What Did Izabel Do To Deserve This?
What you did was unforgivable. And I'm not talking about the video.
You cut off all of Izabel's beautiful hair. You killed a little part of her. You assaulted your beautiful daughter. And then you justified it by saying it was her fault.
I'm trying to figure out what she could have done that was so horrific that you thought destroying her beauty would be the appropriate punishment. Did you justify it by telling yourself it would grow back? Before you cut off all that beautiful hair, did you justify your actions, going through all the misdeeds she'd executed in the past few months, emotionally girding yourself to perform this assault?
I'm sure you got this idea online, probably while looking for more sick rims for your car. You probably found some other parent that had cut off all of their child's hair as punishment for something similar to what Izabel was doing and thought it would send a clear, albeit temporary, message about not crossing you, ever.
But, I wonder: Was she planning to sacrifice a friend to Slenderman? Was she poisoning her mother because she took away her phone? Because even if she was doing those things, what you did was wrong, and I would never even think of doing that to my daughters.
I know how terrible she felt after you did this to her, because it was done to me. The difference was that for me, both times, it was done out of incompetence, by strangers.
I honestly can't imagine my parents ever doing something so humiliating and abusive to me, even on accident.
You May Not Have Been The Cause, But You Were Definitely A Factor
Two times in my life, I have had very long hair cut short. Once, when I was about Izabel's age, I agreed to do a hairstyling show with my friend. My mother never let me have long hair when I was little, so when I reached the age that stylists listened to what I wanted and ignored my mother, I greedily chose long hair. At the time, it wasn't even as long as Izabel's, just a bit past my shoulders, but that was the longest I ever had it in my life. The stylists in charge of the show promised that they would only trim, and maybe slightly layer, my hair, but that was a lie.
They gave me an asymmetrical cut, a cut that was popular in the 1980s. On one side, they nearly gave me a buzz cut above the ear. The other side almost reached my chin. It was a monstrosity of a haircut. I cried for 2 days over that haircut. My mom took me to our regular stylist and he fixed it a bit, but I was embarrassed for months and months afterwards. I still remember the grief I felt over losing my hair those so, so many years ago.
Fast forward about 15 years, to two days before my wedding. My hair was over three feet long, a dark honey color, and it had been around the world with me. It had been to hell and back with me. It was a part of my identity and it was beautiful. I usually wore it up in a bun, but on special occasions I would do a kind of "reveal" and let it all down, to the delight of all my friends. And then two days before my wedding, I went in for a trim. Maybe even get some layers put in, because it was taking on a life of its own back there.
Under the careful supervision of my mother, the stylist cut off about 2 and a half feet of hair. I was devastated. And the worst part? Everyone telling me it would grow back. Everyone telling me that it was only hair, there was nothing to be so upset about.
I grieved for that hair. Some people will get it: It was the same grief you would feel if you lost a beloved pet. My rational mind knew my hair would grow back but my heart was deeply saddened at my loss.
So Jeff: In an instant, you took away that fragile sense of teenage femininity Izabel had and replaced it with utter humiliation. There were hints that she was acting out. Did you ask what was wrong? Did you lend a father's shoulder to cry on? Or were you too busy working on your car?
This was obviously a girl screaming for help, and not only did you ignore her cries, you punished her for them.
Izabel has already punished you far more than anyone else possibly could, but maybe there's another parent out there who thinks this kind of punishment isn't that bad and is considering it for their own child. If there is even a whisper of an idea in your head that includes cutting off a piece of your child's body, listen to me now: When you cut off your daughter's hair, they may not feel physical pain, but the emotional scars will last a lifetime.
Bobbie on January 23, 2020:
Jeff fixed his problem with his daughter. His daughter will never again make him unhappy ever again. Izabel won’t have to worry about messing up and dear old dad won’t have to worry about his daughter. Alls well that ends well.
Lubbockite Chick on December 21, 2018:
There might be a movie based on Izzy, and the story might take place in Washington state or Texas. I also suggest a race lift and other adaptions.
Jasmine on June 03, 2016:
Brynn, nice note. You forgot one important question...'Jeff, was it worth it?' Atleast her mess ups were redeemable.. His will never have a happy ending. RIP to this beautiful young girl. Her suicide note to him, was much different than the feelings and words he permanently scraped into her heart. AND HE KNOWS THAT
Carrie Peterson (author) from Colorado Springs, CO on November 27, 2015:
So you're calling me out on publicly shaming an adult who publicly humiliated his minor daughter not only by publicly humiliating her but also by broadcasting his assaulting her?
Maybe you should calibrate your moral compass.
Hiernonymous on November 24, 2015:
So you're taking issue with public shaming by ... public shaming.
Carrie Peterson (author) from Colorado Springs, CO on October 12, 2015:
From the video I saw, it was done very quickly and very badly.
Hadiyah on October 11, 2015:
It definitely wasn't cut to shoulder length--it was hacked off above the shoulders. It is obvious from the video and from eye witness reports.
Carrie Peterson (author) from Colorado Springs, CO on October 02, 2015:
It was shameful, what he did.
And yes God bless her, little angel.
Laura on October 01, 2015:
Doesn't matter how much hair he cut really does it!
I wonder if he sort out therapy?
Bless her....,she was a true angel in her suicide note to him aswell
Carrie Peterson (author) from Colorado Springs, CO on June 13, 2015:
Thanks for the update! This is so very tragic.
jona2000 on June 09, 2015:
Thank you Brynn. More details have emerged from the Tacoma police:
Police say her offense was using social media without permission and emailing a photo of herself wearing a sports bra and legging to a boy in school. Hardly deserving of the severe punishment from her father.
excerpt from the above linked story....
"Police said Izabel’s most recent family troubles seem to have begun May 3 when she sent a photo of herself in a sports bra and leggings to a boy at school. An employee at Giaudrone Middle School became aware of the photo and called Izabel’s parents to campus for a conference.
Her parents were unaware she was using social media and had told her not to. Police said her father had warned her that if she disobeyed, the consequence would be cutting her hair. That same day, police said, Izabel’s father cut off half her hair to about shoulder-length. He left part of her hair untouched.
When she went to school the next day, police said, school officials helped her French braid her hair so she wouldn’t be embarrassed by the haircut."