Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Hypothetical Situation

Say you had a ten-year-old daughter who was really into fashion. Say she liked high fashion in magazines, but was cultivating a kind of boho punk aesthetic for herself. Think miniskirts over jeans, tank tops over long-sleeved shirts, mis-matched socks, red patent leather ballet flats, and wacky hairstyles.

Say most of the time she was pretty cute, and she was also amenable to reasonable suggestion, which you took as the opportunity for fashion lessons (not that you were qualified for such, but you do have a little more experience). For instance, you could tell her that a tiny t-shirt over a huge long-sleeved shirt looked too bunchy and weird, but a small t-shirt over a large long-sleeved shirt is fine, and she would get the point that proportion matters.

Say your opinion was really important to her, and you knew that and respected it, and were determined to be supportive of her fashion choices, even when you would never choose them yourself (which would be totally reasonable if you were, say, a fortysomething mom).

Say one day your daughter came up with an outfit that you hated. Like, it made your skin crawl. But there was no rational reason for your hatred, just that she looked like a scarecrow. (Say the outfit was a long flounced denim skirt over jeans, and one of her dad's shirts that was 2/3 as long and twice as wide as she was, belted with a crocheted scarf, over a long-sleeved shirt.) Say just looking at her put you in a bad mood.

What would you do?


Phantom Scribbler said...

I would permit myself one (1) semi-snarky comment. And then I would let it go. It's only an outfit. Hey, at least neither of your kids is sporting the clown hair look.

Libby said...

I think I'm with Phantom on this one. I've by now endured seeing my offspring in many more such outfits (I just don't get the slip dress over the long-sleeved t-shirt with the tights and flats, myself), as well as haircolors that didn't suit, and I mostly bite my tongue. Even now, when she looks back at the pictures and notes that she looked really bad, I don't agree with her.

Her dad, though, makes his own rules.

Chris said...

I would probably say something like I don't like that outfit as much as (insert a similar but acceptable one) and let it go. (Anything more than this from a Mom that in the 70s wore her Dad's Korean Army jacket non-stop for 4 years- fraying, stains and all- would be a bit much.)

anna said...

I'd try to remember that sometimes they need to push you to that skin- crawling place because that's where they find out if you really love them.

Dawn said...

I'd blog about it. ;)

jackie said...

Hmmm. I'm not sure when a long flounced denim skirt would ever be good, but otherwise, it sounds very similar to how I dressed in high school. I would have seriously coveted a pair of patent leather red ballet flats, which would have gone really well with my thrifted men's suit-vests, button-downs and short skirts!

I agree with Phantom-- one semi-snarky, then silence. I've been biting my tongue a lot already, and my girls are only four!

the Drunken Housewife said...

I live this already with a seven year old who is a fashionista and a four year-old who calls herself "Fashion Girl." I keep my yap shut. My children sometimes wear some scary outfits, some looking like they surely must live at a homeless shelter and others looking like they think they are teenagers, but they are happy, creative, and enjoying themselves.

i have plenty of other stuff to fight with them about.