RE 11yo DD's hair-do?

(156 Posts)
NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 12:43:27

I am feeling dreadful because I got cross with 11 yo DD today and want to ask if IABU.

We were rushing for school and I called out to ask if DD was ready to go, she then emerged wearing some plastic ear rings, a sparkly head band and a massive high pony tail sprouting out of the top of her head. (Now, I like children to dress like children and really hate a lot of the precocious fashions marketed at young girls.) I have probably made the look sound quite comical but she looked really cheap sad and tbh it gave me rather a shock.

So... rather than explaining calmly why I wanted her to re do her hair etc, I shouted saying she looked a fright and did she want to look like a rough teenager etc etc. I am a bit ashamed of how I dealt with it tbh, but was so taken aback by how my little girl looked sad.

Now, I know that I handled it badly, so I am NOT asking AIBU to have got cross, because I know that I was wrong. BUT... was I wrong to make her re do her hairstyle because of concern about how it made her look?

DontmindifIdo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:50:19

YABU - you should have taken a photo first, put it in a frame, not out now if it's a fright, but in a drawer. It will then in 3-4 years time when her 'cool' friends are round and put on display, when boys are brought home it gets pride of place on the mantlepiece, should she ever do anything to make her famous as an adult, this is the photo you'll choose to offer to the press as an example of her childhood look etc. grin

(I always wonder if Kate Middleton got to vet the photos of her childhood her parents released to the press?)

DeWe Fri 25-Jan-13 12:54:54

The high pony tail wouldn't have worried me at all. Although maybe I'm coming at it from the other angle, having a dd in year 7 who is still steadfastly refusing to wear her hair in anything except two plaits. grin

I'd probably have removed the ear rings and possibly the head band, but if I hadn't then I'm sure they would have been removed shortly after the first glance from the head, so I'd have said they weren't allowed them at school, which they aren't.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 12:55:35

Dontmind, I know your post is only light hearted smile but am actually feeling quite upset about this as dd was distraught, saying that i'd no idea how much i'd hurt her feelings sad

dexter73 Fri 25-Jan-13 12:56:52

I would have said ditch the earrings as she probably wouldn't be allowed to wear them in school anyway, but the pony tail and hairband I would have left even if I thought they were hideous. Your dd will be wanting to experiment more with clothes at her age and you could end up having some epic arguments ahead of you. Pick your battles!

FauxFox Fri 25-Jan-13 12:57:13

The next few years are going to be interesting then...pick your battles OP (i.e. when she wants to wear a crop top and hotpants like Rihanna)

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 12:58:09

DeWe, it's hard to explain , but there was something about the slightly- to -one- side sproutiness of the pony tail that looked just awful, and so tight, like one of those croydon face lifts or whatever they're called. she really did look a sight.

dexter73 Fri 25-Jan-13 12:59:21

I expect you did hurt her feelings if you shouted at her and told her she looked a fright. She probably thought she looked really pretty.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 12:59:33

but as battles go, stopping my dd looking like a chav seemed like a worthy one!

Backtobedlam Fri 25-Jan-13 13:03:40

It depends if you think she'd have got laughed at by others at school, or if her friends would think she looked great. We were never allowed jewellery or make-up at school so those would have gone straight away, but hairstyle I'd probably leave up to her.

TheCatInTheHairnet Fri 25-Jan-13 13:04:54

Oh bless her! As Dexter said, she probably thought she looked nice, and was probably a little nervous about showcasing her new look.

Well, you've already shouted at her now, so there's nothing you can do about that. But perhaps rethink how you're going to handle it next time and maybe suggest she experiments at weekends. But, let her experiment!

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 13:06:31

her friends wouldve thought she looked very grown up. she did. scarily so. i was more worried about the fact that i thought she looked common. i know, i know, a terrible thing to say, but i am just being brutally honest blush

Pilfette Fri 25-Jan-13 13:07:17

I think it's a shock when our babies suddenly give us a glimpse of how they might look when they're older (not saying yours will look rough, OP!) My DD who is 14 has always worn her hair down and a few days ago put it up in one of those messy bun dos, coupled with a bit of flicky eyeliner she looked about 20, I was shock and a bit sad Do you think that might have been why you had such a strong reaction?

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 13:13:18

pilfette, youre so right. that was a bit part of it.

DontmindifIdo Fri 25-Jan-13 13:15:23

I think mocking works better than disapproval, so telling her she looks like a chav, asking her if she's modelling herself on Vicky Pollard from Little Britain will have more effect that 'banning' a look - she'll just go do it when she's out of your eyesight and then walk around looking like that. Making her see it's a bad look is more effective.

Sometimes having a cruel older sibling has it's merrits, I'd not have been allowed to think I looked good/grown up without my mum having to say anything.

Backtobedlam Fri 25-Jan-13 13:18:02

I think a lot of us would react the same way initially, I can remember my parents commenting a few times on things I wore/hair styles. I look at photos now and ask them why they let me leave the house looking like that?! My mum said she wanted me to learn for myself and come to my mistakes. I think that was the right thing to do-I have a fairly conservative style now, but its my own and I'm confident in my looks/clothes I choose.

She may look common to you but next time I'd just let her be (minus anything that actually breaks school rules) she's only 11, children are reinventing themselves weekly at that age, she'll be into a different look next week. If you say she 'can't' go out like that she may be more likely to rebel and go further!

Pandemoniaa Fri 25-Jan-13 13:18:11

Battles lover appearance rarely end well or are solved successfully by shouting but I can understand your initial shock. As someone else has suggested it is probably better to say that the earrings and sparkly headband aren't suitable for school and compromise on the pony tail.

You are going to need to accept "experiments" though and also expect that your dd is likely to rebel against your taste. In my experience it is better to get this out of the way early even if you do have to tolerate some questionable style decisions. I can't even begin to describe what ds2 looked like during the summer he was 11 but I can promise you he grew out of his fondness for neon coloured long shorts, wrap around sunglasses and bandannas on his head. At the time he looked ludicrous but somehow I managed to keep my honest opinion to myself. Also allowing complete freedom about what he wore when it didn't matter meant I could insist that he dressed more appropriately on those occasions when it did.

Startail Fri 25-Jan-13 13:18:21

I would have reminded DD2 that the earrings would land her in hot water, in Y6 the rest I'd ignore. Now she's at secondary, I would have to judge how OTT the head band was as they are much stroppier about uniform.

DD2 has gone to school with one hair do and come back with another since about Y3, I honestly don't notice most of the time.

YANBU to care what DD looks like or to suddenly notice she looks like a somewhat scruffy teen.

Y6s especially like that look and DD2 still does it occasionally in Y7. I tend to ignore her unless she's going somewhere it will offend.
I find gentle tone it down far more effective than "You can't go out like that".

Whether we like it or not, they do grow up. Hopefully by the time they are 14, they have learnt enough about the world to see why leggings under that skirt, slightly less make up or strapless bra please makes sense.

DD1 only started doing fashion at 14 and does the above with almost no prompting. She's a very grown up looking size 12 with a great deal of common sense. She doesn't need telling that a very short skirt and bra straps showing look awful on her when a younger looking teen might just get away with it.

Pilfette Fri 25-Jan-13 13:19:29

Also, elder DD who is 17, really goes in for the TOWIE look, which I hate. She's so pretty naturally but she fake tans and has clip in hair extensions and covers her face in foundation, blotting out all her natural features, then drawing a new face on top, false eyelashes and all.

I try to let it go, but I always tell her how lovely she looks when it's all more toned down and hope she eventually grows out of it She, on the other hand, spends ages trying to convince me to emulate her look because I'm "getting on a bit" (I'm 35) and otherwise DH will "stop fancying me" DH would probably cry if I wore that amount of make-up...

Bejeena Fri 25-Jan-13 13:19:40

The plastic earrings wouldn't have lasted that long anyway, either school make her take them out or she couldn't bear the pain anymore and taken them out herself! I am sure your reaction was normal for any mother, but maybe it is an experience you learn from yourself too, next time you'll think differently about it.

"I think mocking works better than disapproval"

Unfortunately it is usually only females that get mocked for their fashion choices, there is enough people out there that will have an opinion on how a woman should look, i would guide her through this stage.

Just be aware of the language that you use. I hate the idea that a woman is judged on her morality/lifestyleby what she is wearing.

I disagree with many on Mn about makeup etc and find it funny that posters seem to think that they can some up another females knowledge and intelligence because they look like they have stepped out of Towie.

Mocking should never come from care givers.

I have 3 DD's and my house is open to their friends, they all go through different looks, underneath they are the same person.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 13:28:41

Pilfette, sympathies, it must be so hard not to comment too much.

dontmind, i'm amazing that you thought 'mocking' her look was a good strategy grin but i can see your point. i didnt think of it as mocking, though, just making her aware of what she was projecting to others.

Some very level headed responses on here. I agree that I have to let her experiment, but girls looking precocious is something i feel quite strongly about so it's a tough one.

thanks for the advice smile

DontmindifIdo Fri 25-Jan-13 13:38:16

Birds - not in our family it's not, my brother's every attempt at selfexpression via his outfits was severally taunted by me [evil sister]

Noonar - you didn't mock, you were shocked and made her change it, that will have unfortunately reinforced that it's a bit cool. Of course, the best course of action would be to do and say nothing, then let her go to school, 11 year old children are cruel - the "oh gosh, you've done something different with your hair, that's interesting" comments are something we only learn to say after school age, one day of classmates calling her choices would have ensured she never wants to have her hair like that again...

Also, if you are trying to hold back the tide of her wanting to look like a woman and not a girl you're fighting a losing battle. Better encourage her to do grown up but non-chavvy styles etc. (if she does goth though, be quietly pleased, studies have shown goth kids end up being far more financially successful in adulthood than most other groups)

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 13:39:00

birdsgotta, can i respond to your point in a slightly more serious tone? i agree that as adults we should be free to express ourselves as we wish without fear of being judged.

however, i also think that in modern society the 'sexualisation of children' is a real issue. i think that many young girls dress inappropriately because they are influenced by images in the media. i do think, therefore that parents have a responsibility to guide their children, so that they dress appropriately for their age. (massive over simplification of the issues, but you get my drift)

now obviously my dd was in her uniform, but my concerns about her looking too grown up are definitely 'out of the same bag' as the concerns discussed above. it is possibly that a young person could present a more sexualised image of themselves to the world than they are aware. i think they may need guidance on this. (not saying this was the key issue with dd, but possibly the very, very thin end of that wedge, in as much as in didnt want her to be perceived by others in a certain way).

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 13:41:19

ok, dontmind, i slightly misunderstood. i though that you interpreted my harsh words as mocking. i know what you mean now.

FeckOffCup Fri 25-Jan-13 13:42:18

It is a tough one, it's something I'm dreading when my DD gets old enough to want to wear make up and experiment with fashion. It's easy to say pick your battles but it's only now I have a DD that I understand why my mum wasn't thrilled with the crop tops, hair dye and belly piercing in my teens. I want my DD to have nice clothes that are fashionable and won't make her a bullying target but I don't want her walking around looking like a little tart in a few years.

LaQueen Fri 25-Jan-13 13:43:41

'Mocking should never come from a care-giver'

Christ we'd better sign our DDs up with a Child Psychiatrist without delay - both DH and I do a fine line in dry, satirical observation where the DDs are concerned.

Both seem remarkably unphased and very sunny natured, nevertheless smile

Meemawandmoonpie Fri 25-Jan-13 13:46:30

Why not take her shopping at the weekend, go to somewhere which wouldnt make your daughter look older than she is. Buy her some cheap ish make up, pretty hair accessories and have a make over night. May be that she will see you accept her growing up (even if you don't) and you get the satisfaction of her wearing something you would approve of.

In terms of BU or not, shouting, yes Was BU, but you're thoughts and initial shock wasn't BU. I too hate the early sexualisation of kids nowadays. I don't have kids yet, but my niece is 12 and I just caught her bopping along to Nicki Minaj... The Uncensored version. I wasn't happy about it, but what can I do, my sister is her mom after all.

Hope it works out.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 13:47:52

feck, exactly.

eg an outfit from dd's winter wardrobe she has leather brown boots, stone coloured cords and a long arun cardigan and a fashionable checked scarf. there is so much 'tarty' kids clothing around.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 13:50:17

Meema, thanks, but actually, my dd really doesnt want to grow up sad she actually says that she doesnt want to get older and wants to stay little like her sis. i think that has a lot to do with worries about puberty, which we talk very openly about and i try my best to reassure her.

DialsMavis Fri 25-Jan-13 13:51:01

Ugggghhh to use of the word chav and posters actively encouraging their DC to use the term. I would not be able to help myself judging parents and children who use that term, totally déclassé IMO.

I understand your point though. My DS is 10 and would love to wear sportswear all the time, it is not a look I like and despite fitting in at school he sticks out like a sore thumb where we live.

I don't allow him to wear items not allowed at school to school, i.e. trainers. Although half the time he comes our wearing his hideous neon and silver astro turf trainers. If we are going out for the day or for a meal then I give him a choice of what to wear from his "good" clothes. If we are going to the park he can wear what he likes. I wouldn't use the word common as I personally would rather he didn't judge other people or think less of them if they look common despite obviously being somewhat guilty of this myself. It isn't a trait I want to encourage in my DC.

My DD is only 2, but I can imagine the issue of precociousness is worse with girls and I do prefer to see children dressed as children.
DD is only

Fillybuster Fri 25-Jan-13 13:51:49

I totally understand your reaction, but wonder if it might be a better approach to go with a 'oh, i like what you've done with your hair, but I think its a bit wonky. come over here and I'll do it again for you'....then you can a) straighten it out and b) make it a bit lower if you want. then perhaps gently question whether the earrings are allowed for school....

I'm dreading my dds hitting this stage. fwiw, you didn't do anything 'wrong' and I'm sure you'll sort it out with your dd.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 13:52:17

obv i realise that's what she 'says', but feelings are complex arent they. am just saying that the 'why dont you let me grow up, i'm 11 yo!' isnt a conversation that takes place in our house. its usually me reassuring her about growing up!

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 13:58:22

sorry, slow typing!

dialsmavis, i totally agree. and the words tarty, common, chav, cheap are words that i DO NOT use with my dc as I do not want them to use those terms. i used them on this thread merely to help conjure up a mental image!

i did however, say 'rough teenager' and said it is not a 'quality look', among other things.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:00:49

and Meema, your post was very kindly meant but the idea of buying make up for my dd as a gesture to show her that i realise she is growing up makes me sad

DialsMavis Fri 25-Jan-13 14:01:40

I have said 'rough' to DS once or twice too, it seems the least judgy sounding and offensive than the the other options to me!

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:04:05

i agree with 'rough' there is a certain ambiguity about the word that means it has a slightly less derogatory/ judgemental feel to it.

PessaryPam Fri 25-Jan-13 14:04:59

I'm with you OP. Has her friendship group changed recently?

shine0ncrazydiamond Fri 25-Jan-13 14:05:10

What a fuss about nothing.

She looked a fright, you didn't like it. correct response is ' you're not going out looking like THAT so change please ' and that's the end of it.

Or must we hand wring over this?

Sounds normal behaviour for an 11 year old to me.

BinkyWinky Fri 25-Jan-13 14:06:35

I think you need to relax- it's a ponytail. How nasty some of you are!

Narked Fri 25-Jan-13 14:07:43

Would she have been allowed to wear the earrings and hairband at school?

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:09:05

shineon, the hand wringing comes from me knowing that i've upset dd and feeling bad.

the debate is about whether or not we are right to try influence our children's clothing choices/ appearance, out of concern for how they are presenting themselves to the world.

seems a worthwhile discussion to me.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:10:21

binky, who was nasty?

BinkyWinky Fri 25-Jan-13 14:11:25

Was your daughter going to catch a cold because she had a ponytail in? No. Was she going to be tooted at by drivers? No.

I can understand where you are coming from had she turned up in a tiny skirt. You're just being a snob.

shine0ncrazydiamond Fri 25-Jan-13 14:12:19

OP - well, yes. We are right to tell them what they can and can't or should and shouldn't wear. That's the job of a parent.

piprabbit Fri 25-Jan-13 14:12:29

When I was about 12yo and experimenting with lipstick for the first time, my DMum reacted with shock, laughter and telling me that my lips looked huge.
It only happened the once. With hindsight, I probably gave her a similar shock as the one that the OPs DD gave her.
But 30 years later I still don't feel comfortable wearing lipstick, I think people will think I look bizarre.
FWIW my lips are perfectly average.

Please step very lightly when talking to young teens about their experiments.

Narked Fri 25-Jan-13 14:13:33

'the debate is about whether or not we are right to try influence our children's clothing choices/ appearance, out of concern for how they are presenting themselves to the world.'

You see I thought it was a discussion about how you handled things with your daughter...

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:14:33

binky, yes i am being a snob. is that ALWAYS wrong?

Crawling Fri 25-Jan-13 14:16:53

I think YABU sorry I think at your dd age she should be allowed to experiment with how she looks if you cant do it when your young when can you? As long as its not permanent or tarty e.g high heels short skirt then leave her alone. I dont think ywbu about the earrings though but a major overeaction to a headband and a higher than youd like ponytail IMO you should have let her wair her hair like it its not the end of the world and at her age she should be given more freedom over her appearance imo.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:16:59

um... actually wait a minute binky. i agree that not wanting dd to look common was snobbery. BUT she actually looked a bit tarty sad surely it's not snobbery to dislike that?

BinkyWinky Fri 25-Jan-13 14:20:38

It is wrong to be snobby.

Tarty? With a ponytail? You are not going to have happy teenagers if you think a ponytail can be tarty. She is eleven- this is far more about you than her.

shine0ncrazydiamond Fri 25-Jan-13 14:22:21

Agree with Binky's last line. It seems about your issues.

Either make a decision to let her experiment with your gentle guidance or being more strident and lay the law down over what you will allow.

Both are fine, just choose one path. is this so difficult? I wouldn't get all hung up on tarty/chavvy type words if i were you.

Like i said - fuss over nothing.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:22:30

Narked, this from my OP
"Now, I know that I handled it badly, so I am NOT asking AIBU to have got cross, because I know that I was wrong. BUT... was I wrong to make her re do her hairstyle because of concern about how it made her look?"

So i think included the idea of whether we should "influence our children's clothing choices/ appearance, out of concern for how they are presenting themselves to the world" in my OP. also, i know i handled it badly, as i said!

I agree it started of as a discussion, but got a bit debate- like later on dont you think, following BIrds post and mine/ others responses to it?

piprabbit Fri 25-Jan-13 14:22:41

I'm really worried that you keep saying an 11yo in school uniform with a ponytail and headband looks tarty. Tarty is such a horrible word for describing a child, especially one in school uniform with no make-up.

Chopstheduck Fri 25-Jan-13 14:25:08

I think at 11, she is old enough for a basic explanation of why you don't want her to go out looking like a tart. My dd is 12.5 now, and we've had lots of such discussions! When she gets it right, and wants to wear a very small amount of light make up to compliment her features, I compliment her. If she looks like a tart, i tell her tone it down.

I think sit, down have a chat, explain why you reacted like you did, apologise for hurting her feelings and maybe help her do her hair in a more appropriate nice style.

Crawling Fri 25-Jan-13 14:25:23

I cannot believe you think a 11yo in school uniform with a ponytail looked tarty. I sence major rebellion in her teenage years.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:26:20

but does no one else think that earrings and a sprouting side ponytail could look a bit bratz like? maybe tarty is the wrong word.

PoshCat Fri 25-Jan-13 14:26:29

Did she look "common and chavvy" or too grown up?
You do sound like a snob who is trying to back peddle her way put of it.

Chopstheduck Fri 25-Jan-13 14:29:22

and yes, she does sound like it was ott, thought possibly more 80s than tarty! grin and I would have told my dd to change it. DD often comes down looking like a state, but (hopefully) she does respect my opinion, for now at least, and we reach a compromise.

SpicyPear Fri 25-Jan-13 14:30:25

I think it's a better strategy to let her get on with it and realise herself it's not a great look. A lot of my friends reacted quite strongly against parental snobbery, dressing more and more like that and finding unsuitable boys to knock around with as they got older to wind their parents up. Probably hard to envisage now but she will be changing a lot over the next xouple of years and you do need to pick your battles.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:31:11

um... agreed i am being a snob- no back peddling there . poshcat, i didnt realise those are mutually exclusive.

tarty was the wrong word. i will back peddle that one...

Chopstheduck Fri 25-Jan-13 14:32:19

I can see where some posters are coming from with the chav thing too, and I don't think you can dictate about that, if that is what it is.

DD absolutely adores her Paul's boutique coat - khaki quilted thing with PB across the back in bright pink. DH hates it, thinks it is the height of chavdom, but so long as she doesn't try to team it with a short skirt and face full of makeup, I think it's fine.

Chandon Fri 25-Jan-13 14:33:37

Oh, just a girl experimenting with her looks.

Age 12 I tried to look grown up using orange face powder, blue eye shadow and big plastic earrings, and....the high ponytail ( are the 80s back?!)

My mum was a teacher but just said nothing. A bloke came up to me and asked " been playing with yer mums make up kit?!" that was a knife through the heart!

I remember being really sensitive about my appearance at that age.

About it being "chavvy" or common, in my experience only people with social class anxiety worry about this. Just using the label "chav" to me shows someone to be socially insecure. Try not to impose your own insecurities on your daughter.

Crawling Fri 25-Jan-13 14:35:44

Even so IME being to strict about appearance which moaning at a ponytail is IMO is likely to make her really resent and push her boundaries much further than if you just give her a little control over her apperance.

Out of my friends the ones who were controlled too much often behaved/dressed the worst during thier teenage years. If you dont want a major teenage rebellion ease up now.

BinkyWinky Fri 25-Jan-13 14:35:50

She'll just look like an eleven year old who's been playing with her hair.

madwomanintheattic Fri 25-Jan-13 14:37:20

It was nothing to do with precocious ness or puberty though, was it? It was snobbery, pure and simple.

There was no make up, no rolling over of the school skirt waistband, no over the knee socks being held up with elastic bands, no unbuttoned school shirts.

You just thought she looked common, and had a hissy (for which I realise you have acknowledged is wrong)

To try and turn it into a feminist argument about being tarty or precocious a la Lolita is just avoiding the issue that you don't want your kid looking like a chav.

The poor child. Kids often don't make wise sartorial choices when they are experimenting with style. Get over it, and ask her to lose the plastic tat for school.

PoshCat Fri 25-Jan-13 14:38:42

"Noo", I thought you started this thread because you felt bad about shouting at her?
You sound like that woman from the Bucket woman from "Keeping up Appearances."

Looking "a fright" and "rough teenagers." FFS.

Crawling Fri 25-Jan-13 14:39:32

Oh and they learned to hide it too e.g hitching up what was a perfectly reasonable length skirt to showing arse cheeks and undoing blouse buttons when out of the house. If you give some freedom shes unlikely to resort to such desperate measures.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:39:34

chandon, it's really interesting you should think that i have class insecurities smile. i'm not going to embarrass my self by trying to prove you wrong and giving details about background, but this is really not about my own insecurities.

Narked Fri 25-Jan-13 14:42:31

So, would she have been allowed to wear the earrings and the headband at school?

ShadyLadyT Fri 25-Jan-13 14:43:31

OP - anyone who is terrified by the sight of a child with a high, lopsided ponytail to the point of screaming at them that it looks rough or common, is clearly dogged by some pretty major hang ups about class.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:49:20

Birds said earlier that "I hate the idea that a woman is judged on her morality/lifestyle by what she is wearing." from that point on, the thread took a twist as there was a sort of sub topic that about precocious children's clothing. not all of my posts relate to this morning's events. some are more general observations about children's clothing in general.

Cezella Fri 25-Jan-13 14:50:12

I feel bad for you OP because it was probably a bit of a shock to see your little girl looking so different, in whatever way.

All I wanted to say was to please be gentle on her, comments which you might feel are kind or harmless can stay in the mind for years to come, I can still remember comments my mother made to me at that age and they really affected my self esteem.

The fashions she tries and looks she goes through are all just her finding her.

Chandon Fri 25-Jan-13 14:50:27

Ok, fair enough, I based that assumption of the sort of parents I know, who worry a lot about chaviness and their girls looking " common" ( in my, granted limited, experience mainy upper middle class privately educated people, or aspiring to be perceived like that).

I am not sure whatyou could say about your background that would "prove" me wrong, as class anxiety exists at almost all levels.

However, I am obviously not SURE you have class anxiety, just that it seemed likely from your words.

Pandemoniaa Fri 25-Jan-13 14:50:38

binky, yes i am being a snob. is that ALWAYS wrong?

It's not an attractive characteristic. My dm for all her very good points was an irredeemable snob although not because of class insecurities. Quite the opposite, in fact. However, her misplaced horror about anything "common" made her reactions to any perceived "commonness" in my appearance was completely counterproductive. I rebelled constantly and deceitfully and it took far longer for me to be comfortable about my own sense of style than if she'd been less snobbish and more sensible.

I dislike young girls dressing precociously and inappropriately for their age but you don't manage the problem by being heavy handed or allowing your own prejudices to emerge too blatantly. Compromise is needed.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:52:54

shady, what's the assumption here smile that i'm actually very common myself? is that what you mean?

Narked Fri 25-Jan-13 14:54:59

So, would she have been allowed to wear the earrings and headband at school?

mrsjay Fri 25-Jan-13 14:56:33

I once blurted out to dd2 (14) Oh fgs you look like her off towie in that foundation blush what I should have said is I think you need to go a shade lighter, grin
OP your dd will be ok she is just starting to find her style and sometimes we need to find a happy medium with them, I bet she is fine when she gets in from scool

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 14:57:08

lol chandon, i thought you were implying that as i am obviously very common myself, and terrified that my dd is not perceived as such! Perhaps i misinterpreted that- agree that class anxiety can exist at any level, though.

ShadyLadyT Fri 25-Jan-13 14:59:08

As has been mentioned above - anxiety about class permeates all levels. What evidence were you going to pull out of your filing cabinet to 'prove' (your words) that this is something you could not possibly suffer from? Regardless of that - I look down on someone who uses that revolting, pejorative term 'chav' far more than I would with this hairstyle or that hmm

PoshCat Fri 25-Jan-13 14:59:11

OP, do you think snobbery can ever be right?

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 15:01:42

lol chandon, i thought you were implying that i must be obviously very common myself, and terrified that my dd is not perceived as such! Perhaps i misinterpreted that- agree that class anxiety can exist at any level, though.

cez, thanks for your kind post. you know, i have so many good chats with dd and really do try to boost her self esteem/ body image. i got it wrong today, and am latterly not coming across well on this thread either... sad

i know, Poshcat, i'm sounding dreadful!

dexter73 Fri 25-Jan-13 15:02:39

Narked - are you feeling slightly invisible?!

PoshCat Fri 25-Jan-13 15:03:05

Placing an inflated importance on social standing and looking down on those you consider socially inferior certainly sounds like a negative thing to me.

PoshCat Fri 25-Jan-13 15:04:07

narked, she's never going to give you an answer.

Narked Fri 25-Jan-13 15:04:11


Hullygully Fri 25-Jan-13 15:07:04

This works for me:

Child appears. Me, "Goodness!"

Them, "What? Don't you like it? What?"

Me, "Oh nothing, it doesn't matter what I think, it's what you think that counts, as long as you're happy to go out thus, great!"

Child (inevitably) disappears and reappears differently. I say nothing.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 15:09:11

posh cat, no i dont thnk its very wholesome.

but think most people are snobs about some things

i am actually a reverse snob about:
cars, designer clothes and many other things

BinkyWinky Fri 25-Jan-13 15:11:12

I am desperate to know whether she'd be allowed to wear them in school now.

PoshCat Fri 25-Jan-13 15:11:29

And you're snobby about people you consider "rough" because of their attire? Great.

mrsjay Fri 25-Jan-13 15:13:20

hully gully you are a genuis grin when im not blurting out about her off towie that is how i Handle things

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 15:13:50

narked, sorry, i did address you directly earlier on, i wasnt a deliberately ignoring.... thread is moving fast and i type slowly.

um ..the ear rings am not sure, they would prob say to wear simple studs in future. the hair band would be ok.

PoshCat Fri 25-Jan-13 15:15:07

And by that we're talking high ponytails, heavy make-up, hooped earrings, matching hairbands on both mother and young daughter?

Sounds like a great many of the lovely mothers and children at my lovely, ethnically diverse and local inner London Primary School.

cory Fri 25-Jan-13 15:16:37

I think you startled her because she was experimenting quite innocently and you projected all sorts of ideas about sexualisation onto her and somehow expected her to be responsible for those. A better tactic ime is not to assume that this age group knows why a certain look might be shocking to their elders but to explain to them that, rightly or wrongly, that's how it might be perceived. This worked for dd with the leather jacket presented her by a friend of MIL (which made her look about 16 at the age of 11); I said she looked good but that it would be likely to draw down unwanted attention and that she could only wear it when out with me.

In the present instance, I would probably have tried to spare her feelings by invoking school rules rather than going down the whole "tart" road. Would also be unhappy if dd thought that I think some of her friends with more permissive parents look like tarts.

Narked Fri 25-Jan-13 15:19:48

So they'd have asked her to take off the earrings? A school with a uniform that has a studs only policy wouldn't be too keen on plastic earrings I'd imagine. So you got all stressed about the angle of a ponytail and a headband.

Hullygully Fri 25-Jan-13 15:20:48

Yes, agree Cory. When ds wanted to ear sparkly hairslides I explained they were fine and lovely, but other people (stupid people by implication) might laugh so that it was up to him if he wanted to wear them or not now he had that knowledge.

I'd do th esame with any outfit, and still let them if in the end they wanted to. They only wear it once after the reactions they get...

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 15:20:54

oh poshcat, i didnt talk about anyone specific.

i am in reality a broad minded, and liberal person with diverse life experience. my professional life brings me into contact with people from all walks of life, for whom i feel equal respect.

i have used emotive terms on this thread that i would not usually use in RL, for illustrative purposes only. grin

sorry that i'm coming across so badly in this thread, in some people's eyes.

Pictureperfect Fri 25-Jan-13 15:20:55

Could you tell her she has to have sensible hair/makeup/earrings for school days but can try different looks at the weekend. Does she have any nice earrings or did she just choose the plastic ones over nice ones?

BinkyWinky Fri 25-Jan-13 15:23:33

And yet you have a hissy (great word) when your daughter puts her hair into a high up ponytail?

Hullygully Fri 25-Jan-13 15:25:02

Don't worry about it noonar, some people love an excuse for a pop.

PoshCat Fri 25-Jan-13 15:26:27

You may not have talked about anyone specific, OP, but now your daughter takes any notice of you she'll think "rough" teenagers wear high ponytails, plastic earrings and hair bands.
That's OK then??

Hullygully Fri 25-Jan-13 15:28:13

And are we now all pretending that people DON'T judge by appearances...????


On MN?

mrsjay Fri 25-Jan-13 15:28:24

tbh the OP was probably thinking omg vicky pollard , her DD went to bed a little girl and came out a semi teenager give her a break

Hullygully Fri 25-Jan-13 15:31:11

You know what?

I don't want my ds to shave his head, get tattoos and/or piercings/ have his arse hanging out of his trousers.

I don't want dd to do any of the above either. Nor do I want her wearing a belt instead of a skirt, a tight top with her tits hanging out and stilettos with gooseflesh legs.

I wouldn't stop them (apart from tattoos), but I really don't want them to.

So shoot me.

Narked Fri 25-Jan-13 15:31:13

I think there's a limit to how much a hair band and a bobble can negatively alter the appearance of an 11 year old wearing school uniform.

PoshCat Fri 25-Jan-13 15:31:21

I think shrieking at an 11 year old little girl for trying a high pony, hair band and (horrifying), hooped plastic earrings and telling them they look like a "rough teenager" is awful.

Narked Fri 25-Jan-13 15:32:40

And I don't think side ponytails are a gateway to tattoos.

Hullygully Fri 25-Jan-13 15:33:03

Signifiers innit?

Don't take much.

BinkyWinky Fri 25-Jan-13 15:33:17

Is any of that comparable to a fecking headband and ponytail?

Hullygully Fri 25-Jan-13 15:34:29

It's like DRUGS narked. Gateway hair.

Hullygully Fri 25-Jan-13 15:35:17

No, it's not meant to be comparable.

I'm just saying we all IF WE ARE HONEST judge by appearances and have certain wishes for our dc.

dexter73 Fri 25-Jan-13 15:35:58

Gateway hair - one day a high pony tail, the next they are pushing the pram to school.

Narked Fri 25-Jan-13 15:36:35

Before you know it she'll be heating a spoon with a lighter to curl her eyelashes...

BinkyWinky Fri 25-Jan-13 15:38:02

The eyebrows are next, BTW. I'd put a tenner on it.

Of course we have certain wishes, that doesn't mean we should shriek at our DC when they don't have the same ones!

mrsjay Fri 25-Jan-13 15:38:16

I'm just saying we all IF WE ARE HONEST judge by appearances and have certain wishes for our dc.

of course we do,

mrsjay Fri 25-Jan-13 15:39:03

and you know what there is some fecking rough girls round about here with High pontytails who would punch you as soon as look at you,

Pandemoniaa Fri 25-Jan-13 15:39:27

I'm just saying we all IF WE ARE HONEST judge by appearances and have certain wishes for our dc.

Agree. It's just a bit if a bugger overcoming our prejudices and finding a way to encourage the dc to go along with those wishes.

mrsjay Fri 25-Jan-13 15:39:49

the OP didn't mean to shriek at her thats the whole point it just blurted out that is why she posted

Hullygully Fri 25-Jan-13 15:39:51

No, but she has said eight million times that she regrets the shriek and it came from shock horror

I don't think we need roast her on the spit THIS TIME

thegreylady Fri 25-Jan-13 15:40:54

I bet by the time she'd gone 100 yards her ponytail would be hurting and she would have adjusted it.I also would guess that this style is a 'look' currently being adopted by the 'cool' set at school and she wants to be included not mocked by her peers.
If you come back here in a week or two saying your dd is being bullied/excluded you will know why.
The earrings were just daft [where did she get them from?] and the headband a bit ott. I would have said ,"I'm not sure that style is really you.Leave it for now and we can experiment with your hair tonight."
When my dd was that age she was in Pony Club and their idea of style was a holey sweater from dad,Doc Martens boots,jodhpurs and a Barbour jacket. It gave my mum the vapours and she started going on about nice little twin sets and kitten heels etc. It is important for girls to fit into their school group and for you to facilitate [and moderate if need be] without making her feel worse than she already does.Pick your battles.

BinkyWinky Fri 25-Jan-13 15:41:37

Next time I can roast her?

StuntGirl Fri 25-Jan-13 15:41:52

My sister and niece shave theirs off and draw them on in super thin, dark pencil. I wonder what the OP would make of that look?

Hullygully Fri 25-Jan-13 15:42:35

Pande, I would go further...people are very tribal, they adopt certain appearance traits to denote membership of that tribe, so that a couple of small details can indeed be very important signifiers.

If one isn't all that keen on the tribe of whom those signifiers commonly signal allegiance, one may well shriek.

<dances on parapet>

dexter73 Fri 25-Jan-13 15:48:08

This thread has reminded me of when dd was younger and the Atomic Kitten range at BHS was considered the height of fashion! Negotiating which piece of polyester tat I would consider buying was such a highlight!

mrsjay Fri 25-Jan-13 15:54:25

This thread has reminded me of when dd was younger and the Atomic Kitten range at BHS was considered the height of fashion! Negotiating which piece of polyester tat I would consider buying was such a highlight!

Oh god I remember it wel grinl dd1 had the combat trousers no belly top though

StuntGirl Fri 25-Jan-13 15:59:04

"Pande, I would go further...people are very tribal, they adopt certain appearance traits to denote membership of that tribe, so that a couple of small details can indeed be very important signifiers."

You might be interested in checking out photographer Ari Versluis's project "Exactitudes" which discusses and documents exactly this. None of us are the unique little snowflakes we like to think we are grin

Hullygully Fri 25-Jan-13 16:05:36

Except me of course

StuntGirl Fri 25-Jan-13 16:06:56

Obv. There can only be one Hully.

Hullygully Fri 25-Jan-13 16:07:29

That's great stunt girl

Hullygully Fri 25-Jan-13 16:07:53

The pics, oh, and my uniqeness

Arcticwaffle Fri 25-Jan-13 16:13:43

I would just be glad my 11yo had bothered to do her hair without my chasing her round the house with a brush. My dds are pretty slovenly.

I wouldn't yell about a naff ponytail, or a tarty skirt, etc. Their choice, however much I might shudder.

StuntGirl Fri 25-Jan-13 16:14:04


NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 16:14:19

hully, mrsjay, thanks for your empathy.

you are so right, it was absolutely vicky pollard.

am going off now, as dc are home, but do feel free to discuss further.

thebody Fri 25-Jan-13 16:15:19

I let my dds do their own hair by this age. Weird and wonderful were the styles and that's great by me.

My dd hit puberty at 11 and its all about helping her change from a child to young woman and she will be trying to take some control.

Hair isn't really important. A high pony won't make her a 'chav'.

It is tough op and totally get you but hair isn't worth the battle.

LaQueen Fri 25-Jan-13 16:24:56

Humans are very visual creatures and judge by appearances all the time.

My DDs are nearly 10 & 9, and I would take a very dim view of them trotting downstairs looking chavtastic.

At present I'm very relieved that DD1's satorial tastes have always run towards Tom-Boy garb. Skinny jeans, Converse and an endless succession of long-sleeved t-shirts, preferably in shades of blue.

At weekends they can kinda faff with their hair to some degree, but even then I have limits. Make up is just not a factor, at present.

For school I expect them to look very dowdy and frumpy, with knee-length pinafores, scrubbed faces and neat hair.

Their girls GS has uber strict uniform policies, for which I am very grateful. I see them queing for the bus, and they all look extremely matronly, think Maria when she gets off the bus outside the Von Trapps house...heh heh, heh grin

PoshCat Fri 25-Jan-13 16:26:08

Nothing to discuss. You're an uptight snob you totally over acted to your little girl taking her first faltering steps to experimenting with her body image.
I imagine she's got the message loud and clear now and won't be trying to look like any of those skanky, common little tarts from the local council estate again.

Job well done Mrs Bucket.

thebody Fri 25-Jan-13 16:33:48

Thing is LaQueen if my dds turned up at their school looking like you describe their lives would be a permanent misery.

Probably be bullied tbh and it's a very successful mixed comp in a very mixed area.

Kids have to fit in to their environment ,as yours are clearly doing,or else
A hard life for them.

LaQueen Fri 25-Jan-13 16:40:49

theybody yes, I know what you mean.

Fortunately, at their junior school the vast majority of the girls still look like little girls, and look/dress very similar to my DDs.

There are a few exceptions who come to the school disco wearing something very teenager-ish and sporting make-up, but they are looked at with confused curiosity rather than envy by most of the girls. I think they're considered somewhat exotic/silly rather than something to aspire to?

At their GS the uniform policy is very strict, and there's little evidence of make-up. Perhaps because it's an all girls school?

CheeseStrawWars Fri 25-Jan-13 16:43:59

You ask if you are "right to try influence... out of concern for how they are presenting themselves to the world" - you mean that the world might judge her? Are you trying to save her from such judgement? By doling it out first? People judge people based on looks, sure, first impressions count - but people who judge people they know and love based on their looks are just, well...

Did you bring her up telling her it's "what's on the inside that matters?" Because by acting in the way you did, you just told her that's total shit. Also that you're a hypocrite.

You don't seem to have the necessary tact to be able to "influence" rather than isolate her. Fwiw, she won't always be 11, and she'll rebel if you constantly disrespect and judge her in this way. I think you owe her an apology.

JenaiMorris Fri 25-Jan-13 16:46:35

I am trying very, very hard not to give the OP the benefit of the doubt, but the language is fucking awful - "rough", "chavvy", "tarty".

I would hit the roof if I heard my son come out with any of those expressions when describing how someone looked.

A gazillion years ago I was regularly, in as many words, called a slag by my mother's dickhead of a partner because of the way I dressed.

What you're saying OP is clearly not in quite the same league, just tread carefully that's all.

If she's dressing too old for her age (Disclaimer: I loathed the Let Girls be Girls thing because I found it hideously sexist and unpleasantly pearl-clutchy) all you need to do is explain that sometimes people can assume that you are older than you are, and you can end up in situations that you are too young too handle*. Dress up and experiment at home, but don't go out dressed like that.

That's what my mum told me. It made sense then (well at least until I was about 13, when I started dressing like a "slag" hmm ) and it makes sense now.

* Before I get flamed (understandably) when I say "situations you are too young too handle" I am not victim blaming or saying girls in short skirts are asking for it or any of that bollocks, I mean you are prone to being chatted up by possibly quite perfectly nice chaps who'll assume you're 15 rather than 11, which can be confusing and is something 11yos aren't generally ready for.

JenaiMorris Fri 25-Jan-13 16:48:27

Bollocks. I am trying very, very hard not to give the OP the benefit of the doubt

CheeseStrawWars Fri 25-Jan-13 16:54:03

Jenai, your mum sounds great.

Hobbitation Fri 25-Jan-13 16:57:08

It must be a shock when your little girl comes downstairs suddenly looking all grown up and not looking how you would want her to. But I think fashion faux pas are all about growing up.

I can still remember my mum going mad at me for how I was dressed, but probably because it happened so infrequently, I can remember two occasions. When I was 9 and my friend had done my makeup and hair to look like Madonna. And when I was 13 and, I don't remember what I was wearing but it was very short and probably made me look much older, and I always looked more grown up being quite tall and well developed anyway.

So while the language the OP used wasn't great, I can understand it as my mum came out with something similar on those occasions. It comes out of worrying and caring.

CheeseStrawWars Fri 25-Jan-13 16:58:55

OP, imagine this scenario:

"I (OP) was about to leave the house to go meet some friends, I'd tried hard and made an effort to do my hair and put together some nice accessories. I came down the stairs and my daughter shouted saying I looked a fright and did I want to look like mutton dressed as lamb etc etc."

Would you think she was being reasonable? How would that make you feel? Confidence riding high? Self-esteem intact?

JenaiMorris Fri 25-Jan-13 16:59:34

Oh God I'm doing that wading-in-and-flaming thing when the OP as admitted to being a bit U, haven't I? Sorry blush

This is one of those issues I feel very strongly about.

Hobbitation Fri 25-Jan-13 17:01:35

I (OP) was about to leave the house to go meet some friends, I'd tried hard and made an effort to do my hair and put together some nice accessories. I came down the stairs and my daughter shouted saying I looked a fright and did I want to look like mutton dressed as lamb etc etc."

I'm sure I've seen threads like that actually. It's a knee jerk reaction, as I said, not ideal but surely we all speak before we think at times.

JenaiMorris Fri 25-Jan-13 17:02:48

Oh she was brilliant, cheese (other than for sticking with the dickhead boyfriend for so long grin )

LaQueen Fri 25-Jan-13 17:26:25

My Mum very cleverly always used to praise my outfits - therefore leaving me no need to rebel or push the boundaries hmm

But, my tastes never ran towards me wearing anything revealing/or chavtastic. Instead, I seem to remember always trying to acheive bizarre looks with rolled-down socks tucked into lace-ups pumps, custom-ripped Levis and wearing one of my Dad's old suit-jackets with a huge lacey hankie frothing out of the breast-pocket.

Hideously unflattering - but very little flesh on show.

thebody Fri 25-Jan-13 17:37:42

Yes Laqueen If there's a uniform then it should be rigidly adhered to as that makes it much easier for parents to deal with this problem.

Loving your girls looking like Maria in sound of music.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 17:40:49

Poshcat, why the need to be so spiteful?

i have been feeling awful all day for my bad handling of the situation. and i have admitted that i made a mistake. my dd is now home and we have made amends.

i have received some good advice on here and some people have given me real food for thought (eg jeanai- has given real constructive criticism, but in a civil way.) however, i have been upset by some of the spiteful comments on this thread, tbh, which have felt like a complete character assassination and critique of my parenting based on one unfortunate incident, by people who don't even know me.

i wonder what some people are so inclined to twist the knife. i have been on mumsnet 10 years and never felt the need to do so.

thebody Fri 25-Jan-13 17:51:22

Op we all do this at some point. We all say things we regret because we are human and parenting is bloody hard work.

Glad you and dd have chatted and she will probably remember and laugh with you over this episode sooner than you think.

NoonarAgain Fri 25-Jan-13 17:53:47

thank you the body

LaQueen Fri 25-Jan-13 17:57:54

Thebody actually it's the girls at our local girls GS who look like Maria...but, it does make me smile when I see them at the bus-stop, looking so hideously frumpy and matronly (the uniform really does them no favours) - and next to them are the girls at our local comp, looking glammed up to the eyebrows wearing micro-skirts...

I suspect the GS girls die a million deaths inside, every morning...but, hey, the exam results are amazing grin

JenaiMorris Fri 25-Jan-13 18:21:38

I am coming from the same perspective as Posh really, Noo. Only difference is that I tried to put myself in your shoes a bit. I don't have a daughter - although I have experienced the shock of seeing friends' daughters (and sons for that matter) suddenly looking like teens. I can only imagine what that's like when it's your own!

Plus I think the memory of being told I looked like a slut still jars, more than 25 years on. Of course I'm fine now <twitch> wink

I do get terribly riled though when people talk about girls looking like tarts. If people tell their daughters they're dressing like tarts (which I know you've not done, but I'm on a roll) then we have no hope of stopping vile notions about girls "asking for it" for wearing short skirts.

I've told ds to pull his blinking hood down when going into a shop because he looks like a mugger. Especially when he wears his bandanna-y/balaclava-y thing. Which ruffles my right-on feathers no end - perhaps I'm being thoroughly hypocritical? confused

JenaiMorris Fri 25-Jan-13 18:22:22

Oh, and thebody 's last post is UTTERLY spot on.

JenaiMorris Fri 25-Jan-13 18:24:16

I suspect the GS girls die a million deaths inside, every morning...but, hey, the exam results are amazing


As long as they can prance around out of school looking like Madonna circa 1985 that's fine wink

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