dd (8) has been invited to a birthday party.....

(62 Posts)
northender Wed 09-Jan-13 09:13:22

"Footballers and WAGs". Dress up as your favourite footballer or put your glam rags on to become a WAG hmm

I'm sure most of the mums at school will say this is just harmless fun. Dd didn't know what a WAG was and she has clearly been so well indoctrinated educated by me that, when I explained, she straight away declared she would be going as a footballergrin.
With so many great female role models out there people really think its okay to dress 8 year olds up as WAGs??

Hullygully Wed 09-Jan-13 09:14:36

oh dear lord


move schools

steppemum Wed 09-Jan-13 09:28:06

hideous, can't believe that - at 8 too, must be parent's idea, child would never have come up with that.

I hope all the girls go as footballers, my dd would (and she is quite girly otherwise, but she would be hmm at the WAGS

CaseyShraeger Wed 09-Jan-13 09:36:28


MrsWolowitz Wed 09-Jan-13 09:37:43


That's horrid.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 09-Jan-13 09:39:10

This has been all over TV recently, on those rubbish real-life channels - it's a big American thing that seemed to explode over Christmas. Maybe the parents or child saw it and thought it could be fun, without really thinking about it?

It is horrible though. Going as a footballer is a great idea, I'd do that too.

msrisotto Wed 09-Jan-13 09:40:06

Eugh jesus how stupid do you have to be???

strumpetpumpkin Wed 09-Jan-13 09:41:49

yuck, i wouldnt let her go

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 09-Jan-13 09:44:41

I would probably find a reason not to go or actually just tell the truth and say that little girls dressing up as what will probably end up looking like child prostitutes is completely inappropriate. They'll probably just think you're uptight though!

pictish Wed 09-Jan-13 09:47:49

Do WAGS look like prostitutes then fuckadoodle? Can't say as I've ever noticed that. It's usually designer handbags and shoes, and bland but expensive outfits as far as I can tell. Not that I know much about it mind you.

northender Wed 09-Jan-13 09:57:35

When ds was her age, he went to a pirates and princesses party. I was a bit hmm at that as I hate all the stereotyping but this takes things to a whole new level. The girl whose party it is is quite new to school and I don't know her mum but yes, surely she must have come up with the idea. Will have to see if I can spot a wannabe WAG at school this afternoon.

snowshapes Wed 09-Jan-13 11:36:46

northender, DD had a (general) fancy dress party and one of the girls came in this fabulous pirate costume, it was brilliant. But footballers and WAGS, oh dear. DD's best friend (a girl) plays football. I do feel a bit sorry, though, if the girl is new and a party is a chance to meet people and parents, that it is so hmm.

Your DD has the right approach, imo. Show friendship and go, but turn the stereotype on its head.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 09-Jan-13 11:43:30

I totally agree with turning the stereotype on its head.
I don't really consider myself a feminist or not, but my dd would be going as a footballer.
To me it is another example of sexualising our dds and a bit sickening really.

Beehatch Wed 09-Jan-13 11:46:41

Sounds appalling, I'd have no issue with turning down that invitation - can you imagine the sort of party games that might go with that theme?

That said my two are going to a princess party in a couple of weeks, both DD and DS have opted to dress as pirates/knights!

iseenodust Wed 09-Jan-13 11:53:22

Find a fluffy pup outfit and go as Wag the dog ?

iseenodust Wed 09-Jan-13 11:54:49

Guess that's the end of the Olympics legacy then ?

northender Wed 09-Jan-13 12:05:10

Oh I really hope not iseenodust. Dd loves Jess Ennis, Helen Glover and even Katherine Grainger although she is "quite old" grin (for the record, dd, I'm even older!).

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 09-Jan-13 12:17:05

Pictish. Well the outfits are usually pretty revealing, shit loads of makeup and shoes they can't walk in. Im not an expert either but i think an 8 year old trying to dress like one is going to look so wrong! Way too sexualised, way too skimpy clothes. Its just wrong.

fuzzpig Wed 09-Jan-13 12:34:44

Ewwww that's gross. So the boys get to go as somebody who is successful through hard work and talent (whatever your opinion of football!), and the girls get to go as somebody who is famous just for being pretty and bagging a rich partner hmm

If my DD (5) was invited to that sort of thing she would probably stick on her Chelsea kit damn DH with his brainwashing but then I have also rolled my eyes at two pamper/makeover 6th birthday parties.

Incidentally on the pirate/princess thing, my friend is a reception teacher and was supposed to do a pirate/princess theme as a short topic. She quietly dropped the princess half of it this year. The girls loved being pirates.

AmandaPayne Wed 09-Jan-13 13:40:38

It is revolting.

I could kind of see how, if you were deep in denial about sexism and the patriarchy, a boy's mother could come up with that theme. "Shit, DS wants a footballer party. Not all the girls will like that, what can they do?" It's how you end up with crap like pirates and princesses a lot of the time too. The fact that it was a girl's mother makes it even worse - the little girl is the appendage at her own party.

Vile, just vile.

DewDr0p Wed 09-Jan-13 13:45:33

Oh. My. Goodness.

I am so shocked.

btw at our pirate party everyone dressed up as pirates, girls, boys, even a few mums, dads...

snowshapes Wed 09-Jan-13 14:24:47

>>Well the outfits are usually pretty revealing, shit loads of makeup and shoes they can't walk in.<<

Again, this is also a stereotype though, isn't it?

AmandaPayne Wed 09-Jan-13 14:48:34

Good Dew - they would at our pirate party too and glad to hear you are fighting the good fight ! grin However, I have heard mothers worrying what a girl could wear to such a party confused

DewDr0p Wed 09-Jan-13 14:52:51

Crazy isn't it Amanda ? The girls loved it!

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 09-Jan-13 15:17:14

Snow. Possibly, but if you do a Google image search of wag its loads of pics in underwear, naked for lads mags, boobs out, tons of black eye makeup etc.

What are the girls supposed to wear? Its like having a pirate party but saying that to wear an eye patch or parrot is a stereotype, so what would they wear instead but still be recognised as a pirate?

What clothes can they wear so that they are recognizable as a wag? Dungerees? No. Something tame? No. What?

Its the image that a huge amount of wags have unfortunately. Im not going to pretend that they have a completely different image to the one they do just so that i appear pc.

PiccadillyCervix Wed 09-Jan-13 16:11:40

I wouldn't let my daughter (or son) anywhere near that party or those kind of people. Fuck sending her in as a footballer, imagine the response she will get and that's shit you can't undo.

CajaDeLaMemoria We don't say WAG in America? confused

PiccadillyCervix Wed 09-Jan-13 16:13:32

The WAG phenom is a very British thing

PiccadillyCervix Wed 09-Jan-13 16:21:42

We have got Mob wives though... hmm

which might make for a very interesting party

AmandaPayne Wed 09-Jan-13 16:31:06

Really Piccadilly? Would you get a bad response sending your daughter in as a footballer to a football and WAGs party at age 8? Mine aren't that age group yet, but from friends with older children I don't think that they would in most places I know. Plenty of their daughters have been to parties as the 'boy' option.

PiccadillyCervix Wed 09-Jan-13 17:10:51

Mine aren't that age group yet either.. I am not actually talking about the children though I am talking about the adults (although obviously the adults will have filtered their ideas to their children)

I think someone who see having a footballers and wags party for children as OK has a very clear idea of gender roles. I imagine that the Op's daughter would be subject to comments about how pretty the other girl's outfits were..why was the op's daughter not dressed pretty.. aren't the boys cool,sporty, also as WAGS are totally dependent on sex for status I can see inappropriate comments jokes about the kids dating etc. As soon as the op's daughter has had to endure a party's worth of gender stereotyping and feel uncomfortable about it.. you can't undo that can you? And you really can't undo that she has also spent a party's worth of time watching the other girl's prance and preen around for praise.

KRITIQ Wed 09-Jan-13 17:13:54

I thought Pirates and Princesses was bad enough, but this? OMFG! What next, Vicars and Tarts? Pimps and Ho's?

Like Piccadilly, the footballers and WAGs "culture" is definitely a British thing. They lionise sportsmen in America, but in a different way, if that makes sense. Sexualisation of children however - now that's increasingly common in both countries.

If it were just a "come as your favourite footballer," then that would still be tilted towards the boys, who are more likely to be encouraged to have an interest in football, but at least not be sexualised. Come as your favourite sports personality would be brilliant with all the wee Bradley Wiggins and Jessica Ennises, David Beckhams and Tanni Grey Thompsons running about! smile

But, this? I just can't imagine how to deal with this tactfully. Frankly, I'd not want to have anything to do with it, say DD won't be coming and explain why. But, that's hardly fair to her to not be able to join in with her friends. She could dress as a footballer, but quite likely would be teased by the other children for not conforming to the "gender dress code."

Even if she isn't teased, she'll see boys dressed in the role of skilled, well paid, high status sports personalities and girls dressed as sexualised, passive, shallow people who only have a purpose because of their relationship to those all important footballers. Okay, an 8 year old probably won't have that kind of deep understanding of the phenomenon, but she and all the other kids there will hardly be able to avoid the smash-you-round-the-head message of how boys are supposed to be and girls are supposed to be.

In a work related capacity, I was speaking with a psychosexual therapist today who sadly confirmed how exposure to these and other sexualised messages in childhood have a very negative impact on the sense of self, on behaviour and the capacity to form relationships. Interestingly, she said the most crucial age seems to be about 8 sad

KRITIQ Wed 09-Jan-13 17:15:25

Sorry, I wanted to clarify that I don't personally view sports men or their wives and girlfriends in the terms I used in the 5th paragraph above. What I meant are that these are characteristics that are assigned to these two groups respectively by our society and within "celebrity culture."

kim147 Wed 09-Jan-13 17:21:18

northender Great indoctination smile

Who the hell would come up with such an idea?

Like the idea of coming as a footballer - women's football is even more successful than the mens.

I do like the idea of telling people what you think of the idea though - could kick start an interesting conversation.

PiccadillyCervix Wed 09-Jan-13 17:41:20

yy kritq

Op, please don't let your dd go! I wouldn't even tell her why tbh as I think it will make her resentful to your beliefs...just say you have something else planned for the day (and take her to do something awesome instead). I wouldn't discuss it with the parents as I think it will get back to your daughter and anyone thinks little girls dressing as WAGs won't get your stance EVER.

PiccadillyCervix Wed 09-Jan-13 17:48:54

all because they were dumb enough to video themselves admitting to it too

northender Wed 09-Jan-13 19:03:24

Piccadilly, that has crossed my mind, having something else planned. Will have to think quickly on that one.
I'm not too worried about her going as a footballer in one way as she already does lots of things seen as "boys" things eg cubs, plays football and cricket. I've always encouraged her to do whatever she feels most comfortable with and, as she has a big brother, that's often "boys" stuff. So far she's had comments and shrugged them off but I can see that it would be intensified at this sort of party.
I'm not sure what other parents will think, I've spoken to one who I know fairly well who has a boy in the same class and she shared my view of it. There are a group of parents who I imagine will think it's innocent fun hmm

PiccadillyCervix Wed 09-Jan-13 19:15:44

Maybe see if there is a women's league football match or sporting event on the day somewhere near? That would be a brilliant alternative, don't let her feel left out but don't let her near those horrible people. Don't feel guilty about it either, you wouldn't let her go to a party where racism was the theme of the event so you shouldn't feel bad about not letting her go to a party where sexism is the theme either.

Double hmm hmm at "innocent fun".

GrimmaTheNome Wed 09-Jan-13 19:27:30

This is wrong on so many levels... 'glam rags' at 8 is bad enough let alone the whole mere appendage and sleb culture rubbish.

DD went to one 'pirate&princess' party...as a pirate princess. If she'd had to opt for one or the other it'd probably have been pirate.

Does your DD have likeminded friends (or do you know any of the other girl's mothers well enough to ask...I should think there will be some others fairly aghast at WAG) - maybe they could field at least a 5-a-side team.

catgirl1976 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:28:21

That really is grim sad

nannyof3 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:38:47

Let her go as a footballer... There are ladies teams, a England ladies team and ladies football is huge in America

MrsClown1 Wed 09-Jan-13 20:19:21

fuckadoodle - I totally agree with you Im not pc either! I cant stand the fact that they are such role models for young women. I cant say anymore than that.

Turning on her head, she could just go as herself. Or anything she wants to be in the future. That is, defining anyone as a wife or girlfriend doesn't tell you anything about them, so she could be anything.

KRITIQ Wed 09-Jan-13 22:14:33

My worry in having her go along either dressed as a footballer or as herself or as a giraffe for that matter is that she will stick out, quite probably be teased for not conforming - and not just by other children. In fact, it's the adults who are likely to pass comment if she doesn't "follow the rules," and comments like that from adults can really sting, and stay with you. I wouldn't want to expose a child to that possibly probably happening.

One way of looking at it would be - what if she were invited to a party where you knew there would be other things happening there that you felt uneasy about for ethical reasons. For example, what if you knew they were going to have an evangelical Christian prayer meeting and you were an atheist? What if you knew they were only serving burgers with no non-meat alternatives and your family are vegetarian? What if you knew they were going shooting when you have an ethical objection to hunting? Would you necessarily feel that you had to "go along with it," or would you feel it was within your rights to decline the invitation, and discuss with your dd why (in a way that was appropriate for her level of understanding.)

I don't thing it would feel such a dilemma if the concern were something like this that appears "clear cut." But, unfortunately because crass gender stereotyping and sexualisation of children at a younger and younger age is becoming so much more "normalised," it's hard NOT to think, "oh, am I just making too big a fuss."

Stick to your guns and do something that feels right for you and your dd.

PiccadillyCervix Wed 09-Jan-13 22:19:03

I don't thing it would feel such a dilemma if the concern were something like this that appears "clear cut." But, unfortunately because crass gender stereotyping and sexualisation of children at a younger and younger age is becoming so much more "normalised," it's hard NOT to think, "oh, am I just making too big a fuss."

yes, exactly that

GrimmaTheNome Wed 09-Jan-13 22:32:50

I'm not sure that the OPs DD would be teased for going as a footballer (the invitation doesn't say 'boys dress as footballers' - any more than the girl pirates were (I'm assuming no problems there, mine certainly didn't have any).

Just a thought - is there any chance the birthday girl is actually footie mad and desparately wants to wear her team strip and the WAG idea is just all mum could come up with for 'girle' alternative? It might just be worth checking (if you see the mum) - ask is her DD really into football, yours will be wearing her City strip ...see what she says.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 09-Jan-13 22:34:49

(or given your MN name, maybe that should be PNE not City!)

northender Wed 09-Jan-13 22:57:42

Interesting comments, I agree with pretty much everything thats been said. Afaik dd is the only girl in her class who has any interest in football so I think its likely that she would be the only girl in a footy kit. I'm not sure how bothered she is about the party so will sound her out tomorrow and then decide what to do.
Well spotted re the team by the way Grimma wink

GrimmaTheNome Wed 09-Jan-13 23:00:02

Maybe I'll bump into you when I'm going to sainsbos grin

snowshapes Thu 10-Jan-13 11:07:49

fuckadoodlepoopoo, I agree with you that girls would have to wear certain clothes to be recognisable as a WAG, but my point was that not all footballer's wives are like that. It's a small group who project that image, and it is an image also encouraged by programmes like Footballers Wives. You could be a doctor and married to a footballer.

snowshapes Thu 10-Jan-13 11:11:35

I also think that your DD will probably speak to her friends about it beforehand anyway, so have some idea of how they are all dressing/if they are going.

I'm really surprised at the number of comments from people who think that a girl going as a footballer will stick out - DD's fancy dress party was mostly girls and there was a pirate and a ninja, as well as some gender-less costumes. I don't think any of the adults would have made the comments suggested above.

Also (my final point) everyone is assuming the mum came up with the WAG idea, maybe it was the dad??

snowshapes Thu 10-Jan-13 11:12:11

Sorry, in my last post, your DD refers to northender's DD.

bahana Thu 10-Jan-13 11:14:33

That's horrific! Luckily my youngest dd would DEFINITELY go as a footballer and I can think of a couple of others who would too. In fact it would be highly frowned on by most of the parents I know I should think.

TigerFeet Thu 10-Jan-13 11:21:08

I'd be shock too OP. In your shoes I'd be having a word with dd about gender stereotyping and sending her to the party in my Blackpool shirt <runs away>

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Thu 10-Jan-13 11:22:49

Is a wag a career now?

Timetoask Thu 10-Jan-13 11:27:42

And I say this is a woman who doesn't mind girls wanting to dress like princesses in pink and boys dressing like pirates. Nature is nature.

But WAGS!!!! never. If I had a DD I would send her as a footballer, or in normal clothing.

northender Thu 10-Jan-13 11:38:23

TigerFeet that is one option that won't be happening grin

TigerFeet Thu 10-Jan-13 12:00:42


TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 10-Jan-13 13:41:18

I don't thing it would feel such a dilemma if the concern were something like this that appears "clear cut." But, unfortunately because crass gender stereotyping and sexualisation of children at a younger and younger age is becoming so much more "normalised," it's hard NOT to think, "oh, am I just making too big a fuss."

When I grow up, I want to be as clear of thinking as KRITIQ.

MrsClown1 Fri 11-Jan-13 11:55:32

My children are grown up so I guess you know I am older than most of you. My children would have not been going and I would have no problem telling the parents why. I recall when my son was 7 he had a friend who had 'Grand Theft Auto'. I had no problem telling the parents that their son was welcome at my house but my son would not be playing at their house again. To be honest, I didnt really fit in with many of the parents so I didnt really care what they thought of me.

OP - would you mind doing me a favour. Please tell these parents that MrsClown is very sad that they are giving their daughter (if theirs is a daughter) such low aspirations or their son such a low opinion of women. The stupidity of parents shocks me at times.

Wow! Can I ask what part of the country this is? So i can avoid it- wink

PiccadillyCervix Fri 11-Jan-13 14:21:30

I'm really surprised at the number of comments from people who think that a girl going as a footballer will stick out - DD's fancy dress party was mostly girls and there was a pirate and a ninja, as well as some gender-less costumes. I don't think any of the adults would have made the comments suggested above.

Well did you and your friends have a "fancy dress party" or did you have a party that celebrates Overpaid, over sexed sports stars and their trophy girlfriends who are only known and only celebrated for who they have sex with?

Because I am very sure none of my the people I associate would blink at a little girl in football kit, but am very sure sure all of my friends would be horrified by a WAG party too. On the other hand someone who thinks a WAG party is a cute idea has very clearly different ideas towards appropriateness and gender politics than I do and NO I would not want them with in 50 miles of my children.

SomersetONeil Fri 11-Jan-13 18:51:17

Yes, a girl going to general fancy dress party as a footballer in amongst the myriad other costumes


and possibly the only girl going as a footballer to a 'Footballers and WAGs' party is two quite different things.

I would probably try to avoid the party altogether, as well.

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