Thursday, May 16, 2013

Appropriate

If I had a loonie for every time that word has come out of my mouth in the last couple of months I would be debt free...

To preface things: I like plain clothing. I like well tailored, simple classic pieces that aren't flashy, fancy or too tight. I've never cared a fig for designer labels, mainly because when you have a big bust, designer clothes don't FIT you. Even when I was much thinner, I had hips and thighs and breasts and Designer off-the-rack clothes don't FIT me.

And I don't like to stand out. When you have large breasts, you don't usually have to draw attention to them. More people than I can count have conducted whole conversations to them. Newsflash: they don't talk back.  And confession time:  I was molested when I was 12 or 13. I was fondled on my breasts, and when I slapped the hand away, he said "do you blame me." I was a kid, I was naive and I knew nothing about sexuality etc, and it took me until my mid-20s to put the blame where it belonged. My lasting legacy, however is to cover up.

And to put the cherry on the top, my mother was still telling me what to wear to her funeral on her deathbed, because even at 49, she didn't trust me to dress myself. So I come with issues around clothing.

Enter my 8 year fashionista daughter. Although it's probably my fault for letting her watch the Disney Channel, she wants to look like the teens on the shows she sees. She wants to wear off the shoulder tops, skinny jeans with rips, tops with cutaways, string bikinis and she's never met a bling she didn't like. She wants to wear big hoop earrings like Selena Gomez. Did I mention she's 8...

Clothing manufacturers don't make it easy to dress our little girls as 8 year olds and not mini-tarts. Go into most girls' sections and you will have off the shoulder tops, skinny jeans with rips, tops with cutaways and the like. The skirts are short, the tops are low...what happened to letting our children be children?

I'm trying very hard not to be as dictatorial about clothing as my mother was. That being said, I am simply not comfortable with my daughter dressing like Trailer Trash Barbie. I'm trying to find a middle ground, and we have had conversations for a couple of years about clothing and appropriateness and classy versus trashy. We once sat on a ride at a fall fair and critiqued some of the outfits. To be fair, she asks me (constantly) mommy could I wear that, and I do try to find some middle ground. I'm trying to let her make some of her own choices.

She declared to the whole women's change room yesterday that my clothes were disgusting. She was mad because I wouldn't let her wear a particular top without something under it, and she was lashing out. She still can't wear the top.

But in my heart of hearts, I think she has a point. While I will never be comfortable with cleavage or super tight jeans (Pillsbury dough girl anyone? shudder) maybe I could try a belt once in a while...My mother told me it just made me look fatter and I'm ingrained to just listen. Besides, belts aren't comfortable. I like colour, but solids. I have a couple of prints...in black and white. Maybe I could try something more daring. I have a horror of looking like an ottoman. I'm already shaped like one these days.

 My mother based all of her fashion thinking on what the CBC Newsworld anchors were wearing, who, of course, you only see from the waist up. Although it was one of her best colours, it took a lot of convincing to get my mother to wear bright pink because she didn't think an octagenarian should wear bright pink. While my mom is still exercising her influence from the grave, (when I was dressing for my birthday, I had chosen a lovely grey knit dress. Clear as a bell in my head, I heard "it won't look very nice in pictures, dear." and she was right, so I changed...) she wasn't always right. (sorry mom).

I'm sure my daughter and I can find middle ground, although right now I'm tempted to re-outfit her closet with plain t-shirts and plain jeans to eliminate the fight. She is a strong independent thinker with her own opinions...and if I channel in the right direction, she'll be unstoppable. once she's not grounded any more for being rude to her mother...

6 comments:

Andrea Tombrowski said...

You packed a lot of punch in 775 words, Lisa. A very enjoyable read.

Lisa MacColl said...

Thanks Andrea!

Rusti said...

Oh my word. How well written, engaging, thought provoking, humorous and fun with some tragic edges to it. Thank you Lisa, thank you!

Joanne said...

I agree with the previous two comments. Well done!

Trudy said...

Hi Lisa

I have the battle of what's appropriate with my girls - aged 9 and 11 - as well. Anything I absolutely don't approve of does not end up in their closet or dresser drawers. They do have some short shorts that I don't care for but know they are for only around home. And snug leggings must be worn under a skirt or long, cover the butt t-shirt. Off the shoulder tops must have a top underneath them. Not to say they don't try to break the rules sometimes but for the most part not bending the rules helps. Good luck. I'm battling the stay up later on weekends battle right now and having THE talk with the 11 year old who is in grade 5 and taking puberty in health class! It never ends. Trudy

wrightwriter said...

Hi Lisa, I have nominated you For The Bouquet Of Three Award! For more information please go here to see my blog post http://wrightwriter.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/bouquet-of-three-awards-very-cool/
All the best!! Heather