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High heel shoes/provocative clothing

(112 Posts)
thejanuarys Tue 19-Apr-11 21:45:08

Just been watching Sex Education show on C4 and founder of MN was on. Essentially, consensus is that it is inappropriate for young primary aged girls to wear high heeled shoes/girly-adult clothing. I agree. However, my contention is that it starts before primary age. My four yr old is begging me for princess dresses and disney character high heeled plastic shoes. Other mums I know allow their children to 'play' in these items, providing disney/high street shop versions of make-up, nail varnish etc for girls. And my kid goes to a good nursery! So far I have playfully/skillfully said 'no'. I will continue to do so until she is 14 at least! But it is my/our responsibility to say 'no' to children. Yet, if articulate, intelligent parents are allowing children to dress up, wear make-up and dress in princess dresses, then of course girls will begin to covet them. On the rare occasions I allow my daughter to dress in this way at playdate etc, she is invariably greeted with 'what a lovely/pretty princess' type comments. The shops are to blame (I rarely take my child shopping with me, so temptation/exposure is limited) for being opportunist, but parents are the ones who are ultimately responsible for indulging;/allowing their children to be seduced by the disney marketing machine which will lead girls to believe that being 'girly' is as, or more important than being funny, clever, kind, capable. It is way too late at primary school age. I am very concerned because these girls, whose parents do not have the skill to impose boundaries, will be the ones exerting peer pressure on my daughter, making my job a lot harder.

Bringonthegoat Tue 19-Apr-11 21:47:59

YANBU- dress up is fun but should be vetted and balanced. Nail varnish is not a sin but it is for grown ups in my eyes. Children should have things they are not allowed, boundaries are key to development.

worraliberty Tue 19-Apr-11 21:48:54

You're a parent...your job will always be hard and you'll always hear the words 'Oh but all my friends can'...so you'll need to cope with that anyway.

Re the dressing up...my boys dressed as Bob the Builder and played with plastic drills and chainsaws. This didn't mean they then wanted to play with real ones.

Kids will always want to copy adults, whether it's playing at cooking, building or dressing up.

squeakytoy Tue 19-Apr-11 21:50:23

Oh for heavens sakes... there is nothing wrong with kids wanting to dress up and do role play. It wont corrupt them for life to play at being a princess and trip around the house in little heels for an hour or two.

I am sure most of us would raid our mothers wardrobe and prat around in her shoes when we were little.

Role play and dressing up is part of a childs developing mind.

hardhatdonned Tue 19-Apr-11 21:51:22

IMO there is a huge difference between make believe dress up and dressing up as a mini hooker. Worst case of this i ever saw was in a fracture clinic, i saw a girl in a mini skirt, crop top and high heeled bratz wellies, she couldn't have been any older than 8.

Bottom line though is that you are the parent you hold the purse strings and you are in charge. To quote Grange Hill. Just say no

BelleDameSansMerci Tue 19-Apr-11 21:57:16

I don't think anyone would feel that wearing adult/provocative clothing is appropriate for young children. Having said that, I obviously don't know what you feel is adult/provocative clothing but Disney princess dresses don't really meet that criteria in my mind. They are little girls' dressing up clothes.

I probably meet your description of an intelligent, articulate parent and my DD (3.7) has a variety of princess dresses. I also allow her to wear nail varnish on her toes (mostly to stop her from chewing them but you wouldn't know that if you were to see them, obviously).

I do not believe that an interest in "princess dresses" automatically leads to thinking that being pretty is more important than being funny, clever, kind or capable. I hope my daughter can enjoy pretty things and still be a kick-arse career woman (as I do and am).

Mumcentreplus Tue 19-Apr-11 21:57:43

Dressing up is part of growing and development..being a princess no problem..wearing a padded bra and pants that say 'sexy'..not appropriate ..tbh I don't care what other parents do..my issue is my girls and I'm responsible for them..I'm not their 'friend' I'm their parent..I want them to be balanced and happy and yes what other parents do can affect how they feel...but it wont change my reaction or decision as a parent...I hold the cash and choose how to spend it...

saffy85 Tue 19-Apr-11 22:00:17

I dont like small children in miniture adult clothes. I don't have an issue with my 3 year old DD dressing like a disney princess. Occassionally I paint her nails (her fave shade is shocking pink). This doesn't mean that I think being girly is more important than being an intelligent, kind person. She isn't a bimbo she just likes pink and girly stuff, as do most of her friends. What's the big deal? confused

Personally I think the anti pink thing has gone too far. It's just a colour at the end of the day. Lots of boys and men wear pink too don't they? Do we wring our hands and worry about them being brainwashed by the Disney Marketing Machine? hmm

"I am very concerned because these girls, whose parents do not have the skill to impose boundaries, will be the ones exerting peer pressure on my daughter, making my job a lot harder."....... So.... because I allow my DD to be girly at times (between playing football and trying to teach herself to read) It means I have no boundary setting skills? Please. Get off your high horse before you fall off the damn thing.

Also paragraphs are your friend. Please use them. It took me 3 attempts to read your post.

FriedEggyAndSlippery Tue 19-Apr-11 22:02:15

I think (IMHO) you are going too far if you ban such things. Surely then you just turn them into some big deal? Forbidden fruit?

What I keep reminding myself is that my DD (nearly 4) doesn't see these things in the same way I do. I see nail varnish as grown up, but all she sees is nice colours. I see high heels as ridiculous and sometimes slutty, but she just sees funny clunky plastic shoes.

I am all for not sexualising children but there has to be a balance. There's nothing wrong with dressing up.

CURLYMAMMA Tue 19-Apr-11 22:04:22

I think the princess dresses are fine. I have good boundaries in respect to inappropriate clothing but vetoing the princess rubbish is OTT.

spiderslegs Tue 19-Apr-11 22:17:31

Try not having a TV.

Really. They don't ask.

partyhats Tue 19-Apr-11 22:27:53

YABU and very OTT about dressing up in princess dresses, its ridiculous to think there is anything sinister or potentially damaging about that. Most of us have done it as children. YANBU about provocative girls clothing, I have noticed it is the mothers who dress in this way who allow their daughters to do so as well. I think we have to lead by example, I dress modestly (although always in style smile) and will encourage my dds to do the same.

magicmummy1 Tue 19-Apr-11 22:29:47

Don't like make-up or nail varnish on children. No issue with princess dresses. Think plastic high heels are a safety risk! But everything in moderation, I say - as someone else has said, forbidden fruit is the most tempting!

Funnily enough, at 5 going on 6, my dd and her friends have decided that "pink & girlie" is uncool, while princess dresses are for babies!

sausagerolemodel Tue 19-Apr-11 22:31:36

"vetoing the princess rubbish is OTT"

so you agree its rubbish but you think its OK to perpetuate the my stereotypes?

I vetoed my DDs choice of magazine last week because she saw "Snow White" on the cover of a comic but when I realised it was the "Disney Princess" comic, there was no way I was buying into it.

The problem with "funny clunky plastic shoes" is that before you know it, your daughters think that that is the place where approval lies. Men like them- men are their father figures and thus important.

zukiecat Tue 19-Apr-11 22:35:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gemsy83 Tue 19-Apr-11 22:38:21

I dont think our daughters are doomed to a life of aspiring to be Jordan due to the fact they wear Princess dresses ffs. I used to love dressing up in silly little pink flowy dresses and gold high heels- now I slouch around in combats/birkenstocks. It obviously didnt make me want to dress provocatively

TethersEnd Tue 19-Apr-11 22:42:46

Surely the issue is about semiotics; we need to examine what pretty dresses have come to signify, rather than avoiding them per se.

Think very carefully about what message you are giving by denigrating every sign of 'girliness' (as a young child sees it)- it could inadvertently communicate the message that girls and women are flippant empty and worthless unless they eschew all things pink and sparkly (and choose 'male' objects/colours). Which is not the message I want to give my DD. And I fucking hate pink princess dresses. We are at risk of teaching our daughters that it's only traditionally male toys/roles which have any value.

How feminist are we to blithely assume that any sign of 'girlyness' is a failure? I am not having a go at you here, but since having a DD I have really had to challenge my own views about why I see 'girlyness' as flippant, unworthy and insubstantial and why I was trying to stamp out any sign of my 'girlyness', as if being like a girl is something to be ashamed of.

Princess dresses, nail varnish and the like don't do the damage- it's the value we place on them as a society that does.

The issue needs tackling, but a ban on 'girly' toys isn't challenging the prejudices around us, it is reinforcing them.

zukiecat Tue 19-Apr-11 22:43:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

soverylucky Tue 19-Apr-11 22:45:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hairfullofsnakes Tue 19-Apr-11 22:46:18

I am all for the not allowing young girls to wear stupid and provocative outfits and some of the things on sale for girls is shocking, but - dressing up as princesses does not fall into that category - that is absoloutely fine!

louisianablue2000 Tue 19-Apr-11 22:47:37

YANBU, I agree the whole princess obsession is just training for the more obvious sexualisation of little girls as they get older. Why would anyone want to be a princess? They are married off to someone their parents choose, they can't work and their only job is to reproduce. There are plenty of other dressing up options that aren't as loaded with sexual politics. What's wrong with dressing up as a doctor?

soverylucky Tue 19-Apr-11 22:48:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zukiecat Tue 19-Apr-11 22:48:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

squeakytoy Tue 19-Apr-11 22:49:11

The problem with "funny clunky plastic shoes" is that before you know it, your daughters think that that is the place where approval lies. Men like them- men are their father figures and thus important.

what utter tosh!

TethersEnd Tue 19-Apr-11 22:50:39

"they can't work and their only job is to reproduce"

Think about what you're saying here, though louisiana... you are giving the message that staying at home and having children carries no worth to society, whilst being a doctor does.

I don't think this is a feminist view.

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