Corben James

The first time it happened I thought it was quite funny, but then after the 300th time it starts to get a bit old.

OK it hasn’t happened 300 times but it happens quite often and it’s a little frustrating now that Corben actually understands. Corben has longer hair than the stereotypical boy and often wears a bobble or headband and this results in comments from strangers referring to HIM as a HER or a SHE.

At first it was quite funny and we laughed it off, often not even correcting people. Nowadays though, Corben is 5 and very understanding of conversations. A lady referred to him a couple of weeks back as a little girl and he immediately took out his bobble and said he didn’t want to where it anymore!

Suddenly it’s not so funny when your 5-year-old realises he’s being identified as the wrong gender purely based on his hair. It’s a bit ridiculous really, he doesn’t look like a girl at all. His clothing, his actual FACE, it’s clear he’s a boy. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with being a girl but the fact is, he isn’t one!

David and Donetta Corben


He loves his long hair and does like having a bobble and headband in and is even partial to a wash and blow dry, he genuinely loves it. For people to then only see this particular feature of his and immediately assume he’s a girl has now just become plain ignorant.

We’re trying hard to instil into Corben that genders don’t matter, everyone is a person, an equal person and stereotypes are outdated. It becomes much harder when strangers are ignorant to the fact he’s clearly a little boy, a male and yet call him a little girl when he’s not. Add this to the absolute nonsense we see everywhere today, in particular toy shops and adverts that market to gender stereotypes, it becomes almost impossible to tell you boy that pink isn’t just for girls and football isn’t only for boys.

If I was in a situation where I’m speaking with someone and it’s not immediately clear which gender their child is, I just wouldn’t make a comment, or I’d use generic phrases like ‘Aren’t they cute’ or whatever suits the given situation. I wasn’t that touchy about this topic for a long time because it didn’t seem to have any effect on Corben or us but that’s changed now. Often we’d just look at each other and laugh it off, that turned into rolling our eyes and is now at a stage where we have to point out, SHE’S a HE!

Corben James


99% of people I understand mean no harm at all, they’re usually trying to be nice and we completely get that. We’re having a good moan about it yes, but only because it’s now happening more frequently and Corben is taking notice.

Surely one single feature, in this case long hair, isn’t enough to assume a gender. I’d understand if he was walking around with a tiara on and waving a wand around like he has done once before. I’d understand a little better, despite wanting these things to not be gender related either, but bloody hell people he’s inadvertently the most stereotypical boy you can get, minus the short spiky hair!

So I guess our point in this post is that ‘Hey, did you know Corben was a boy!’ HA! Also to maybe take a little more notice before making comments to strangers children in the future… When relevant, obviously you should never go around making comments to strangers children for no apparent reason, that’s an entirely different kettle of fish!

Let us have your stories, have you ever had similar situations with your children or even yourself?!


Pinterest Image Corben



david and donetta



  1. May 14, 2018 / 10:14 pm

    I think Corben looks cool, he has style & individuality.
    We had the same problem with our eldest son Oliver his hair was curly and that got a lot of attention, his hair grew down to his shoulders and we constantly got comments about how lovely our little girl is, he is a boy. Just like Corben Oliver got upset when he understood the difference. So we had to start correcting people. You can see how long his hair got in some of our YouTube videos from a couple of years ago. He still has long bushy hair and still stands out from the crowd. He loves it like that.

    • May 15, 2018 / 9:04 am

      Thatโ€™s great, I think when you have a signature feature such as long curly hair itโ€™s absolutely brilliant to embrace it. How and why people are still so set that short hair is boys and long hair is girls is daft to me. Thanks for commenting Adrian ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  2. May 16, 2018 / 4:26 pm

    Should of told them to shut the fuck up, you can obvs see that Corb is a boy and he’s killing it with his hair.

    I might control Thor he a girl!

  3. May 22, 2018 / 9:14 pm

    My son Jaxen has pretty much exactly the same hair and even my daughter as watched your stories and commented omg HE (notice the CAPS) looks exactly like Jaxen and he really does!! Jaxen has long hair too and I’m so sick of these same comments we get very often myself, he’s always being mistaken for a girl just because of his hair, but same as Corben he loves having long hair! I really want to know of Corben has always liked wearing his hair up etc?! The reason I am because come hell or high water, no matter what I say Jaxen will not wear his hair up or even wear a headband ๐Ÿ˜ข I’ve exhausted myself trying to explain to him that there is so many men that have long hair and that wear their hair up, tied back and even worn headbands and I’ve even used David Beckham as an example but he’s so stubborn and all he thinks of is that he will look like a girl ๐Ÿ™ˆ I really wish he would let me style his hair more, not for my liking or benefit but just because his hair always gets in his eyes and covers one side of his face and I’m so worried about the damage it could do to his eye sight. No matter what I try and say to him, he just won’t budge.
    Great blog post and I really hope things will change because it is really frustrating and more so for the child who wants to only be themselves and be happy with how they look.
    Lisa X

    • May 22, 2018 / 11:10 pm

      Thatโ€™s ace! They say we all have a twin somewhere, I think. Iโ€™m sure thatโ€™s what they say, who they are Iโ€™m not sure but Iโ€™ve definitely heard it ๐Ÿคฃ NO! Corben hated wearing his hair up for ages but is much more relaxed about it lately. Same reason really, it was forever in his way so we banged a bobble in. He prefers headbands though, he says bobble hurt so we have to always put them in lose. I love giving his hair a blow dry and straightening it, it looks ace. I had mine similar when I was 16ish for a few years loved it. No magic secret Iโ€™m afraid we just kept suggesting a bobble until one day he said yes ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘Œ Thanks for reading and commenting ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘

  4. May 27, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    I love Corben’s hair! Truth be told, I’m a bit jealous! I’ve not had this problem with ours as they are clearly girls. But I have been in the situation myself where I’m not sure… although that’s when I was looking at babies. It’s even more difficult to get away with it in Welsh as you can’t call them an “it”! ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. October 17, 2018 / 2:02 pm

    He is one, cool dude. His hair is fabulous. I’ll hold my hands up nd say I’ve made this mistake before and I now try to be more observant. X

    • October 17, 2018 / 8:37 pm

      Thanks Kerry, we love his hair! Itโ€™s a huge part of his character now, I hope he never cuts it ๐Ÿ˜

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