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You're not going out looking like that!

(39 Posts)
notahotel Sat 30-Mar-13 12:18:30

Please help. My beautiful, intelligent, articulate, talented DD has just gone into town dressed like ... well.... let me paint you a picture. Her hair (naturally brown) is dyed and redyed (badly) blue-black and there are bits of purple dye all around her neck and forehead which she 'can't get off'. She is wearing a man's tee shirt (she's nearly 14, btw), a man's hoodie and a camouflage jacket, very small, short, tight denim shorts, patterned black tights, green kaki knee length socks and Converse. I hate the word 'skanky' but it really is the best way to describe this look. This has been gradually creeping up, bit by bit, over the last few months and I think it's only today I've realised quite how awful she looks. DH agrees with me that she looks dreadful. My dilemma is this: she is basically a good girl, doing well at school, usually considerate at home, etc. I don't want to sweat the small stuff and I have tried gentle, tactful comments about improving her appearance but to no avail. I should add that she is the most stubborn, determined, opinionated child I have ever met! I don't want to create a huge row but I'm really concerned about the messages she's giving out about herself and her family. She also has a boyfriend who seems very nice - how can he find her attractive dressed like this? What messages is she giving to him? Should I turn a blind eye or put my foot down?

peacefuleasyfeeling Sat 30-Mar-13 20:45:56

Let her, but keep an eye on her nevertheless. I rocked the 90s equivalent look at her age and apart from one incident when my DM clawed into a deliberately ripped and layered two-tights arrangement I'd created with her nails and threw herself on the hall floor yelling those very words, she must have decided to pick her battles and let me express my creativity through the outlandish outfits I created (I was fab with a sewing machine and a dye bath, but always favoured a slightly risque twist). She did speak to me quite casually about how we communicate who we are through our appearance, and how we cannot know for sure how others may interpret this and to be wise to the consequences which may follow. I was so grateful that she allowed me to do my thing especially as we lived in a small village in rural Sweden where nobody for miles around looked like me.

MrsOakenshield Sat 30-Mar-13 20:48:36

just reread properly and seen your comment about 'the message she's giving out about herself and her family' - WTF??? Please please don't pass this message on to your DD, that she should dress for others, that's an awful thing for her to think. Do you want her to be a clone?

Ye gads - I'd missed that. That's outrageous!

TheSecondComing Sat 30-Mar-13 20:53:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mum47 Sat 30-Mar-13 20:57:19

Don't make a fuss, but keep an eye on her. It could be so so much worse.

She sounds like a lovely girl and think on about what you used to wear at that age (skulks away cringing)

HotCrossPun Sat 30-Mar-13 21:45:34

I think Jada Pinkett Smith actually sums it up quite nicely. Responding to questions on why she let her young daughter shave off her hair she wrote:

^"This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete." She began, "The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women,girls are constantly reminded that they don't belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination.
"I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It's also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother's deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be."^

sashh Sun 31-Mar-13 08:05:06

She's not wearing leggings with a short top, be thankful for that.

I wish I had the figure to get away with her outfit.

notahotel Thu 04-Apr-13 19:39:31

Thanks for your comments, everyone. You've certainly put me in my place, MrsOakenshield - but of course I love her for who she is and I am VERY proud that she doesn't just follow the crowd, HotCrossPun. And I would never comment so rudely on her appearance to her face in the way that I posted on here. I thought the idea of MN was that this was a place where I could share my worries and say the things I would never say to my children? Maybe your mum was concerned too, MrsOakenshield, but simply didn't share this with you because she loved you and didn't want to offend you - precisely how I feel about my own daughter, which is why I vented on here and not to her! As for the boyfriend comment, I agree completely that he should like her for who she is and not what she looks like - which he does - it was a silly thing to say.

notahotel Thu 04-Apr-13 19:48:45

Sorry, MrsOakenshield - just seen your most recent post and I'd like to answer your question. The answer is no, of course I don't want her to be a clone, but neither do I wish her to have to deal with the fall-out of people misjudging or making false assumptions about her because of how she looks. Your comments have made me think, though, and I'm grateful to you for challenging me.

watchingout Thu 04-Apr-13 22:55:23

Big hug to OP! MN can be tough sometimes, but that's the beauty of getting a wide variety of opinions wink

I've had similar with my DD and so am happy/grateful to read the opinions without being shot at myself. You sound like you will be thinking and talking. Thanks for raising your head over the parapet thanks

notahotel Fri 05-Apr-13 13:38:53

Thanks for the hug, watchingout, I needed that! People's honest opinions aren't always easy to read, are they? I do actually feel quite empowered now to accept/respect how my DD chooses to dress and to stop worrying quite so much about what others might be thinking. I've always been a bit on the over-sensitive side... I could learn quite a lot from her - I really admire her confidence.

lovesherdogstoomuch Sat 06-Apr-13 21:41:49

i am itching to tidy up my 16 year old DD. she is being a Ladette atm. Sigh. reading these posts though, i think i will piggyback on your OP and take the advice. sit back, laugh and let her go through it. it's very hard though. sellotape over my mouth i think. good luck OP and all other Mners with teenage girls. ")

chocoluvva Sun 14-Apr-13 16:04:16

If it's any comfort - this might be out of date now - DD and lots of other 14YO girls used to be happy to wear tights with holes in them. DD was very annoyed when I made her change them.

SoYoFromKokomo Sun 14-Apr-13 16:15:16

If its any help, my dad used to go mental about me dying my hair every colour under the sun but my mum overruled & said I could dye it whatever colour I wanted as long as I let her help me do it (under the pretence that she didn't want the bathroom tiles & all the good towels destroyed). This was about the same time I stopped dying it blue/green/pink and stuck to dark reds & browns. She'd managed to, in a very reasonable way, take away the shock value & her being there when I dyed it somehow made me choose more conservative colours. Dad quickly realised the value of this approach too & let me just add my dye into the weekly shop, again ruining any fun in the shock value!

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