11-year-old Makayla was born with thick, curly hair – that same hair caused an argument so explosive that it got her kicked off of the team.
At Woodlands Elite Cheer, a private cheer squad, a lot of things are required when it comes to being a part of the team. A uniform, makeup, and yes, a team-wide hairstyle. In order to win points for uniformity, everyone on the team must be as uniform as possible.
But when Makayla’s mother saw the requirement, she was stunned. Not only would straightening her daughter’s hair damage it, it might be more trouble than it was worth.
“I felt that it would make my daughter feel like she’s not good enough – that she’s not like other girls.”
Straightening the girl’s hair to the extent that the team expected would destroy her hair, so the director, Kevin Tonner, met with the concerned mother at a meeting and tried to compromise.
…The team has a uniform and the team has a hairstyle; to do a straight pony-tail when you compete,” Tonner told ABC News. “My wife is a hairstylist. We showed her how to straighten her hair,” without damaging it, he said.
But the mother wouldn’t compromise, saying that even if she would straighten her hair only for competitions, it was just not going to happen. Things got heated and both Makayla and her mother were asked to leave, removing Makayla from the team.
“It seems so little or small to anyone else, [but] uniformity on that is half the battle,” Tonner said.
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