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post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 


Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

As long as the clothes are in our price range I truly don't care. She has some trendy clothes, some see through that she wears an undershirt with, some Goth, and some jeans and t-shirts. She does her hair in chalk and wears as much makeup as she can slip by her teacher. I just don't see clothes as an issue, there are ways to make any item acceptable enough to pass the school requirements and it has only taken one day of having to wear the ugly baggy shirt for my DD to be willing to choose outfits that are acceptable ay school.

I have done my part by raising her to value herself as a person and we talk about issues of conformity when they come up and she decides what to do. I feel like we all go through a phase of not liking our bodies, exploring our commitment to the values our parents raised us with, trying to conform, being vain, etc... It is part of growing up and I hope to keep the lines of communication open and let her go through it. I don't think stopping purchases and imposing values stops any of the things you mentioned, it just stops the dialogue and creates resentment.

Yea, that does help!  I'm not sure if you are one of the people who gave me this impression that it's ok to be into clothes "so long as it isn't about this or that thing the parent finds uncomfortable". But, that's part of what I was getting at -- that this seems like a value judgment from the parent.  


My goal is to be sort of like you -- trying to take my own personal biases out of the equation. I have done this a bit already (but because fashion isn't a big part of our lives yet, I haven't been pushed too far out of my comfort zone).  I know that there are certain counter-culture "looks" that I love and some that I don't like at all.  But that's because of my own experience and I know that DC will have her own. 


Makeup is a good point too. Speaking of things that would make me uncomfortable... There is a trend in my city for some white teen girls (DC is white/so am I) to wear bronzer. So much bronzer that I call it bronzer dysmorphia. It usually goes along with bleach blond hair. I don't care for this look and it's something like this that makes me wonder what I will do if DC embraces that style. 


Another layer here (which has come up in the past for me with people who take a really hard line on control like TCS or CL people) is that I think "talking about values" is a form of influence.I can't imagine EVER forcing my DC to wear something. I can't even imagine how that would work. So, for me, I'd ALWAYS be simply talking about values (aside from ditching the sparkly princess PJs when they're toddlers).  But, I guess I'm just not sure what my values about clothes are. I mean, I'm kind of a "everything in moderation" type for most things. I guess that's as good as anything.   ;-)  


And, I'm not all stressed about any of this -- I just think it's kind of interesting and wouldn't mind having thought about it a bit before it comes up for us. 



Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

I can't quote easily and am not sure if this answers your question. If not can you be more specific?


It's hard to give as specific because aesthetic and values are so different but for me, for instance, something like wanting to use crap tons of bronzer (like I mentioned above) would be an example of something where I would be really pushed out of my comfort zone. But, if I were to  be really honest with myself, this is an aesthetic thing. 


Part of why I ask is because it sounds to me like both you and Beanmama have kids with a fashion sense that you both like (and what it sounds like I would like too).  If our kids are doing what we like, it's kind of hard to be the poster child for consensual living...CL gets hard when we're out of sync, is what I mean. 


So, that's where I am too. So far we have not had to control anything (DC willfully goes to a school with a uniform, for instance) and otherwise wears what she wants. Chooses not to shop with me. Off the top of my head I can not think of a time where I have asked her to change.  


But, I just do not feel like I have been tested. 

post #22 of 26
I am actually not fond of a couple if my dd's clothes. She has skin tight biker shorts and leggings that I really despise and a couple t-shirts that are also very tight but her favorites still and technically not too small. It's just really hard to see her in them because she is growing into a more mature body and that is hard for me but she loved them in the summer and finds leggings comfortable even in the winter. When she wore both together I had to really do a lot of self talk. I thought about what my worry was, what her motivation was, and used Alfie Kohn's framework to decide how to respond because just going with it was not my first response.

I wish she'd just choose a thicker shirt instead of opting for a shirt that needs an undershirt but those are increasingly hard to find lately and it isn't harmful in anyway.

It took me three years to be okay with her even using hair chalk and even then I was a little horrified when she put pink streaks in on the first day of school and more than a little horrified when she used it on her whole head last week. This reaction wasn't about whether it was harmful or not though it was about my worry about how strangers might think about her and to some extent about me. Luckily we didn't have time for her to shower it out so she was able to wear it and I put a happy face on and came to that conclusion later without it affecting her.

Her Halloween costume think year was hard for me to accept, she was a female vampire and it had to come from the teen area because she is very tall. We did have to compromise on who would be worn with it because it was too mature for me to cope with otherwise. I was probably a little too imposing there but that happens sometimes too and we survive.

When she wanted to cut her hair so short even a half a ponytail would look odd in it I almost cried and I really wanted to say no. I was not at all happy about bright red lipstick but it hurts nobody, happens on rare Saturdays, and she just wanted to dress up because I had been wearing a little makeup lately. When I analyze it most of it is an issue with me and my desire to see her as little but her motivation is still innocent (comfort, imitation, experimenting with style) and focusing on that helps. I've also worked long and hard at leaving a long pause before answering a request so I can think about whether my no comes from a gut reaction or a place of actual valid concern. It is definitely not easy though.
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 

Ha, ha, ha!!  My DC JUST TONIGHT wore a pair of leggins with a waste length top out to dinner and I *almost* told her that I thought she should consider wearing a tunic style top with leggins...but I decided to hold off. *On my very own, thank you very much!.  :D  I'm not quite sure what I'll do about the issue of clothing norms and expectations changing into puberty. That's sort of tricky. My guess is that DC may well decide on her own (peer pressure, perhaps, or just observation). Otherwise, it would be a hard conversation for me to have...but rest assured it will include some sort of rant about how it should not be a child's problem that we have such a warped attitude towards sexuality, the body and etc. Though, I imagine the conversation about why I think crap loads of bonzer looks stupid may not be any easier. ;-)  

post #24 of 26

Well, we've had a lot of conversations and my kids have read a lot and seen videos and been involved in discussion groups (mainly through Girls On The Run) about the unrealistic images of females in this society, so currently (at almost 10 and almost 13) they are not at all interested in looking "sexy". They like to wear make-up for their dance productions and Halloween, but don't wear it outside of that. I don't wear makeup at all and haven't for years.


They are also aware of the bad chemicals in most cosmetics, mainly through The Story Of Stuff and The Story of Cosmetics videos, which they love. Dd1 made me aware that the "Kiss My Face" hand lotion I had in the bathroom wasn't completely natural. So for things like make-up and nail polish we try to buy less bad alternatives. When my dd1 wanted to dye her hair, we used natural henna, and I'm okay with that. 


If the bronzer thing came up, I would probably talk about both of the things we've already talked about, the unrealistic female body images portrayed in the media and advertising (Dove soap has some great resources on this and this great video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U ) and also the bad chemicals in most cosmetics. If I could find a natural bronzer I might let her buy that with her own money, but I would tell her that wearing heavy make-up every day is bad for her skin (which I believe to be true, not just saying it because I don't want her to wear makeup). Also, if my girls really did want to wear makeup I would make sure that they didn't look clownish and would help them with it if they needed it. If their goal is to look more mature and sophisticated, caking it on with a spatula is really not the way to go.


I do tell my dds to wear a longer top with leggings if I think they need to. It depends on the girl, and the leggings and the shirt. Some leggings my dd1 has just really need the bum covered up and some are fine. Most of dd2's are fine because, although she's almost as tall at dd1, she's still got a little girl shape. It's hard to phrase it in a positive way. If she was wearing them to school I would ask if they met the dress code. If it was on the weekend I might just remark that I have seen girls wear longer tops and that looks nice, especially if the leggings are really tight. My girls are not into revealing clothing too much, although dd1 does have some lace camis that sometimes make me a little uncomfortable, especially if it's not hot weather. Sometimes she pairs them appropriately, though, so if she was wearing one that I thought was a little too much I might suggest she put it with that other top like she did before or something along those lines. It's a tricky area. I think with my girls right now, sometimes they want to go for a more mature/sophisticated look, but they don't want to go for sexy, and it's hard to help them navigate what is what. I was surprised the other day when I picked dd1 up from school and she looked very grown-up with two pashminas she had found in her backpack wrapped around her neck, sorta something like this. And it looked nice, just a little more sophisticated than I was expecting from my still-12-for-a-few-more-months girl. 

post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 

This reminds me so much of the CL discussions from back in the day!  The way you describe your involvement in these choices sounds like a nice, healthy, respectful, educated way...to influence what your kids wear way to interact that has the effect of influencing what your kids wear. 

post #26 of 26

Well, thanks. 


I'm sure they have picked up some of mine and DH's fashion sense, which is pretty much we wear whatever we like and works for us and don't really pay much attention to clothing trends, but they are interested in some certain styles available in the store. Dd2 likes almost any t-shirt with a puppy on it. They both like some sparkles sometimes.


I really try not to put too much of my own stuff on them, but I do let them know when things are too small/outgrown and try to keep in mind the look they're going for and what reaction they might get. I don't want them to wear something to school that would get them laughed at, but that's not really a huge concern. Dd1 did have a bit of a worn through place on the butt of her jeans at the corner of the pocket the other day when we were dashing out the door with no time to change into another pair of pants. I let her know so she could pull her shirt down or tie her sweater around her waist to cover it. She wasn't intentionally wearing holey butt jeans, so if I could prevent a potentially embarrassing situation for her by letting her know, then I'm all about that.

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