Put a bow on it! 4-year-old's hairstyle sparks flap

May 24, 2012 at 5:15 PM ET

British media outlets have been going gaga over the story of a little girl with a Lady Gaga-esque hairstyle. The reason? The 4-year-old reportedly was reduced to tears when her school refused to allow her to wear her hair in a bow for a school photo.

To clarify: Little Marcella Marino could have worn her hair in a ribbon (so long as said ribbon was a dark color such as black, maroon or navy blue). She just couldn’t wear her actualhair in a bow shape, as pictured here, because of the Christian school’s ban on hair braids.

Stian Alexander /
Marcella Marino, 4, was not allowed to wear her hair in a bow shape at Ramsgate Holy Trinity Primary School in Kent, England. School officials said the hairstyle violated dress code standards.

Marino’s father, hairdresser Marcello Marino of Kent, England, told reporters that it upset him to see his daughter so upset.

“Marcella asked me if I could do her hair like a princess for the school photo and I came up with a simple but elegant style, using her hair to make a bow,” he said in quotes published in the Daily Mail and Sun newspapers. “I thought it looked wonderful and Marcella loved it, but when she went for the school photo on Monday [May 21], she was told she wasn’t allowed to wear her hair in that style because of the dress code.

“It isn’t a hair braid, it is quite simply a knot in the shape of a bow, and I should know because I’m a hairdresser. I really cannot see a problem with it and all the other parents said she looked fantastic.”

Stian Alexander /
Marcella Marino, far right, is pictured here with her dad, hairdresser Marcello Marino, and her 3-year-old sister, Amelia.

What do you think of the Ramsgate Holy Trinity Primary School’s ground rules? Is it reasonable for such a school, which requires school uniforms, to have clear policies about hairstyles as well? Or does this rule go a teeny bit too far? Vote here and let us know what you think! writer Laura T. Coffey has not worn her hair in an updo since she went to the prom — and it never even OCCURRED to her to wear it in a bow shape! Here’s where to find Laura on Facebook and Twitter.