A Texas mom is speaking out after she says her 11-year-old daughter was kicked off her cheerleading squad for having curly hair.
KTRK reports that Makayla Fallaw was allegedly told she could not compete with her cheerleading team since she refused to straighten her hair.
The 11-year-old has been nailing backflips and stunts since she started cheering at age 4, but she still struggles with straightening her naturally curly hair.
%shareLinks-quote="It was bad because half of it was [curly] and half of it wasn't." type="quote" author="Makayla Fallaw" authordesc="Cheerleader" isquoteoftheday="false"%
The girl embraces her curly locks -- she told KTRK that they give her confidence. But that confidence wavered this past week when her Woodlands Elite Cheer squad allegedly demanded she straighten her hair for an upcoming competition to look like every other teammates.
See reactions to the situation on social media:
Makayla's mother, Jenny, said it was the first time she had heard of such a thing.
%shareLinks-quote="I felt like I might make my daughter feel like her hair is not good enough because she's not like other girls." type="quote" author="Jenny Fallaw" authordesc="Makayla's mother" isquoteoftheday="false"%
Fearing the straightening would "destroy her hair," Jenny sent an email to the owners and cheer director of the facility explaining she would not let her daughter change her locks.
Kevin Tonner said that the facility was willing to negotiate with the mother to keep the girl on the squad, but neither side could compromise a solution. Tonner told KTRK that the mother was "very defensive."
%shareLinks-quote="When you come into the sport, you understand there is make up to it. There's hair to it." type="quote" author="Kevin Tonner" authordesc="All Star Director and Coach" isquoteoftheday="false"%
Unwilling to compromise her daughter's natural beauty, Jenny's daughter, Makayla, was cut from the team. But Tonner stated that Makayla's expulsion wasn't about her looks, but a much larger reason:
%shareLinks-quote="It wasn't about hair. It was about we don't want this negativity on our team." type="quote" author="Kevin Tonner" authordesc="" isquoteoftheday="false"%
Tonner also added that not all squads require girls to straighten their hair. He said the cheer teams choose their own style to comply with, which they wear only for a few hours during competitions and that the 11-year-old girl would be able to keep her naturally curly hair during practices.
Think that's insane? One cheerleader claims her cancer treatments led to her being kicked off her team:
Related: Check out these celebs who love rocking curly 'dos:
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