18 October 2021  |

Dear Aunt Sevvy,

I’m 15 and I’m a Seventh-day Adventist, as are my parents. My style has always been a little on the eccentric side, while still following Adventist values. I’ve always wanted my hair an unnatural color but my mom thinks only “weirdos” have “weird” hair colors. She doesn’t want me to look like those “weird people.” Shouldn’t I be able to dye my hair any color I want—putting aside my mom’s personal opinion and just going from Adventist values?

Signed, Purple Hair Just for Fun

Dear Purple Hair:

I don’t know if this is any comfort to you, but you are reliving something that other generations of teenagers have gone through with their parents, whether they’re Seventh-day Adventists or not. In Aunty’s youth, there were major parent-teen conflicts about all kinds of things, from the length of boys’ hair (parents wanted it shorter) to the length of girls’ skirts (they wanted those longer), plus jewelry and makeup (none), and the music we listened to (they hated it). 

Now the landscape has shifted to tattoos, piercings, odd hair colors and what we do on social media. 

This is just to assure you: You’re not alone. 

Aunty believes that the happiest families are democratic; that is, parents and teens talk things over, and negotiate with one another. 

You probably won’t get everything you want all the time — after all, isn’t it your parents’ job to keep you from doing things you would almost certainly regret? Aunty would do everything she could to keep her children from getting a face tattoo, for example, or taking narcotics, or getting into a relationship with someone who is abusive. 

However parents, because they love you, sometimes want to fight every battle rather than just the important ones. The nice thing about an odd hair color, Mom, is that it’s not permanent! 

So maybe this is one you can negotiate with them.You don’t sound to Aunty like the kind of teenager who is going to take things too  far. Express to your parents (courteously!) that you understand their concern, and assure them that this is only a matter of a fun style that won’t last forever — and ask them to trust you that it doesn’t signal anything more than that. I think they’ll see the light. 

Aunt Sevvy

You can write to Aunt Sevvy at DearAuntSevvy@gmail.com. Please keep questions or comments short. What you send us at this address won’t necessarily be, but could be, published — always without identification of the writer. Aunt Sevvy writes her own column, and her opinions are not necessarily those of Adventist Today’s editors.

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