Family Resemblances: The Dutch Boy Look

1936-1 Mary 20140708_083030

My mother, age 3

One of the pictures I found when I made the slide show of my mother’s life for her funeral was this photograph of her as a small child on a pony. I don’t recognize the building behind her, so I don’t know where the picture was taken. I have no idea what the occasion was for this pony ride in full cowgirl regalia. Was she in a parade? Was it just a neighborhood activity? Who else was involved? Those questions will probably never be answered.

I love the picture of her in her little Dutch boy haircut. By the time she was about five or six, her mother put her in pigtails, but her toddler pictures all show my mother as a little blond Dutch boy.

Sister in the Dutch boy style

Sister in the Dutch boy style

Most of the women in my family have straight, wispy hair. My sister was blond like my mother. (”Dishwater blond,” our paternal grandfather called it, which my sister took as a terrible insult.) She didn’t have much hair until after her first birthday, but in her toddler years, she, too, sported the Dutch boy look. The barrette on top of her head kept the wisps from standing straight up.

T as toddler

Me, in the Dutch boy style

I was a brunette from birth onward. My hair—though thick—was so fly-away that my mother braided the sides and held the braids down with barrettes. But in my early years, I also wore the simple Dutch boy style. I hated that my mother cut my bangs so short—a dispute that lasted until I was in high school. Then I cut them myself using Scotch tape as a guide, until I quit wearing bangs altogether.

M by piano

Daughter with curls

It’s a good thing I married a man with thick, curly hair. My daughter got his curls, which I loved and envied. Of course, since none of us likes the hair God gave us, my daughter straightens her curls now, much to my regret.

Son and Boppy

Son with straight hair

Among my kids, the Dutch boy look ended up where it should—with my son.

What family resemblances do your relatives discuss?

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  1. While my mother told many stories, after she died, I realized there was sooooo much I hadn’t asked. Like you wondering about your mother on a pony, I wondered about my mother’s teenage years. We have a much treasured Mom’s high school graduation photo that I’d seen for years but never thought to ask her about her dress or the lovely white shoes with bows. Funny the little things we don’t think about.

    • Janet,
      I don’t even remember going through this old photo album with either my mother or my grandmother. Maybe I did, but I don’t remember it. All I know is that this pony picture was new to me when I found it in July.
      But there are other pictures I’d seen before, and, like you, I never asked the questions. And worse yet, some of the stories behind the pictures I have heard and forgotten.
      One reason to keep writing this blog . . .
      Thanks. Theresa

  2. What a cute photo of your mother on the pony. She looks so proud of herself. 🙂
    Ha ha…my sister and I had the Dutch boy cut, but we called it the “Pixie” and we hated it. We always wanted long, flowing hair.

    • Jill,
      She does look proud, doesn’t she?
      I didn’t hate the Dutch boy cut, and I didn’t want the longer hair until junior high and high school days. By then (end of the 60s and early 70s), long straight hair was in fashion, and I could do long and straight. Still can, though not as long.
      Thanks for reading!

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