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How far do you encourage your dds to 'play the game'? (apologies, long)

(36 Posts)
Takver Fri 28-Dec-12 19:12:57

I've posted here as I'd appreciate a specifically feminist perspective.

DD is 10 & in yr 6 at primary. She is becoming a bit of a 'misfit' at school, partly because she's being picked on by one fellow classmate (being tackled, said classmate has her own problems & hasn't only gone for dd), but more generally is standing out a bit I think for various reasons.

She is (at least according to her) the only girl in her class not to wear either a crop-top or proper bra. She's reasonably well developed, and certainly could wear a bra if she felt inclined. Although she has a couple of crop-tops which apparantly (and also according to her) fit fine she hasn't ever wanted to wear them.

Similarly, most of the girls are getting into make-up, hassling parents for shoes with heels, listening to pop music etc. Again dd actively isn't into this at all.

Now I'm struggling with how far I should encourage her to 'fit in' a bit to make her life easier. I have to say that I sometimes wear a croptop, sometimes not, and never a proper bra - and I've always said to dd that they are something you wear if you are more comfortable, but that there's no intrinsic biological reason that you 'need' one. Obviously she is more comfortable without so doesn't wear one! Similarly I don't wear (or indeed) own any makeup or high heeled shoes, not through philosophical objection but because I don't feel any desire for them. Ditto to not watching BGT, Strictly, I'm a Celeb etc - don't mind others watching them but don't want to myself.

Now I worry that dd is following my lead and is going to suffer for it . . . but then I would like her once she is an adult to wear/do all this stuff if she wants to, not because she feels she HAS to - so therefore I shouldn't encourage her just to do it to follow the crowd! Any help gratefully received . . .

MmeLindor Sun 06-Jan-13 20:04:45

Thanks, Kritiq for linking to Jump Mag.

If she hasn't read it, we had a couple of great contributions from girls of her age about the whole wearing make up and conforming to expectations, such as this one.

I don't think it is wrong to wear make up (I do myself, when I can be bothered) and I think it is totally fine for her to try out wearing a bra, or a cropped top if she wants to. It has to be her decision, not the pressure of others. I would encourage your DD to read this about bullying and controlling friendships and this article by an 11yo girl about bullying.

I was a misfit at school. The girl wearing the weird long trenchcoat cause I thought it looked cool. The girl who went to work as an aupair after school rather than working in a shop or an office. Who refused to go to Uni cause she didn't know what she wanted to do afterwards.

I can remember not fitting in, but also that it gave me the strength to go my own way and to do what I wanted. It is hard, but it is also really good for girls to go through this, because then they can be truly proud of their achievements.

btw, the 'misfits' in my class at school - they are the ones who are have interesting careers.

SanityClause Sun 06-Jan-13 20:18:11

DD1 had a difficult time in Y6, for different reasons to your DD.

But as soon as she went to secondary school, she found new friends, who share her geeky interests.

BTW, MmeLindor, my two DDs (13 and 11) both like JumpMag. smile

Pineneedlesandsuch Mon 07-Jan-13 18:18:44

It can be quite obvious when women aren't wearing bras but more so with young girls as they are wearing thin white school shirts, and as a teenager myself I always feel uncomfortable when around girls not wearing a bra as it is rather obvious in a school uniform. Also when she actually has boobs, what will happen in P.E when she has to get changed. It will be uncomfortable for herself and everyone around her.

PiccadillyCervix Mon 07-Jan-13 19:01:52

IN my experience all children will get bullied or picked on for something..unless they are the ones doing the bullying and the picking. It must be horrible to watch for you as the parent, but you are doing the right thing by teaching her to be comfortable in her own skin.

Takver Mon 07-Jan-13 21:14:31

"Also when she actually has boobs, what will happen in P.E when she has to get changed. It will be uncomfortable for herself and everyone around her."

She definitely does have boobs - but I don't see why this should be a problem? I guess she's not uncomfortable getting changed for PE any more than I am uncomfortable changing into my swimsuit at the pool (where of course everyone has to take everything off) - in both cases it is a single sex changing area. (Come to that one of their PE sessions this term is swimming.) They wear polo shirts, so no issues there.

PiccadillyCervix Mon 07-Jan-13 21:23:12

Why would it be uncomfortable for other girls if she has visible boobs pine? confused

well, I don't normally post on this board, only lurk (you guys are very scarey!!) steppemum Do you really think so? I used to feel that way about FWR threads on mumsent but find it much more open and inviting to newbies and middle of the road types too now.

5madthings Mon 07-Jan-13 21:35:14

Given pineneedles views with regards to views on women on anither thread it doesnt suprise me that she/he thinks your dd should wear a bra.

Op your dd sounds lovely! You have lots if great advice on here and it sounds like you are doing a good job. smile

Takver Mon 07-Jan-13 22:05:22

Thanks for your support Piccadilly and 5madthings smile I do worry that some of dd's classmates are being brought up with similar attitudes, which makes me rather sad, I really don't want her to see her body / developing into a woman as something to be ashamed of.

amillionyears Mon 07-Jan-13 22:18:01

Year 6 is a tricky school year.
They are outgrowing primary school, and somehow longstanding friendships often break up in this year which is sad.
Just to let you know, the term that has just started may turn out to be a hard term also. The term after, everyone is very aware that they are all going to move on, and they start having connections with the new school and things start getting exciting and nervy too.

Takver Tue 08-Jan-13 07:50:07

I think you're right, amillionyears. DD is going to the 'wrong' school, too (ie not the cool one!) and while she is quite comfortable that it is the right place for her I think that is part of the problem.

Fortunately they spend 5 weeks of the summer term on a transition course at secondary (which everyone says is fantastic for making new friends) so she only really has to hang out until Easter!

amillionyears Tue 08-Jan-13 07:56:53

Same sorts of things happened in my children's school to some of the pupils,as each of my children got to Year 6. Several good long friendships broke up amongst some of the pupils. It is quite sad that that happens really.
Glad the next school is doing a good transition. And it is always easier in life when people can see the end of the tunnel in sight of something not so nice.
Sounds like DDs new school should be very right for her.
Good luck to you all.

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