A mum has dyed her two-year-old daughter’s hair pink and given her temporary tattoos, saying she uses an ‘alternative parenting’ method.
Photos show the lookalike mum, Amy Lyn, and daughter, BellaMae, with their matching colour hair and tattoos.
Tattoo apprentice Amy, 25, has an alternative look herself, with brightly-coloured hair, body art and stretched ears.
She didn’t want to change her appearance when she became a parent and hopes BellaMae will become a better decision maker by allowing her to make choices herself from an early age.
The mum has rejected criticism of her parenting style, rebuffing those who say her daughter is too young to dye her hair or use play makeup.
Amy, from the US state of California, said: “Alternative parenting, I think starts with the style.
“The grunge, punk, alternative style really bloomed in the 80s and 90s. Growing up in that time I think I really held onto the darker unusual fashion and style.
“As a person becoming a mother, I don’t want to change and let go of that darker creative side of myself. I waited until my daughter started to take interest on her own to introduce temporary tattoos, colourful play makeup, and dyed hair.
“From there I let her have the lead. I feel extremely strong about being myself no matter what. Other than just physically letting her play with the way she looks as a kid who just thinks it’s fun, I think of alternative parenting as simple as out of the cookie cutter mould.
“I feel like the usual parenting style is built on the parents being dictators of the family until the children reach a comfortable age to let them start choosing small things for themselves.”
Amy said waiting until BellaMae is in her mid or late teens would be leaving it “too long” to teach her about “choices and cause and effect”.
She added: “I chose to let my daughter start exploring options to express herself as soon as she is capable, so that down the line she’s less likely to waste time trying to find who she is and can focus on making whatever her dreams are reality.”
Amy is BellaMae’s definition of “normal” as she has never seen her mother without tattoos or stretched ears.
She’s always loved the tattoos and used to put stickers all over herself until Amy bought her some temporary ones. Her hair was dyed for the first time at Halloween after she was given the choice.
The mum said: “If I have any kind of message by allowing my daughter to put little temporary tattoos on herself, and playing with makeup, or changing her hair colour to look like her favourite crayons, it’s that I want her to know freedom of expression.
“Adulthood often lacks so much creativity, and the world needs it to combat the constant bills, and 40-plus hour work week.
“Most people would say that my daughter is too young to be changing her hair colour, but I say let her start choosing now.
“I give my child the option to have fun bright hair now, so that she will be a better decision maker later in life. And let’s face it, if you were giving the option as a child in the thirties to have blue hair, you probably would do it.
“Because a child then and now, still has the same childlike wonder, it’s our outside circumstances that affect what we have access and acceptability to.”
Amy feels this alternative parenting is already extremely common right now thanks to the 80s and 90s kids growing up and having children of their own.
She said: “It’s the generations that were born in the 80s and 90s that were the most open to expressing themselves, and had the tools to do so through music and art.
“Now those generations are having children and I see so many people give up that creative part of them to go for the usual parenting – being that mom and dad who choose everything for their kids until they’re old enough to choose for themselves.
“I try to stay as creative as possible, so that my daughter can see that even though there are necessities in life like working, and paying bleak bills, you can still be an individual and have joy in anything.”