Saturday, 20 February 2016

Scotland's Real Life Rapunzel

15 year old Aaron Fernando is a remarkable young lady who has suffered at the hands of bullies, not just girls but boys too.
And why, because Aaron stands out for having beautiful 4ft 4in length hair.
Aaron has kindly agreed to talk to me about being Scotland's Real Life Rapunzel.
As a result of being bullied Aaron is now homeschooled.
Bullying happens for many reasons, in Aaron's case its because of her hair so this blog is to raise awareness on the subject of bullying.

Here is here own story... (And her mother Suzanne's story too)

PRETTY Aaron Fernando reckons she could be Scotland's very own Rapunzel with her lustrous dark locks measuring in at a very impressive 4ft 4ins.
She not only sits on it but it comes down to her CALVES.
Now 15-year-old Aaron, of Ardrossan, Ayrshire, is wondering if indeed she holds the Scottish record for having the longest hair in the land. 
Mum Suzanne, 43, and big sister Jordan, 18 - who both boast waist length hair - think Aaron's hair may well take the lead.
Suzanne said: "I was reading an article last week about a girl in Wales with hair measuring 3ft 6ins which was thought to be the longest hair in Wales. I had never measured Aaron's hair before but I knew her's was longer. So we got out the measuring tape and were amazed to see it was 4ft 4ins long."
Aaron who is 5ft 4ins tall laughed: "I'm only 12 inches taller than my hair. I love having long hair and I've got no plans to have it cut. We've all got long hair in our family, even my dad..
"It can be a pest but the good points outweigh the bad. I usually have it tied back in a plait, because if it was left loose in a wind, it whips around like crazy not just lashing my face but anyone standing near me and that can be pretty painful.
"But my hair's not tuggy, I brush it from the bottom up twice a day.
"I also wash it twice a week which takes about an hour each time using shampoo and conditioner, and once a month I give it an Aussie Miracle hair mask. I also massage the ends with Argan oil and Green teabags."
But Aaron insists she's not a slave to her hair and doesn't spend a fortune on products to keep it in tip top condition.
She smiled: "What wee girl doesn't love the fairy tale Rapunzel? I remember my mum reading it to me saying "Rapunzel Rapunzel let down your hair..."never thinking that one day I might be Scotland's answer to Rapunzel."
But as well as admiring glances, she's also faced bullies and bitchy comments because she chooses to be different.
Mum Suzanne said: "Aaron is home-schooled by qualified tutors because at school - both primary and secondary - she was bullied rotten. It became very nasty and I could see my wee girl getting more and more miserable, her self confidence ebbing away, and I couldn't sit back and do nothing.
"Of course the bullying was reported to the schools, both Kilbirnie Primary and St Matthew's Academy in Saltcoats, Ayrshire, but it wasn't getting any better, so we chose to have her schooled at home by qualified tutors, and she has blossomed. It wasn't just girls who were giving her a hard time, but boys too and it was getting nastier and nastier.
"It was jealousy and the fact that her long hair singled her out, but she never once thought of chopping it off."
Aaron nodded: "No I'd never cut my hair in fact I'd love to be a hair model. I'd let the stylists do anything they wanted to it - except cut it.
"I don't go to the hairdresser. The only person who is allowed to cut my hair is my mum and she trims it about every six weeks."
Her crowning glory can be an expensive commodity with the family going through vacuum
cleaners at an alarming rate.
Suzanne said: "Well it's not just Aaron's hair. We've all got long hair including my husband Kes. He's from Portugal and works as a computer analyst and while my hair and Jordan's doesn't grow beyond waist length, Kes and Aaron's hair grows so quickly.
"It clogs up the vacuum cleaner and we have to buy a new one every six months. In the shower the drains are cleaned every day. We've also got two dogs, a Labrador and a Patterdale terrier as well as two gerbils, so we're quite a hairy family." 
Aaron said: "Having hair as long as mine doesn't hold me back in any way. I love hanging out with my friends, we go shopping and play games. I love horse riding, I play the guitar, I do archery, go to the gym and love music.
"When I go swimming I just tie my hair up. I am really very busy and of-course I see people looking at my hair, but most are really nice.
"I'm a pescatarian, which means I only eat fish - not meat - and of-course the fish oil is very good for hair, nails and skin
"But I eat a lot of veg and take supplements so my body gets all the nutrients it needs. This is just the way I've been brought up. We live healthily and we're all very active so I think that's the reason we all have such good shiny hair.
"It feels strange to think that my hair is seen as anything other than normal, because that's what it is to me.
"But just like Rapunzel I love to let down my hair."

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