I was invited to a webinar on children’s fashion by Stylesight.com. Immediately, I was taken aback by the picture of stylishly dressed kids on the invitation. While I love fashion, seeing these kids fully decked out just turned me off. To make matters even worse, I’ve come across not just one but several articles about the skinny jeans trend for young girls and toddlers! (See Do These Jeans Make My Diaper Look Big? and Are ‘Skinny’ and ‘Super Skinny’ Jeans Appropriate for Kids?) Yikes.
If you ever caught a glimpse of my children, you’d see I have a very different standard for their attire than my own. My two boys have the typical wardrobes of most boys their age: shorts, jeans, t-shirts, etc. My daughter also tends to wear what’s functional over what’s fashionable. I do beg her to put on a dress now and then, but mostly I give in to her aversion to fancy hairdos and cute outfits. Her long, curly hair can start looking disheveled after a few hours outside and her attempt to match hand-me-down blue socks with pink shorts can raise a few eyebrows from the other mommies in the playground.
What gives? Am I a walking contradiction? I embrace the pursuit of beauty, but then I let my kids look like they just rolled out of bed. (For the record, I don’t look like a million bucks when I go to the playground either, but I may spruce up my appearance a tad.) Perhaps I feel that like many wonderful pursuits in life: sex, fine wine, philosophy, etc., the appreciation of beauty is something they should come to mostly on their own and in good time.
The pursuit of beauty can go to unhealthy extremes and can be misinterpreted by children. In other words, kids could assume that fashion and beauty are more important than homework, fitness or friendship. It doesn’t mean we can’t eventually try to impart an appreciation for beauty or fashion, but it should come little by little and when they can put it in proper perspective.
But, I confess, I it’s hard to say no to the grandmas when they offer a trendy girls’ poncho or leggings.