Disneyland Family 5K -2014

Disneyland Family 5K -2014

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Open letter to Gap Kids, Children's Place and Macy's.

I had a rough time at the mall last weekend.  I was school shopping for my 7 year old who is starting school this week, going into the third grade.  She is active and loves to run and play, climb the monkey bars and get dirty. She trashes sneakers in a matter of months (to the point you can see daylight through the soles of her shoes.)  Despite an intense love of pink and purple, she is not a "girly girl" by any means.

She has inherited my small waist (well, mine used to be small) and long legs.  At some point, I'm sure she will begin to see the "Wolf butt" that some ladies in our family get... She may already have it.  We have a rough time finding pants long enough, with a waist that doesn't fall down, but still fits over her legs, without being too tight.  Skirts are fun to shop for...most start out on the wrong side of "short".

These days, clothes shopping is a challenge for me.  I might be crazy and am quite possibly the only parent of a young girl out there who thinks this way, but my 7 year old does not need to wear leopard print clothing.  She also is too young to wear "skinny" mini skirts that don't have built-in shorts.  Really, would you let your daughters wear this crap?  This may be an old fashioned way of thinking, but I have to wonder, who thinks these clothes are appropriate for young girls? Really, do these designers have daughters of their own?  Would they let their children wear this stuff?

I realize that you need to appeal to a broader audience.  I realize that it is cheaper to buy fabric in massive quantities and then build all sizes of a particular design.  That being said, do you really think that a child of 4 or 5 should be wearing the same things as a child 12 or 14?  Kindergarten to eighth grade is a huge jump!

What happened to simple jean skirts and bright colored t-shirts, knit skirts with leggings and a sweater, or *gasp* overalls?  Am I really that outdated?  Worse yet, is my view of today's culture and fashion that naive?  My daughter is not a high fashion model.  She's not Suri Cruise.  She does not need to wear high heels to school, she needs sensible sneakers or lace up boots that will survive the beating she gives them. She does not need short skirts or skinny jeans or "jeggings".  She needs practical, well-made clothes that she will grow out of before they wear out.  Am I the only parent out there thinking these things as I wander the aisles of children's clothing stores?

I ask again, who designs this crap?  Yes, I get that everyone wants to be "cool" and fashionable, but do we really need to foist these labels on our 7 or 8 or 9 year olds?  Can't we at least wait until they are teenagers?

B still loves Hello Kitty and last year she picked out an HK backpack.  It nearly broke my heart when she came home after just a few weeks of school and told me that someone in her class had called her a "Baby" because "Hello Kitty is for babies."  Who gives these children these ideas?  (Of course, I'd love to have my own conversation with that kid, while wearing my HK shirt, holding my HK purse and my phone - that has an HK cover.)  But I digress.

Sadly, B does not understand my motivation as we struggle to shop.  She sees things that she thinks are cute or that she has seen friends wearing and I see a little girl trying to grow up waaaaaay too fast. I cringe inside when she tells me that she can't wait to be older, so that she can go, and do, and see, and wear....  I want to shake her and tell her that it is not all fun and games as we age, and there are so many things still for her to learn.

I struggled with popularity and body image in school, sometimes because I wore hand-me-down clothes and sometimes because we could not afford the brand name or designer labels.  We shopped at the bargain stores.  I don't want B to have to worry about those things, but at the same time, I want her to take her time growing up, and stay a kid for a little longer.  Is that wrong?  Why should we let these clothing designers and stores push our kids to grow up too soon?

Well, we shouldn't.  And I, for one, am trying not to.  Right now, I'm not the coolest mom on the planet, and I probably looked like an ass, chewing out the sales clerk because the clothing in her store was not appropriate for a 7 year old.  But I did not buy their trashy clothes and I did not cave to B's whining and begging.  My little girl will stay "little" for just a bit longer, if I can help it.  And she will start school this week in age appropriate clothes that will hopefully withstand the beating she will surely give them.  If not, you can bet I'll be back here, ranting about that next.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hear ya missy and agree totally ...I guess I'm a bit lucky as Levi's for boys hasnt gone out of style lol
Hugs ~Val