I can’t say I wasn’t warned. From the time my nine-year-old daughter was born, I have loved buying clothes for her. To me, she has always looked like a pink, girly girl. It was fun to buy things for her that were smocked, monogrammed, pink, and girly, and she never hesitated to let me dress her in them, or later, dress herself in them. I remember a friend, who had also had a pink, girly girl, mentioning to me that I should be prepared for the day that my daughter rejects all the adorable clothes in favor of a style that just doesn’t make sense. I didn’t want to believe her. I do now.
My daughter has slowly, over the last year, moved away from the cute, girly look, to one that is, well, I’m not sure. I believe she is striving to be more fashionable. I noticed this summer as we went through her clothes in anticipation for the fall, that her taste had changed. Many outfits she had selected a year or so ago, no longer held the same appeal. The problem for me was that these outfits still fit. I strongly encouraged her to keep them in her closet, and make a point to wear them since they looked great on her. Her response? An eye roll, sigh, and a “maybe.”
I know this is a normal part of growing up. I realize that she has a mind of her own that is working to express her authentic self as it develops. She pays close attention to what other girls wear: her peers, older girls and girls in the media. Sometimes I think she is trying to grow up too fast. She steers as far away as possible from anything she thinks makes her look like, in her words, a “baby.” She knows that it is important to always be appropriate for her age, but that doesn’t stop her from asking to buy things that she knows pushes the envelope. She also cares a great deal what her older brother thinks about her clothes, and often asks him what he thinks about her outfit for the day. Even a slight look of question from him will lead her right back to her closet. She has told me that he knows more about what is “cool” to wear.
I know this is but another stage for my daughter. My son also went through this same stage. He wore gym shorts and t-shirts for the last several years almost every day, much to my chagrin. He wouldn’t have dreamed of wearing khakis and polo shirts, unless he had to “dress up” for an occasion. Recently, however, I have seen a change in him. He has worn, without prompting from me, polo shirts and khakis to school several days during the week. I am happy to see the nicer attire, and see that yes, it does come full circle in time.
Maybe the turn-around will be sooner for my daughter. Just this morning I encouraged her to take a look at one of the outfits she said she would “maybe” wear. She decided to wear it, only with her Target brand Ugg-like boots… she had to make sure the look was fashionable! A nice compromise. A start.
What we are reading:
Me: The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green
My son: Alex Rider: Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz
My daughter: Frankly Frannie by A.J. Stern