High school, fashion and things that sucked. From a parent’s perspective.

Do you know what all the chic toddlers are wearing these days? I’ve got no idea. I am a self confessed dag. I have only been remotely interested with trends in fashion to appear cool and try to avoid a beating.

When I was in high school I knew what all the hot brands were, but my parents at that time were doing it tough financially so parachute jackets (yes they were in) and white denim jeans with the latest runners were not something my wardrobe was privy to. Which sucked because in primary school my family had cash and I was happy with my three different pairs of Converse runners, my latest fashion clothes, my bunk bed and my perm. Yes..at 11. Thanks Mum! In high school, the cash had gone.

I remember the angst of having to wear the fleecy jumpers Mum had lovingly made on her sewing machine to the easiest pattern she could find because sewing was a slow learned art for her. I wore Slazenger runners to Phys Ed while everyone else had on their Reeboks and Nikes. Did they run faster than me? Yes, but I’m not entirely sure it was the shoes, sport wasn’t my thing either. Does any of it matter to me now? No. Did it matter to me back then, God yes! Pre teen and teens can are just plain mean. High school girls are bitches and if you think you weren’t a bitch, think again. Even if you had more maturity at that age than is physically possible, I’m sure at some point you laughed along or participated in some poor sods misfortune just so, for a brief moment, you would fit in too. When kids had ammunition on something you couldn’t as a kid change, such as your brand of outfit or lack of brand should we say, then you were easy pickings my friend.

I remember before having our children, one of my best friends and I would say that we didn’t care if we had to eat baked beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner, our kids wouldn’t be wearing Slazengers and most certainly would not be in the lowly ranks of uncool.

Ridiculous? Maybe. But imagine your sweet, precious child being picked on and laughed at over what could potentially have them bullied. It could be anything. Kids thinking your kid’s glasses are ugly, their hair is so not in, their socks aren’t right, they find out you own a poodle-something even you get teased about from your own friends, whatever! It’s going to suck for them and I don’t know how you might control yourself around those hormonal teenagers, with their “I know my rights” smirks.

I suppose I would want to do now what I should have done back then..and that was to purely and simply just not care. And I mean really not care, not this pretend you are ice cold cool but burst into tears when you walked home, act. But a look them up and down, stare them in the eyes, scoff and smile with a sense of pity sort of attitude. How do I teach my daughter this amazing resilience I wish I had possessed? How do any of us teach our children to bypass those feelings of inadequacy? Or do you have to face it as a right of teen passage?

With the sounds of tantrums and cries for Pettiskirts and The Veronicas range, choosing their own colours and demanding to wear kitten heels…it makes me wonder…as parents, if we allow fashion to be so important at such young ages, are we then just the puppeteers for that high school drama in the future? Did we write that script ourselves?

Can we hold off caring about fashion for as long as possible in our home? I’m certainly going to try…


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