Barber Publicly Shames Naughty Kids With An Old Man’s Haircut
A-1 Kutz in Atlanta is offering embarrassing haircuts for parents who want to teach their naughty kids a lesson.
The “Benjamin Button Special” involves shaving the hair off the child’s crown so he looks like a balding senior citizen.
Co-owner Russell Fredrick and his supporters say the free service is the perfect punishment for cheeky children who want to “act grown.”
“There are a few people that are saying it’s emotional abuse; but on average, everyone is applauding the mother that brought the child in — and applauding me as well,” Fredrick, a father-of-three, told Washington Post.
The 34-year-old last month shared a snap of a 10-year-old boy who underwent the shave, with the caption: “So you wana act grown … well now you can look grown too. The grown-up kids special by @rusty_fred.”
The image went viral and the boy’s mother said her son learnt his lesson. The boy even started calling himself “old man Jenkins.”
The “Benjamin Button Special” was so-named after the 2008 movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt, about a man who ages in reverse.
Fredrick said he started advertising the close shave after testing it on his 12-year-old son, Rushawn, last year.
He said his son’s grades “dramatically skyrocketed” and his behaviour improved after the public humiliation.
While he only encourages the haircut as a last resort, the devoted dad said it can help exhausted parents bring their kids into line.
“When you go to discipline kids these days, they can’t necessarily use physical punishment the way parents did in the past, but they have to do something,” he told The Washington Post.
“If you don’t, and your kid ends up doing something crazy, everyone is going to say the problems started at home.”
Cut For Good Kids
However psychotherapist Xanthia Bianca Johnson said shaming children to keep them under control is counterproductive.
“There’s lots of research that supports the fact that when a child is blamed or shamed it triggers their nervous system, and when the nervous system is shut down, it is directly connected to the brain,” she said.
“The part of the brain that processes logic gets shut off and it can actually stunt physical and emotional growth.”