Should This Little Girl's Big Bow Be Banned?

A four-year-old's hairstyle sparked a whole lot of school drama. But why?

Should This Little Girl’s Big Bow Be Banned?

A four-year-old’s hairstyle sparked a whole lot of school drama. But why?

-Piper Weiss, Yahoo! Shine 

Marcella Lady Gaga bow

There are bows and then there are Lady Gaga bows. Four-year-old Marcella Marino chose the latter for a school photo, only to end up in tears, according to her dad.

The British primary school student asked her father, professional hairstylist Marcello Marino, to make her look like a princess for her upcoming class photo. The salon owner went more rock princess than Cinderella, and tied his little girl’s long blond hair into a tilted bow, a look popularized by Gaga back in 2009.

Marcella loved the look but her school didn’t, according to the Daily Mail.

“When she went for the school photo on Monday she was told she wasn’t allowed to wear her hair in that style because of the dress code,” Marcello told the British paper.

In fact, the primary school his daughter attends has a very strict dress code, which is detailed on its website. With regards to hair, the school requests ribbons or bows are “made of dark colors, maroon/navy blue/black” and states strictly that “Hair braids/beads may not be worn.”

Marcella’s hairstyle broke all the rules and none of them. It’s not really a braid and kind of a ribbon, but according to her dad, the look was banned by school officials. (The school didn’t return Shine’s request for a comment by press time.)

“I am so disappointed,” Marcello told the Mail. “I could understand if Marcella arrived with her hair dyed or something, but this is an elegant look which I think the school should be proud of.”

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Incidentally the school photo was rescheduled for another day for an unrelated reason so the bow look wouldn’t have made it in the school’s photo archives anyway. Marcello, who made headlines last year as an outspoken British reality show contestant, posted his own photo of his daughter’s bow-style on Twitter.

Clearly, Marcella likes it and so does her dad. So how could a little bow, even a Gaga inspired-one, make people uneasy? Somehow, the archaic symbol of a good little girl (and Ms. Pac-Man) has become a rejection of just that. The Minnie Mouse hair-bow has been co-opted by a new generation of girls who are more media savvy and fearless when it comes to bold accessories.

Tavi Gevinson, teenage Rookie Magazine founder and feminist icon, wore the ultimate not-your-mom’s bow when she made her debut at fashion week. Then a 13-year-old blogger surrounded by immaculately dressed editrixes, Tavi owned her outsider status with an oversize accessory. It’s something she had been doing long she hit the fashion scene.

Like Marcella, Tavi’s parents encouraged her own individual sense of style, even when those around her didn’t. “I got very used to hearing people say, ‘how could her parents let her go to school and get bullied for dressing like that!’ but my parents weren’t about to keep me from having harmless creative fun,” Gevinson told Shine in an email. “Instead they taught me not to take what other people like that say to heart and I think it really helped me be more comfortable with myself and more able to give myself permission to express myself.”

If those are the kinds of lessons kids can glean from unconventional style, shouldn’t more schools support that? Advocates for strict dress codes, an increasing movement here in the U.S., believe they’re protecting students by encouraging discipline and eliminating classroom distractions. In some cases, they may be on to something. But what’s the harm in a little bow, or better yet, a big one?

More from Yahoo! Shine:

Meet feminist fashion prodigy Tavi Gevinson

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0 thoughts on “Should This Little Girl's Big Bow Be Banned?

  1. duchessnla says:

    this is one of the most ridiculous things in charge of schools have done lately. Its completely non-sensical for them to have told this small child she couldnt have this special “do” for her photo. How anyone learns anything with idiots in charge these days is beyond me.

  2. Catca says:

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with the little girls hair. The fact that its elaborateness means most parents wouldn’t be able to replicate it on their daughters hair doesn’t make it wrong. There is nothing trashy about the hair.

  3. ugogirl says:

    welcome to the idiocy of government and pc (polictcal correctness).

  4. hofken says:

    I think she looks adorable; however, if the dress code specifically prohibits it, then it shouldn’t be allowed. I suppose this is (another) one for the lawyers!
    Twitter @hofken

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