The Fashion Wars
If I make it through middle school, I'm not sure I'll have anything left for high school.
It’s not like I’ve been Rip Van Winkle, but I certainly missed a decade or two somewhere along the way. I mean, when did it become a fact that sixth grade girls dress like miniature high school seniors? When did it become a fact that sixth grade girls go on actual dates with boys? When did it become a fact that sixth grade girls wear makeup?
It seems my daughter is the only 11-year old in Montgomery County who is not allowed to wear off-the-shoulder tops and pool shorts to school. Ditto flip-flops, makeup and camisoles without a shirt over them. She is also the only one who cannot have a boyfriend and nearly the only one who cannot go on an actual date with an actual boy. And, because I may have been napping in a forest but was not born yesterday, she can’t even go to the movies with a group of friends that consists of an equal number of boys and girls.
As far as she’s concerned, the only reason she has these constraints is that I am hopelessly out of date and utterly clueless about what middle school is all about.
She may be right, but I’m sticking with what I know.
From my corner, it doesn’t seem she’s that deprived. She wears feathers in her hair. She makes amazing outfits out of skirts, shorts, leggings and shirts that cover her shoulders. She wears boots with dresses and sneakers with jeans. She looks nice every day and if she’s not on the cutting edge of inappropriate fashion, that’s just fine with me.
I remember when the Olsen twins decided to start their own fashion line. They wanted to wear more adult clothing, but it was not available for teens. That was innocent enough. But sometime between then and now, maybe around the time Madonna decided America wasn’t a good place to raise children because of the inappropriate culture—or something like that, fashion for young girls took a decided turn for the worse.
I’m not going to get rhapsodic about childhood and the wonder of those early years. Being a kid is hard work; second only to being a parent. I do think there was something to be said for a time when there were certain rites of passage. The things you looked forward to doing when you were old enough. As far as I can see, “old enough” is no longer a concept that applies to anything. At least not to anything outside this antiquated place we call home, with this woman from a bygone time who my daughter calls Mom.