me now: When you cut off your daughter's hair, they may not feel physical pain, but the emotional scars will last a lifetime.