Thursday, July 30, 2009

What Not To Wear, Junior Edition

I've posted before about how proud I am that Erika is following in my footsteps, and developing a love of so many of my own favorite activities, including writing, reading, tennis and running. What I should also mention is that she has adopted my style of dress - if track pants, t-shirts and hoodies can properly be called a "style."

At first, I was thrilled to see Erika reject so many of the girly items she cherished as a toddler, when she literally wore dress-up clothes whenever she was in the house - out of the house, she would wear a dress, tights, and patent-leather Mary Janes. I could never understand where she had picked up such stereotypical inclinations in the first place - certainly I, a devout feminist, had never taught her that girls like pink, and skirts, and hair ribbons. But she had absorbed those cultural cliches anyway.

And part of me is still thrilled. I love that she has never asked me for Ugg boots, or Juicy jeans, or any of the trendy items that Main Line girls notoriously bug their parents for. But sometimes, when I watch Erika go off to school in her track pants, t-shirt and hoodie, I wonder if I've done her a disservice by being such a slob. I wonder if other girls will tease or ostracize her - if not now, maybe later, in middle or high school. Surely, there's a happy medium I could have modeled for her, somewhere between track pants and Juicy jeans.

But I've decided not to worry too much about it. Soon enough, I know my influence will begin to wane, and Erika will look to her friends for guidance in all things, including fashion. My strategy at this point is to take advantage of her Mommy-worship while it lasts, and nudge her so far down the right track that her friends will have a tough time derailing her.

Besides, if my biggest flaw as a mom is raising candidates for What Not To Wear, Junior Edition, then I think I'll be quite satisfied with my performance.

No comments: