Sam Curtis: Barbie's not the only one who's in for the chop
At some point in their childhood I imagine most little girls have sat with their Barbie doll (provided they had one) and a pair of scissors and contemplated their options.
I remember the satisfying crunch as the scissors cut through the blonde acrylic mane when I decided to give one of my Barbies a makeover.
But I only did it once. I can recall looking at her smiling face framed by a punk style, all spiky and haphazard, tufts of hair on my bedroom floor and thinking to myself, 'she looks a bit more Rod Stewart than I was going for'.
After her restyle, that poor doll joined the Action Man army that lived in my brother's bedroom.
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She dressed in camouflage gear and became one of the boys, driving a tank and losing a leg in a savage battle. Never again did she don a sparkly pink dress.
I think she might have occasionally played groom to one of the untrimmed Barbie brides but it's fair to say, her glamorous days were over from that day on.
So, it came as little surprise to discover my daughter Lottie sitting in an itchy pile of fake hair the other day.
She had selected her models carefully. One was a Barbie 'impersonator', the kind you find on the shelves of Poundland and give to your three-year-old in the hope they won't notice she swivels 360 degrees at the waist and her eyes are a bit far apart.
Clearly Lottie, now seven, had clocked she wasn't the real deal and marked her out for a revamp.
Another victim had a removable head, which when reattached to her body meant she had a very short neck. The final doll for the chop was a hand-me down who had seen better days.
To her credit, she had left her recent Christmas presents alone and any of the dolls with hair to their waist. Plus, in a dastardly clever move, she had cleared it with me by asking if she could 'play hairdressers' before she started chopping.
I noticed none of them were bald, in fact one was now sporting a bang-on-trend bob.
I was impressed, not just by her sense of style but also by her restraint, none of the dolls looked liked they had just had a run-in with a strimmer.
Satisfied with her endeavours, the scissors were put away, the Barbies popped back in the play box and her carpet vacuumed. No real drama.
A few days later, I was doing my best to make myself look presentable for a night out with friends.
My straighteners were heating up and my make-up box open.
While I was blow drying my hair, my daughter decided she wanted to join the party and so she painted her face. With glitter on her cheeks, thick red lipstick smeared around her mouth, eyeshadow and mascara, she looked a picture.
As Mr C was doing the bedtime shift that night I suggested he might want to pop her in the bath rather than try and remove her efforts with a baby wipe, which he duly noted. I carried on with my own preparations. It was only when I realised how quiet it had become in the bathroom that I grew curious. What was going on in there?
I pushed open the door to find Lottie staring intently into the mirror, comb in one hand and nail scissors in the other with sizeable lumps of her own hair, mainly her fringe falling to the floor as she snipped.
I think I might have actually screamed a little at the sight.
Pressed for time, I shouted for Mr C to come and help sort the situation as I needed to get going.
I slicked on some lipstick and popped my head around the corner of the bathroom once more only to see Mr C trying to even up Lottie's fringe using nail scissors.
I made him jump when I shrieked, 'STOP!' I suggested that if he carried on he was in danger of making his daughter look like one of The Three Stooges (Mo, the one with the bowl cut).
He put down the scissors and I fled the house. The next day, after a quick visit to the local hair salon Lottie was sporting a short but stylish fringe.
She is thrilled with her new look. She thinks she looks like someone famous, Katy Perry maybe?
So long as it's not Rod Stewart, it's okay with me.
Weekly columnist Sam Curtis, 42, is mum to Lottie, 7, and lives in Lincoln in a house that's not as tidy as she'd like with her football writer husband Leigh.