Blue Hair and Lip rings

I recently, finally, left my day job, which was teaching middle school students that grammar was really, really important, dammit!

That lesson, for the most part, did not take. Go figure.

But one of them, one student I didn’t actually teach this year, but who touched my damned, vulnerable heart, has kind of gone off the deep end. Her hair is now blue–Cookie Monster Blue, with white stripes–and she now has a piercing. A lip ring.

This student had a rough year. This student was sexually abused by a stepfather this year. This student moved into a new house with her father, and has absolutely no supervision. Hence the blue hair and the lip ring. Her mom, apparently, thinks it is cool.

And this student has an attitude now. A “who the fuck do you think you are to question my decisions?” kind of attitude. Sadly, I have seen the progression to this “attitude.” What do you do with that? How do you react?

I know where this is coming from. I have viewed, firsthand, her descent from happy-go-lucky athletic teenager to blue-haired nasty-mouthed, lip-ringed teenager.

Are all kids with blue hair and lips rings bad kids? No, of course not. But they ARE hiding. They are putting on a mask, and a charade, and a costume of elaborate making. They are, in fact, no longer the person they used to be.

How do you deal with this?


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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5 Responses to Blue Hair and Lip rings

  1. Cele says:

    With sadness, accept them as the adult they want to be, and pray really hard they will learn the lessons before them and not suffer. Some kids pull out of it, others unfortunately don’t spiralling into a deep abyss. Give her love.


  2. desi says:

    I think I recognize that girl. It wasn’t blue hair I hid behind, but something else.
    I WISH, I WISH, I WISH, a teacher or someone who noticed the difference would have said,”you can talk to me, whenever you want, I’m here” or anything like that. Someone who knows the way, to show me where I should be going, would have been a dream. Most teens don’t go the way they should, because there is no one there to show them the right way.
    good luck, I wish I would have had a teacher like you.


  3. azteclady says:

    Like Cele said, you pray for her, Natalie–and if there’s even a glimmer of a chance, you listen to her. I’ll add her to my prayers.


  4. Saw this happen to my nephew, who was living with his meth addicted mother. Although his father is Mormon, I was rooting for his father to get custody. (His father has been fighting for custody since he was born). His mother was giving the boy various drugs. We found out later.

    He was wearing the earrings and nose rings… But, when his dad finally got custody (his mother was tested for drugs–positive) the boy changed completely. He still acts like a teenager… but not as extreme as before.


  5. Maria Rilke says:

    In my opinion, the early sexualization of children is the most damaging thing that can happen to the human psyche. We should enforce all statutory rape laws and insist that perpetrators are put in jail.


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