Little me?

posted on: Monday, 27 September 2010

So Boo is nine; I can so recall being that age, when the things that you never noticed when you were eight, now at nine seem much, much more important. She has become more interested in recent months in clothes, her hair...ostensibly she has noticed how she looks. I simultaneously like and struggle with this. I like that she cares about her appearance and that her tastes are developing. I drill in my own preoccupation with clothes needing to be both age and season appropriate - I can not stand bare legs in winter, for example. She gets that the colour pink - which was the mainstay of her entire wardrobe from ages 0 to 4 - is now somewhat relegated.

But then I struggle with it; I wouldn't be me if I just accepted every parental hurdle as 'a phase' would I?! Observing vanity in the very young is off-putting. All we can wish for is that daughters show grace as they grow up; one of the most attractive traits is for style and beauty to be effortless. Where a girl is unaware of the beauty she possesses; in whatever form it comes.

The developing interest in clothes is something I discussed with Amanda when we met; her Boo is a few years younger than mine. It seemed both of us were delighted our daughters were taking an interest in clothes and fashion, as those elements of life were important to us, but both wondering aloud if that made us, err, shallow as mothers? I am aware that the fact that I make the effort may be construed by others as odd/vain/shallow and so surely extolling the same virtues in my daughter is inappropriate?

I guess as they say, the apple never falls far from the tree, and I rationalise this by thinking isn't it better to try one's best when possible? And isn't trying hard with appearance kinda the same thing as trying hard academically or socially? Similar at least? Whatever, it's cool to see her grow and be comfortable in the skin she is in. I have had a life-long love of clothes; certainly my Mum will attest to that and is the same and I think it's no bad thing.

all images via from me to you


  1. I have two daughters. My eldest has zero interest in clothes... I can dress her in anything and she'll never even bat an eyelid... My youngest (not even two)... loves clothes. When I put her in a dress, she'll swish it around and pose... she's been like this since the day she could walk... She has blonde hair and the biggest bluest eyes (the complete opposite of my eldest)... She is constantly told my strangers that she is beautiful... whereas my older daughter doesn't get the same adoration... it pains my heart.... each day I brush my eldest daughter's beautiful thick dark hair and tell her "you're beautiful" and she is.. .truly (I'm not just being a mum saying this)... I'm not sure where I stand on beauty and fashion with kids... I think everyone can be beautiful, but I do think the world of fashion can be ugly too... I struggle with how I will bring my daughters up regarding this.... but I think most of it will be taken out of my hands... and they'll just be whatever they want to be! Lx

  2. lou this is a big that as mothers we walk in two ways...

    as you say...why not be the *best* you can be in all parts of your life...
    we encourage our kids academically, socially, emotionally & spiritually...why not this way....
    but we also don't want our children to spend needless time focusing or worrying about their appearance...

    my 12 year old is delightfully aware, yet not overtly focused, on looking lovely each day...she has a carefree cool nature that i see she now shares with others in the *way* she chooses to dress- she is very much a vintage girl- with a leather jacket thrown in to balance her creative in terms of her self worth i encourage this dress sense...personal and confident...well groomed and spontaneous...

    the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as you say...i'm positive in that case, that *boo* is lovely & totally stylish!

    melissa xxx

  3. Fabulous thoughtful and intuitive post Lou. My daughter is now 17 but I do remember the stage when she first edged towards independent thought. She has her own style, (some of it not my "cup of tea",) but, I love that she has enough self confidence to experiment with different looks. I think they actually take after us more thatn is always obvious!


  4. I don't think there is anything wrong with making an effort in your appearance. I believe it is important for our little girls to see we make the effort, Be it home, husband, children, work, exercise, clothes, hair.....My 12 y/o is just starting to explore the whole fashion thing. She is quite little for her age and finds it difficult to get anything to fit right! She is not overly concerned but aware enough to care.

    One of my 4 year old twins has a VERY definate idea on 'her look' and the tears start rolling if she wears something I have chosen that she does not like! She layers everything and mixes things I just wouldn't, but on her it works. So much to be said for wearing clothes with confidence (even at 4!!!)

  5. A beautifully written and thoughtful post as always Lou. As I said to you, I know I shall struggle with it as she grows... right now its not too bad. She bemoans school tights as they're "very difficult to get on Mummy!", is in love with her new Gap cords and likes wearing her gillet as its "not too hot and not too cold"! Ask me again in five years and then please impart all your knowledge of how you get through it! Lots of love xxx

  6. Hi Lou! This is just another example of your beautiful writing and exquisite taste in images! I know your sweet Boo takes after her lovely mother in every way, and I think it's great that she's expressing herself with fashion. She is lucky to have you as her mother, and I know you are so fortunate to have her too, she sounds like a little angel :) Hope you're having a wonderful week!

    Hugs xoxo Trishy

  7. I hear ya! My son is 9 and now interested in how his hair looks and more interested in girls :) Love reading your musings...

    XO Laura


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