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'AITA for cutting my hair after a friend's death and causing my parents to lose their jobs?' UPDATED

'AITA for cutting my hair after a friend's death and causing my parents to lose their jobs?' UPDATED


"AITA for cutting my hair after a friend's death despite a contract that dictates what I'm allowed to do - or not to do - with my hair?"

I've "lost" my job and have been ostracized by my family, so I figured I'd come to the court of public opinion. One of my best friends of over ten years lost her battle with the big C word on Christmas. Screw cancer, y'all. I'm not handling it well, tbh. I feel like a really crazy person. I literally haven't stopped crying.

Through all the tumultuous emotions, I decided that I wanted to cut my hair. I don't know why, but I felt like I wanted to get rid of a psychological weight and my hair was suffocating me.

I 'model' and I've been doing it pretty much my whole life. My family is upper middle class due to my income. My parents 'work' as my mangers, even though I had actual, hired, experienced managers throughout the years. My dad works part time elsewhere, but I am the main breadwinner in the family.

Part of my current contract was that I can't cut my hair without prior consent from managing parties or else my contract could be rendered void. It wasn't really an issue until now.

For a week, I tried to get consent, but nobody wanted to give it. So, over the weekend, I locked myself in my bathroom and chopped off almost all of my hair. I didn't go as extreme as 2007 Brittany, but I was definitely channeling her energy. Now I look like Steve from Stranger Things.

I don't feel a lot better, but it was kind of cathartic. I'm glad I did it. My life changed, and I physically reflect that now. Now I'm unemployed, though, cause I was released from my contract and as soon as I'm done with high school, my family wants me gone.

I know that I jeopardized my family's financial security, and my parents are scrambling to figure out how to pay the bills because I may have been an immature a$$h@le, but, I dunno, maybe it's grief, but I feel pretty apathetic about it. I wanted to grieve in my own way. AITA for that?

What do you think? AITA? Commenters weighed in:


Of course you responded so intensely to this event in her life. You are a teenager experiencing death and loss first hand for the first time while also being your family’s breadwinner. I’m disgusted by your parent’s response. I’m glad the other adults in your life seem to have your best interests at heart and I hope you escape your family’s clutches.


NTA, it’s your hair! also get a lawyer. Your parents should have been saving money in an account for you! They should have lived off their portion of income and saved quite a bit of yours. When you leave, you shouldn’t be leaving with nothing. Plus hair grows back. Get a cute cut, and new management.

This is why a child should not be the money earner in a family IMO. It’s just a dependency that should not be created.

[deleted] said:

NTA. Though I will warn you that violating contract can and will put you in bad standing with management companies and people who can not follow contract or are "difficult" don't usually get worked with. Yes it is your hair and your body, but I'm going with NTA because you are a minor and I don't think you have fully consented to a lot of this.

Just remember with modeling, they want certain looks and that's why they they put it in contract. Now for some info that I think you need:

Your parents are probably in violation of the Jackie Coogan law. Or are about to be.

By law, 15% of your income was to be set aside where it can be monitored, but not accessed, by anyone until you turn 18. Which is why they may be waiting to kick you out, because if they have been following that law, there is probably a rather large sum of money just sitting right now. You actually have the ability to get legal recourse. I'm not a lawyer, but this is what I recommend:

1.) Contact CPS. Inform them you are a minor child actor/model and believe that you are being financially abused and that your parents may have been violating the "Jackie Coogan" law. Google it and cite it specifically. Cite your parents may also be in violation of child labor laws as well.

2.) Report this all to a school official as well. They are mandated reporters. If they scoff or try to convince you otherwise, state specifically "You are a mandated reporter. I am informing you of financial child abuse. By law you are required to make a report".

3.) Request a court appointed guardian ad litem and request a fact finding for your income and child labor work be performed.

4.) Contact your previous management company, or companies, that you were just let go from and request all your financial records, copies, of contracts, statements of work, etc. By law, they must provide them to you.

5.) Do not allow them to send those to your parents, and do not tell them what you are doing. Have them either emailed to you directly, mailed to someone you trust, or request they print them and pick them up yourself.

I know this may be scary, but you aren't without help or legal recourse. You can also contact your local government and request legal assistance yourself. Just google your state and legal assistance. But do this now, things change when you turn 18 and doing this now gets the ball rolling and will hopefully keep them from accessing your funds that are probably there.

And your parents are so in the wrong for doing this to you. As a parent, I can't imagine anyone's parents doing this, but sadly, in the entertainment industry, it's by far the norm. And it's disgusting.


Get legal advice ASAP if you’re in the US there’s a law called Coogans law that requires parents to put 15% of a child’s earnings into a locked account.

And said:

NTA your hair your choice...and why do your parents not have jobs to pay their bills? If you’re a minor it’s their job to support you not the other way around!

Commenters all agreed that OP is NTA. Many people also pointed out that what her parents are doing in regard to managing her career is not only wrong, but illegal.

OP later shared this major update:

So I talked to a few folks today, and I was sent a copy of the email exchanges that ultimately ended my contract. My contract was set to expire in June, but I wasn't booking until May to give myself time to finish up my last semester in high school. Instead of terminating my contract or 'firing me', i was released from my contract in a really nice way.

I won't copy/paste, but the gist is; Here at Company we value the health and safety of all our employees and it seems that Brittany is going through a hard time. Let's release her from her responsibility so she can enjoy school, and should she decide to come back after high school or freshman year of college, she'll be welcomed back into the agency.

They even sent a .pdf of therapists or counselors that I might wanna talk to. I talked to my old manager and she set me up in contact with a lawyer and already has access to copies of my documents, which she sent me in .pdf, too. I also contacted Jasmine's mom, who said that I can move in to finish hs if I'm kicked out in March.

I'm not gunna say much, but what my parents were doing was definitely illegal unless I have trusts, which I doubt bc my parents both have nice new cars and stuff. I also emailed my school guidance counselor. I have a new email contact, and I'll be sent my financial records ASAP.

So... yeah. Posting this morning, I honestly felt like an ungrateful, whiny teen who screwed over her family, but you guys made me realize that my life is definitely not normal or fair, and I thank you all for that, and for the immeasurably kind words you've all given me. I'll keep fighting!

Sources: Reddit
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