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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??

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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' 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.

TravelinColour Wed 09-Jan-13 21:53:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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??

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