My teenage daughter came home wearing a mens size large T-shirt the other day, needless to say it was so big it literally swam on her, it could have passed as a dress. This wasn’t our first brush with her fascination with oversized clothing, on a recent trip to some surf shops she seemed to point out a whole array of very large baggy jumpers that caught her eye.
My daughter usually shops with me, on this particular day a few of us mums decided to let our daughters shop with some freedom. When her friends mum brought her home, there she stood in her oversized, black T-Shirt with Star Wars characters on it and a huge grin on her face. She was giddy with excitement over her purchase choice, and quite happy to tell me she decided to shop in the Men’s section. (Long gone are the days of me purchasing pretty pink dresses, or having her beg me for another Ariel costume!) Truth be told, initially her finding her own sense of style was hard to take. I wanted to keep her my little girl forever, (or at least a few more years). No amount of willing her to stop growing up was going to work, nature makes sure of that, and I can honestly say that seeing her smiling at the front door I couldn’t have been more proud!
The thing I am most happy about is that she chose to purchase something that made her feel good about herself. At thirteen I am not quite sure I was willing to go against the current trends of girly magazines, I have to admit I am immensely proud of her for being herself.
I was looking the other day to purchase her a top (prior to her coming home in her Star Wars T), when the shop assistant asked me what style my daughter liked. I smiled, and told her that my daughter is still finding her style. Sometimes she is boho, or hippy 60’s style dresses, other times she is sporty, and then other days she is happy to pull on a big oversized hooded jumper. Her style is comfort, and it’s whatever mood strikes. She read a quote from a book to me recently and I apologise as I don’t know what book it was, nor can I recall the exact quote, but it was along the lines of, ‘how do you dress like a girl? You wake up, put on some clothes, and there you go, you are dressed like a girl”! I thought it was an absolutely fabulous quote. I mean what makes the mens section of a store exclusive to men? The answer is ‘nothing’, a girl can wear whatever she likes, be who she likes to be, and be proud of who she is! (As should any boy).
In a few years, or maybe even less, her fearless individuality may fade, but I will encourage her to always be herself, to find her own style, to be herself, and to embrace her uniqueness as much as I can. I knew when I became a parent that I would have to teach my child many things, but I wasn’t expecting them to teach me so much.
I want to teach my girls, and all girls to respect themselves and their bodies, to know their bodies are theirs alone, that no matter what they wear, how covered up they are, or how much of their bodies they show to the world, that they deserve to be treated with respect, that they are not asking for inappropriate comments, or looks, that they are not asking to be violated, teased, or bullied.
So how do you dress like a teenager? Be yourself, respect yourself, love yourself and wear a big smile on your face knowing you are amazing!
Do you have any thoughts to share?
Thanks for joining me, love Mackenzie xx