Sunday, October 21, 2007

My daughters are NOT Bratz dolls!

I've realized something after having daughters. Something that never bothered me much when I was a child or a teenager or a young woman. Mostly because I hardly noticed or thought about it much.

But as a mother, this has been driving me nuts.

Why is it that when you look at the girls' section of just about any retail store, it's filled with clothing that looks exactly like what college kids are wearing, only in miniature?

I mean, it's probably the same in general for boys' clothes - I have to admit that I've not spent a ton of time in boys' departments for obvious reasons. But when I do step into that unfamiliar territory and glance around, I see clothes that are age appropriate. That cover a decent amount of skin. That don't try to turn kids into Bratz or Barbie dolls.

My friends who have boys have pointed out that there are issues with boy clothes as well. These tend to involve the message printed on or referred to and the 'attitude' that comes with a lot of the clothes. And if you have a boy who's not into sports teams, it's almost impossible to find things they will like most of the time. I get that. I do. And I sympathize. I grew up with a brother who wore cowboy boots and short-sleeved izod shirts every day of the year. Who then turned into more of a fashion guru than I, the stressing over fashion teenager, did. Weird, huh! He still is a lot more into fashion than I am too. Then again, maybe it's partially that I just don't seem to like a lot of the fashions nowadays. Especially the ones that involve revealing more of my daughters' skin than I think the public needs to be seeing.

It's a struggle, to find the side of the fine line that I want to be on - between dressing my kids so differently from the other girls that they stand out and are ripe to be picked on. Or dressing them in clothes that I don't think are appropriate for teenagers, much less little girls.

Maybe I'm overly sensitive to the issue - my mom made a lot of my clothes when I was a kid, because she had a hard time finding clothes that fit me correctly and had pockets (I was strange that way and insisted on only wearing clothes with pockets apparently). I never owned a pair of jeans until 3rd or 4th grade and then they were boys ones. I remember wanting clothes like the other girls had - I was so desperate to fit in. And I didn't - I was tormented and made fun of all the way through elementary school. Not completely because of my clothes, but that was part of it.

I was lucky (I think anyway!) to be a teenager in the 80's - the era of big, baggy clothes rather than tiny, form fitting ones. I have no idea what the styles will be like when I'm dealing with teenagers, but I can only hope that the 80's will be back in. I can handle baggy shirts over leggings. Or socks layered over the bottoms of your pants (stirrup pants even!). Any style which involves layers of clothing hiding my daughters' "assets" will be A-ok with me!

Sigh. A mom can hope anyway. Right?

This post was written as a submission for the Mothers and Daughters Blog Carnival.

Vote for my post on Mom Blog Network add to sk*rt

7 wonderful people said...:

Mama Zen said...

I totally agree with you. Who is designing these clothes, anyway? And, why?

Sarah @ Real Life said...

Well said! My question is who is buying these clothes? Every mom I talk to has these same feelings, but they seem to be selling to someone.

The Stevens Family said...

Probably the same moms that are complaining are buying because that is all you can find. I have a 3 and 1 year old and I hate them but you will find boot cut, very tight jeans in her wardrobe because that is the only jeans we could find to fit her.

It is truly sad and if I knew how to make their clothes, I probably would.

The Stevens Family said...

By the way, great post!

Wendy said...

Excellent post! I wish I knew how to sew dresses like my mother did, because I'd love to make my own children's clothes instead of being stuck buying them church dresses that don't even come to their knees, or the tight jeans that are the only ones I can find in their size. For those of us that live in a (very) small town with limited shopping options, it's truly discouraging.

The Surrendered Scribe said...

Bravo! I agree 100%. We struggled so much with our toddler at the time because she was very overweight due to constant steroid use for asthma and thyroid. Her clothes literally ranged from 24 mos to size 12, I kid you not. Trying to find something that didnt make her look like a hooker was difficult! I too ask, who buys all that stuff because it isn't anyone I know! Excellent post.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, mom's, I'm feeling you! I'm the mom of 4 kids--2 girls, 2 boys ranging in age from 11-1/2 to 3-1/2. There are sooo many slutty clothes out there. My kids go to a private Christian school so they have to wear uniforms (thank goodness!). Being a Christian family, there are A LOT of things we don't allow in our home...Bratz (Slutz)included! Is it really any wonder that we have a pedophilia epidemic running rampant in our country? Where are these moms who want their daughters to dress like "Sex in the city?" I talk to so many moms who can't stand the selection of clothing out there, so who is buying this trash? What mother actually WANTS her daughter to have Anna Nicole Smith for a role model?!? And to some of you mom's out there who will argue, "But ALL of her friends have them, I'll never hear the end of it if I don't get her one!"--GROW UP! BE THE PARENT! Don't let your child run your household. If you have any parenting sense at all, you will see that certain things are just plain WRONG and harmful! Your child's well being is at stake, ISN'T IT WORTH FIGHTING FOR? If you aren't willing to fight some battles as a parent, why did you have children?