Farouk James is no ordinary 9-year-old boy living in the city of London, England. This young model has been taking over the covers of magazines, doing campaigns and walking the catwalks in fashion shows across the world, from New York to Florence. The elementary school student has been working as a model for quite some time now and has sparked a lot of interest due to his amazing hair. His long, curly locks have made him a standout amongst other child models, and amongst models just in general.
Although his hair is his signature, Farouk has faced some issues over his short lifetime. He was told by at least three secondary schools that he was not allowed to attend classes unless he cut his gorgeous locks. School is hard enough for children, as they have to worry about making friends and fitting in while they also need to focus on their studies. Despite receiving great feedback and plenty of praise online for his hair, Farouk has struggled to find the same acceptance from educational institutions.
Both Farouk and his mother, Bonnie Green, were not happy with the thought of chopping the young boy’s handsome mane, and decided to take action. Green started a campaign to support long-haired boys with the intention of sending the petition to Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education in the United Kingdom. Since then, Farouk and Green have been working hard at moving Farouk’s modeling career forward. The young boy has continued to show off his incredible hair and receive praise from people all over.
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This issue has been seen not only in the United Kingdom, but in other countries across the world as well. According to CBS, California Governor Gavin Newsom made California the first state in the United States “to ban discrimination against Black students and employees over their natural hairstyles” in July 2019. Lawmakers in New York and New Jersey followed suit shortly after with their own versions of the CROWN Act, according to CBS. The act stands for: “creating a respectful and open world for natural hair.”
Green fought back against the choices of the school by starting a campaign to support long-haired boys. The 41-year-old mother told The Independent that she thinks that the school is acting in “prejudice” and “under the umbrella of sexism” insisting that boys keep their hair short.
Green knew she was not the only mother that was upset by these rules. Since starting her campaign, she’s been contacted by other mothers who say that their sons have been traumatized when they were forced to cut their hair to continue in school. Secondary school is already stressful enough for boys and forcing them to embrace a new haircut is only going to make it worse.
Green believes: “In a just world, people should be judged on the content of their character and NOT on their appearance,” according to The Mirror. Despite Green’s hard work, schools remained strict with their policies. In an attempt to find loopholes, she told The Mirror, that she was considering enrolling her son as “non-binary” in an effort to keep him from being forced to cut his long locks.
What Is Farouk Doing Today?
The incredibly strong-willed mother has been trying to prepare her son for years that his hair would eventually need to be cut, but she told The Mirror, Farouk says he won’t go to school if they make him cut his hair and that it would make him have a mental breakdown.
As of May 2021, Green’s petition has received over 7.3 thousand signatures with people supporting the cause of letting boys have long hair in schools. Farouk has also been busy campaigning for the cause by appearing on the cover of Bahia Kids in January 2021. His stunning mane graced the cover, and his twisted curly locks took up almost the entire photograph. Farouk showcased a great sense of empowerment on the magazine cover, with the caption, “my hair, my rules,” boldly stated underneath him.
The big-haired child has continued to make waves across social media platforms. His Instagram account, which is run by Green, has surpassed 270 thousand followers and is still being uploaded to this day. One of Farouk’s more recent pictures from May 2021 showcased him and another young model looking adorably fashionable as they posed in London, England. Both kids rocked their curly hair, although the textures and styling were unique to each of them.
Farouk has continued to showcase his unique look from the photos on his Instagram account to professional fashion campaigns. Although his hair has caused some issues for him in the past, this rising star has no intention of chopping off his gorgeous locks. His hair has become a staple to his modeling career, and Farouk has continued to inspire children, especially young boys, all around the world to fully embrace their natural beauty.