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To wonder what's wrong with dressing girls as girls

(122 Posts)
sparklymarmite Thu 23-Feb-17 10:16:41

I've name changed but really hoping someone can explain why you wouldn't dress a little girl in girly clothes if that's what they want? There is a little girl in my daughters class always dressed in gender neutral or boyish clothes - I feel so sad for her because she is always looking at the other girls in pretty things. If she visits other people's houses she always wants to wear their dresses and gets upset when it's time to take them off. It's probably made worse because her best friend is very girly and her mum always dresses her beautifully. Her mum seems obsessed about avoiding anything revealing but they're only 6. If anyone else is like this please help me to understand why you would do this. I'm not particularly close to this family but it makes me feel sad to see.

WorraLiberty Thu 23-Feb-17 10:19:37

I think the majority of parents don't give a shite what their kids want to wear, as long as the clothes are warm enough/fit for purpose.

This mum sounds quite unusual, so you'd probably get a better answer from her.

NancyDonahue Thu 23-Feb-17 10:20:16

Pretty dresses aren't really practical. Dd likes them but knows if she wants to feel comfortable running around, riding her bike etc then jeans or leggings are best. We save the dresses for parties etc

Pinkheart5915 Thu 23-Feb-17 10:20:47

Both my ds and dd wear a variety of colours ( including pink and blue) and dd has little dresses as well as trouser sets etc. I remember being told at a baby group I was setting dd up to be oppressed by society because I dressed her in pink hmm confused

I grew up living in pink and dresses and loved bows, dolls etc and it certainly didn't hold me back in anyway. I am a strong women I just love pink.

OpalFruitsMarathonsandSpira Thu 23-Feb-17 10:22:03

My Dd won't wear a tee shirt if it's too long because she thinks I'm hoodwinking her into wearing a dress!

grin

Niskayuna Thu 23-Feb-17 10:22:31

Are you sitting in class all day watching her 'looking at the pretty dresses' or are you just assuming from a passing glance? How do you know what she does when she visits others' houses? Maybe she cries when it's time to take the dress off because that's what kids do, complain when they have to hand things back?

My daughter wears trousers and dresses. She wanted a floofy tiered skirt once, so I got it for her, but she said she couldn't get down the slide in it, or ride the bikes at nursery without it tangling, so she'd changed into leggings by the time I'd collected her. So for nursery and playtime, we avoid the dresses (though she has tunics and leggings.) They're a pain in the arse.

Personally I let her wear what she asks for. She sometimes wears Pokemon t-shirts from 'the boys section', she wears flowered tunics, she has a couple of tops handed down from her brother. She chooses, and that's what's important to me - her choice.

I think you're making a lot of judgements just because the kid isn't dolled up like a cupcake fairy. The girl herself may not want to wear these things. I didn't as a kid, I didn't wear skirts or dresses until adulthood, I simply did not want to.

It's only 'sad' if she's genuinely being aggressively forced to reject certain clothes because 'girliness' and femininity are 'bad' or 'weak' or something, then it's a whole bunch of damaging lessons being taught. It's also only 'sad' if the girl herself is 'sad'. Which you don't know.

ZombieApocalips Thu 23-Feb-17 10:23:43

Do the parents have limited funds and use the same clothes for their son and daughter?

I'm assuming that the girl is desiring party dresses and sequins rather than crop tops?

WorraLiberty Thu 23-Feb-17 10:24:33

I remember being told at a baby group I was setting dd up to be oppressed by society because I dressed her in pink hmm confused

Must have been a Mumsnetter!! grin grin

purplecollar Thu 23-Feb-17 10:26:57

I think most people go with what they dc want to wear, within reason. It's a battle not worth having on the whole. Mine hated wearing dresses, from pretty much when she could speak to verbalise it, so I rarely bought them for her. They went to waste. They'd hang in the wardrobe, never be worn and I often handed them on to a friend with a younger dd with the labels still attached. She still receives dresses as gifts from relatives. But refuses to wear them. I'm sure her aunty would love to see her wearing one. But it's up to dd as far as I'm concerned. She's at an age where it's really her choice.

Sparklingbrook Thu 23-Feb-17 10:27:16

I would say the majority of people don't care how people dress their children.
The main battle is getting them dressed in the morning whatever they are wearing.

You do seem to know an awful lot about this child OP.

ImNotFatICanSeeMyFeet Thu 23-Feb-17 10:28:10

One of my dd's loves looking at dresses and will occasionally put one on, but she much prefers to wear neutral comfortable clothes. She has sensory issues around clothes (as well as other things). I've been judged on how she dresses before, but it's her choice. I couldn't care less how nosy people perceive the situation.

SparkleTwinkleGoldGlitter Thu 23-Feb-17 10:31:52

I think some people do just have something against pink or blue, I don't really understand it myself it's a colour it means nothing.

When I was expecting dd I brought many clothes in many different colours but I also brought some pink/red dresses as they were so cute and I couldn't resist. A friend actually gave me a lecture on how dd would be damaged and think she has to be a girl because once I'd dressed her in pink and what I should be doing is buying all neutral confused I mean really pull the other one love

LegoCaltrops Thu 23-Feb-17 10:31:58

They could be hand-me-downs, from an older brother or cousin. My 4yo DD has a lot of boys clothes (she likes superheroes, dinosaurs, minions, sharks etc which are mostly on boys stuff) but also plenty of girls clothes too. If she's with us when we're clothes shopping for her, she always gets a say in what we buy. And chooses what to wear outside of school.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Thu 23-Feb-17 10:32:32

Aren't they all in some sort of uniform aged 6?

So you're seeing this girl after school or weekends to notice her looking wistfully at the pretty clothes?

SquedgieBeckenheim Thu 23-Feb-17 10:34:39

My DD is only 2, so maybe I'm not qualified to comment!
For nursery she always wears joggers/leggings/shorts and t shirts (depending on weather) as these are practical for all the running around etc they do there.
For at home, she has a mix of dresses/skirts/joggers/jeans/leggings etc. She generally chooses to wear trousers and tshirts.
She has a mix of colours and items from both "girls" and "boys" sections in the shops.
Why do clothes have to be frilly, pink and dresses to be girly? When DD reaches age 6, I probably wont want her in overly revealing outfits either... Let kids be kids and wear clothes suitable to playing!

yorkshapudding Thu 23-Feb-17 10:35:52

I agree with Worra that this Mum sounds quite unusually rigid. I don't know any parents like that.

I don't mind my DD choosing "girly" clothes but I do correct her if she identifies an item as being "for boys" or "for girls" and say "boys and girls can wear whatever they want" because I don't want her to feel limited in that way. For example, she loves dinosaurs and most of the clothing with dinosaurs on is marketed to boys. I don't want her to feel she can't wear those things if she wants to.

My DN is six and recently had a complete meltdown in a restaurant when she was given a drink in a blue cup. She also refuses to wear anything that isn't pink, sparkly or leopard print and sulks if she gets a present that isn't wrapped in pink paper. She has also repeatedly expressed disgust that our DD, who loves dolls, cuddly toys and princesses, also plays with dinosaurs, buses and trains because they're "boys toys".

I think it's a shame that some children like my DN have such fixed ideas about gender from a young age and I don't want my DD to grow up narrow minded- I wonder if this is the kind of thing the Mum in your OP is trying to mitigate against but is maybe taking it to an extreme?

reallyanotherone Thu 23-Feb-17 10:39:21

Oh ffs.

How do you know she's "looking at the pretty things" with such sad longing?

I had a kid throw an absolute tantrum when asked to take dd's dress off to go home- because she didn't want to go home, not because she has been denied dresses by her parents.

you would feel sorry for my dd. She prefers trousers "warmer and i can do cartwheels" and has just chosen to get her hair short. She still likes to look at pretty things, but it's entirely her choice.

WhoKn0wsWhereTheTimeG0es Thu 23-Feb-17 10:39:35

You seem to know a lot about her considering you're not particularly close to her family and presumably she's in school uniform a lot of the time if she's 6. A lot of children like trying on others clothes, a lot of children prefer practical over frilly apart from dressing up play, I don't think you can conclude that it's a strict no frills policy from the parents.

DJBaggySmalls Thu 23-Feb-17 10:40:58

The only parents I knew who insisted on doing that both had issues with unresolved childhood abuse. It made them hyper vigilant.
I'm not saying thats the case here, but its a shame she cant hear what her child is saying.
Do you know her well enough to say something?

peukpokicuzo Thu 23-Feb-17 10:41:19

In general kids should wear what they want to wear so long as it is warm enough. But so often I see this pattern:
Kid is wearing pretty sequined clothing made of delicate fabric.
Kid wants to run and jump and climb things and splash in mud, because of being a kid.
Either
(a) kid will be told not to play that way as pretty things will be damaged, reinforcing gender stereotypes of different ways boys and girls "should" play
(b) kid will go ahead and play and will ruin pretty clothes and will be told off, and may also be distraught at the destruction of the pretty things because kids aren't very good at cause-and-effect, therefore also reinforcing gender stereotypes of different ways boys and girls "should" play
(c) kid will try to go ahead and play and will find that the pretty clothes are getting in the way, therefore also reinforcing gender stereotypes of different ways boys and girls "should" play

So if you don't want to be perpetuating sexism attitudes in the next generation, putting both sees of kids into practical robust clothing for play time I'd the only way to go.

Trousers are not "boys' clothes" - they are just trousers.

Rugbyplayersarehot Thu 23-Feb-17 10:41:25

I don't know any parents like this either.

Clothes were never a battle in our house as they arnt important as long as weather suitable and activity appropriate.

I would ask the mother op and tell her about her dds whistful gazes and please report back.

Leggit Thu 23-Feb-17 10:41:30

You are being ridiculous. You don't know the child is looking at the other girls and wishing she had their pretty dresses on. Neither do you know the parent is obsessed with keeping her child gender neutral.

I feel quite sad at your judgement. I have a 7yo DD who chooses not to wear 'girly' clothes. I would hate to think your post was about me.

peukpokicuzo Thu 23-Feb-17 10:42:58

I hate autocorrect

So if you don't want to be perpetuating sexism sexist attitudes in the next generation, putting both sees sexes of kids

yorkshapudding Thu 23-Feb-17 10:44:21

Do you know her well enough to say something?

No parent is going to thank you for a completely unsolicited opinion about how they dress their child.

kaitlinktm Thu 23-Feb-17 10:47:45

Her mum seems obsessed about avoiding anything revealing but they're only 6.

I am a bit confused by this. What do you mean by revealing? Swimwear?

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