metro mama

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fancy Pants

McHotty and I are living with a three-foot diva. Despite the fact that I wear a dress about 3 times a month, Cakes has developed a strong preference for feminine clothing. She is refusing to wear the cool black jerseys I find at H&M in favour of frilly pink frocks.

Last week a package arrived from her grandmother, who had a recently returned from a trip to Boston with outlet mall stops on the way home. She tore into it to find two luscious velvet dresses for Christmas. Trembling with excitement, she immediately donned both dresses, ran to the full-length mirror, and pirouetted, exclaiming “I’m so fancy, I’m SO FANCY!”

She would wear a dress every day if we let her. I usually try to reason with her, but McHotty doesn’t have the strength. The other day he did daycare drop-off, and I did pick-up. I was mortified to find her in a red satin top, a purple skirt, multi-colored striped tights and about 6 blingy barrettes.

We have her out-of-season sandals on a high shelf in her room. Every now and then she makes me get them down so she can try them on and prance around the room. I won’t even tell you how excited she gets when I turn her loose in my closet.

While her fashion sense is mildly embarrassing, what really concerns me is how she talks about looking pretty. It bothers me that pretty is even remotely on her radar at age 3-and-a-half. I wonder where it comes from, then I recall myself coming the stairs, dressed to go out, asking McHotty how I look. I picture my mother coaxing Cakes to let her style her hair, then exclaiming how much nicer it looks. I think about the fuss we make of her when she’s all dressed up pretty, and it’s no wonder it’s on her mind.

How do we teach our girls that pretty doesn’t matter?

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10 Comments:

Blogger kgirl said...

Just compliment her when she does something thoughtful - Now you're acting pretty too!

Bee likes to look 'Fablious,' and is not shy when telling me that I do as well.

A girl does like to hear that kind of thing...

3:33 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

I do not have a solid answer to that question. I keep Oee away from magasines and television. And still.. she tried on a christmas dress and twirled in front of the mirror and said, "I look fat." She's six. I responded quickly, realizing she was practicing.. but, where she had heard that from I do not know.. I Never talk like that around her.

Oee likes to wear dresses. It's like -30 in the winter here. So, I buy leggings and snow pants.. and she wears dresses.. because I'm just sick of arguing the point. lol!

3:51 PM  
Blogger ewe are here said...

I think you just focus on complementing her on accomplishments and efforts, but also accept that little girls like to look 'pretty'. Hopefully, she'll understand which counts more in life as she grows older.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Mac and Cheese said...

Same deal over here. I'm sure we've paid Pumpkin a compliment or two on her appearance, but she's taken it to extreme with her "princess" dresses, hair flips, and mirror twirling. Blame Disney.

5:17 PM  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

My daughter has definite ideas about what she wants to wear, but she is mostly focused on wearing at least one blue or purple item. Preferrably both.

11:23 PM  
Blogger No Mother Earth said...

What's wrong with that outfit?? ;-)

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Parents Overnight said...

I'm not sure what funnier...the fact that she is already aware of her own "fashion style" or that your husband let her out in a red top, purple skirt and striped tights!

Great post!

7:56 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I second Parents Overnight. Very funny. I also agree that complimenting her and making afuss when she does something thoughtful might be a good way to balance it all out. I don't have kids though. Also I was a big time tomboy and not interested in dresses and looking pretty until grade 10 - then I noticed boys and the makeup and hairstyles and pretty dresses all made it into rotation - maybe we're hardwired and it comes out when it comes out.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Lisa b said...

ok seriously six barrettes? I just do not think you can feel personally responsible for that. The girl has a style and that is just how it is going to be.

8:40 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

I'm with Lisa - don't sweat what they wear. Anyon who looks at that is going to KNOW you didn't dress her! And I say compliment them on other things, as peop above have said, but also if she wants to know she's prett, and what girl doesn't, tell her at other times, too, not just when she's fancy.

8:26 PM  

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