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Author Topic: What do you think about Barbie?
kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:

2. Dress Up. Unless you happen to have access to an elaborate costume closet, its a lot easier to play dress up with Barbies. At one point, when we were learning to sew, my sister and I designed and made dozens of Barbie costumes. We even started a little business selling them.


I recommend providing children with an aunt that is in theatre and who also raids second hand shops for bridesmaid and prom dresses so that they always have excellent dress up clothes. My nieces and nephews were well supplied. Also, cheap costume jewelry and Mardi Gras beads make great "treasure" for princesses and pirates and dragons.
How do you recommend one go about providing children with an aunt who is in theatre?
I rent out. [Wink]

I suppose it doesn't have to be an aunt. [Smile] Really, the best stuff I found was from thrift stores and anyone can do that.

When I was a little girl I was deprived as all I had was my Mom's avocado green linen bridesmaid dress. It was very sad. I made sure that my nieces had satins and sequins and velvet (all on the cheap). From there it was easy to add capes and crowns and plastic swords and hats and badges and masks...

They would spend hours and hours making up stories.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
But it isn't the "theatrics" that are important, its the well stocked costume closet.


Did you think about this before you selected your wife? Did you check to make sure someone in her family was collecting and hoarding dress up clothes for your kids? If not, you best make sure any unmarried brothers, marry women with a good costume closet or you will be stuck yourself with providing a proper dress up wardrobe for your daughter.

Hmf! I thought I was being quite clever. [Wink]

Besides, most of the women I have seen have an overabundance of costumes.

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ketchupqueen
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I am all for glamourous dress-up with thrift-store prom dresses. [Big Grin] However, the thrift-store prom dresses we provide for playing dress-up fit our standards of modesty.

I agree that learning to be well-groomed is an important part of living in society. I also think that well-groomed does not have to mean "in the height of fashion" or even vaguely fashionable. I want my girls to learn to pick modest clothes that they feel both comfortable and attractive in, without regard to where it was bought, brand name, or what is in style. [Smile] I don't feel Barbie facilitates this.

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kmbboots
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One added benefit of buying thrift store dress up clothes was the barely restrained consternation of the salesperson as I was buying dresses that were quite clearly not going to fit me. [Big Grin]
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Hmf! I thought I was being quite clever. [Wink]

I thought the irony of perpetuating insulting gender stereotypes in this particular thread was almost painful.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Hmf! I thought I was being quite clever. [Wink]

Besides, most of the women I have seen have an overabundance of costumes.

Run away! Run away!
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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:

I agree that learning to be well-groomed is an important part of living in society. I also think that well-groomed does not have to mean "in the height of fashion" or even vaguely fashionable. I want my girls to learn to pick modest clothes that they feel both comfortable and attractive in, without regard to where it was bought, brand name, or what is in style. [Smile] I don't feel Barbie facilitates this.

I definitely agree that learning to be well-groomed is not the same as being fashion-crazy and I think Barbie tends toward the fashion-crazy.

I'd like to teach my kids to see beyond label and current style, but I made a recent discover that is going to hurt these prospects -- I discovered that I like costly, fashionable clothing! I don't really look at brand name and have never bought an item of clothing for a label but I there is a big difference between a $30 pair of jeans and a $100 pair of jeans -- and it's not the name on the butt. (There might be a difference between that and $200 pairs of jeans, too, but my budget won't let me find out.)

For a little extra money, too, I find shirts that fit well and comfortably without clinging...this makes me feel more attractive and confident.

As far as modest goes, the most immodest shirts I see are that way because they just plain don't fit properly or are made of material that clings in all the wrong places.

I'm not sure where I fall on the modesty issue. I like wearing clothes that make me feel a little sexy. I'm sure there's a line, though, and that my daughter will push it when she's a teenager. [Smile]

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Hmf! I thought I was being quite clever. [Wink]

I thought the irony of perpetuating insulting gender stereotypes in this particular thread was almost painful.
Agreed. Only omit "almost".
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Ace of Spades
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How about perpetuating ethnic stereotypes?
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rivka
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You know that's a joke, right?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Hmf! I thought I was being quite clever. [Wink]

I thought the irony of perpetuating insulting gender stereotypes in this particular thread was almost painful.
I tend to invoke your ire more often than I'm happy about. I confess I did miss the irony.
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DDDaysh
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I don't know Christine. Granted most of my clothes shopping is done at discount stores or JC Penny, but I don't think that modesty is all about clinging in the wrong places.

I am SO glad to have a little boy. When I shop for my cousin or other little girls I am shocked at how most of the clothes look - even on the hanger! You have clothes in toddler sizes that seem like they belong in a red blind district somewhere, and that's when they're on the hanger! So much of what I see for girls that are around my son's age looks like it was designed expressly for Kiddie Porn.

But perhaps that is because I shop in the wrong places. I do have one little cousin who always looks like a porcelain doll in clothes that are both modest and exquisite. Her mom must get them somewhere. What amazes me is that she manages to keep them in such pristine condition.

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malanthrop
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Mattel is marketing to everyone. They have the Burka Barbie.

I prefer the message skinny Barbie sends over the Burka Barbie.

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The Rabbit
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As best I have been able to determine, Burka Barbie is a myth. Well not exactly a myth, just not something that is being mass produced and marketed by Mattel. Burka Barbie was part of an exhibition by an Italian designer and was auctioned for charity. While the exhibition was sponsored by Mattel, that is still quite different from this being a Mattel product.
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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by DDDaysh:
I don't know Christine. Granted most of my clothes shopping is done at discount stores or JC Penny, but I don't think that modesty is all about clinging in the wrong places.

I am SO glad to have a little boy. When I shop for my cousin or other little girls I am shocked at how most of the clothes look - even on the hanger! You have clothes in toddler sizes that seem like they belong in a red blind district somewhere, and that's when they're on the hanger! So much of what I see for girls that are around my son's age looks like it was designed expressly for Kiddie Porn.

But perhaps that is because I shop in the wrong places. I do have one little cousin who always looks like a porcelain doll in clothes that are both modest and exquisite. Her mom must get them somewhere. What amazes me is that she manages to keep them in such pristine condition.

Well, here's the thing about the clingy clothes -- I like to look a little sexy. (My husband appreciates this, too. [Smile] ) I want clothes that hug my curves and emphasize my hourglass figure. When the weather is nice, I like my clothing to be low cut. This may not fit your definition of modest...I've noticed that there is a wide range of ways to define that word...but when it comes to that kind of clothing I find that fit matters big time. The wrong fit will show more cleavage than you intend, or ride up in the back when you sit down, or huge your ribcage so tightly you can't breathe, or slide off your shoulder so your bra strap is showing (I have a thing about visible bra straps).

As far as inappropriate little girl's clothing goes -- I've seen some of it but not that much. I love dressing my little girl and think there's a lot of very adorable stuff for her. Or maybe it's in the little girl's section, I'm still shopping baby/toddler. We have a Carter's and a Children's Place outlet store a few minutes from here where I get all my kid's clothing and they have very nice stuff.

ETA: Huh. Well, my husband just told me that if you go to a place like Wal-Mart (which I almost never visit if I can avoid it), they have a lot of the kinds of little girl's clothing you're talking about. The places I shop do take inspiration from current adult fashion, but they make it look very childlike and pretty. I don't like the porcelain doll look, actually, although I'd love to know how she keeps the clothes looking so nice! [Smile]

[ December 19, 2009, 09:46 AM: Message edited by: Christine ]

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Teshi
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My favourite dress-up games didn't involve being a princess but being a "poor person". By this I meant a Victorian-era poor person (the same way the stereotypical princess matches an old fashioned fantasy).

quote:
I do have one little cousin who always looks like a porcelain doll in clothes that are both modest and exquisite.
Why would you want your daughter to look like a porcelain doll who is most modest and exquisite? I would find that more damaging than having a child who plays with Barbies.

I think most children under the age of five or six inherently care very little about what they wear. Emphasizing care, shame or fear in any respect towards clothes is the only thing that will teach them to think the same way. If you dress your child like a doll, modestly or immodestly, and then teach her to keep herself neat and tidy, or pay attention to how her clothes look on herself, she will be more likely to pay attention to the way she looks rather than, say, being concerned about other things. Little people pick this stuff up just from the way you react to them in a little poofy dress or a little shirt or whatever.

If you're emphasizing how adorable your son or daughter look in certain clothes, they're likely going to pick that up-- girls perhaps more than boys.

I'm biased because I wore a mishmash of skirts and my brother's clothes when I was a little girl, and a skirted school uniform until I was nearly 10. But I climbed trees and played soccer and any comments my parents made about my clothes that I remember were about the clothes and not about me in them. I never felt defined by my clothes at all until I forced myself to be.

I don't have poor body image. In fact, my mother has actually said a number of times that she wished I was more worried about certain aspects of the way I looked (and perhaps it would be better if I were). It certainly was an uphill battle about figuring out how to dress during high school and university-- after having almost no instruction, implicit or explicit. I still dress very simply.

So I think there's a happy medium of implicit and explicit dress instruction. You want your children to fit in and look respectable, but at the same time you want them to not be defined by how they look. My parents are getting better at this with my younger sisters, who are much better dressed than I ever was!

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The Rabbit
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quote:
I think most children under the age of five or six inherently care very little about what they wear. . . . If you're emphasizing how adorable your son or daughter look in certain clothes, they're likely going to pick that up-- girls perhaps more than boys.
I'm guessing you've had very little dealing with children under 5 or six. In my experience, most children, although girls more so than boys, start expressing strong opinions about what they wear pretty much as soon as they are able (maybe 18 months - 2 years). Those opinions are often diametrically opposed to their parents taste.

For example, one SIL of mine was really anti pink. She refused to dress my niece in anything pink. About age 2, guess what color my niece started insisting on wearing. She had only one pink skirt, a gift from someone, and she insisted on wearing it every day. When they came to visit Grandma on vacation, my SIL didn't pack the pink skirt. My niece was so upset about it that grandma sewed her several pink skirts to wear. I've also known little boys who insistent about wearing a favorite shirt even if it was dirty and other kids who insisted on wearing things that adults thought were horribly mismatched. Some kids are even picky about their underpants and socks.

Certainly not every child cares about their clothes, not every adult cares about clothes either. But lots and lots of very small children have strong opinions about their clothes which they did not learn from adults.

[ December 19, 2009, 11:44 AM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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Christine
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I don't know about the diametrically opposite tastes thing...it sounds like your niece just really liked the color pink and your SIL didn't...but yeah, my kids do care about what they wear, even my 1-year-old. My son doesn't care as much and it took him longer to care, but if it takes me too long to do the laundry he'll start asking after his Thomas the train shirt. He has certain color preferences and he likes shirts with stripes.

My daughter likes to be allowed to pick her own clothing out of her drawer and she's already trying to dress herself (she can get her pants on about half the time).

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Brinestone
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Lego wore his orange shirt with a pumpkin on it at least once a week throughout the winter when he was under two years old. Yes, it was a Halloween shirt. No, I didn't put it away. He loved it.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
I don't know about the diametrically opposite tastes thing...it sounds like your niece just really liked the color pink and your SIL didn't.
It wasn't just pink. My niece really likes frilly, stereotypical hyper feminine clothes, and her mother really dislikes them. I'm not claiming its the rule, I'm just saying that at least some 1 and 2 year olds have tastes in clothing that are very different from their parents. Kids really do seem to come preprogrammed with a lot of personality. The only people who really question that are people who have very little experience with young children.
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Teshi
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quote:
I'm guessing you've had very little dealing with children under 5 or six. In my experience, most children, although girls more so than boys, start expressing strong opinions about what they wear pretty much as soon as they are able (maybe 18 months - 2 years). Those opinions are often diametrically opposed to their parents taste.
On the contrary, I've had quite a lot of dealings with children under the age of six. Let me explain myself more clearly, since I am now aware I didn't make the correct distinction:

Kids with no contact with other kids are not going to care what is fashionable, or matching, or neat, or socially acceptable. More clearly: They may care about the clothes they wear, but not usually how they look in them.

It is adults who care how their children look. I don't see any reason to prevent a child from wearing pink if she or he wants. In fact, making less of a fuss is probably better.

In my experience of working with children and the accompanying parent, the parents' attitude towards clothes is reflected in their children's. Neatly, fashionably dressed parents most often have impeccably dressed, fashionable children. Parents who when they drop their kids off are dressed in a t-shirt and jeans have children who are dressed in a t-shirt and jeans.

This isn't to say that within a kid's wardrobe a kid won't have favourites, especially as regarding colour and pictures. That is not what I meant. What I mean is that they don't usually care about the form of those clothes unless they are made aware.

quote:
other kids who insisted on wearing things that adults thought were horribly mismatched.
This supports my point. Kids don't care that their clothes don't match or look good because they don't have any socially constructed notions as to what that means. They learn these by the reaction they get: if people make a fuss about how cute they look in froofy dresses, or associate positive traits with the Disney Princess model, they will learn to like their look in froofy dresses.

Otherwise, at this young age, they will do kooky and/or dirty and/or mismatched and/or inappropriate clothes, because they, individually, love them-- not because they necessarily love that it makes them look neat, or fashionable.

Obviously, the parents are in charge and can ensure that clean-or-cleanish-clothes-every-day is a convention that is taught, for example. If your Sister-in-Law was really opposed to pink, there's nothing saying she can't just ignore her two year old's daughters wishes, fuss or not. Her daughter would have got over it.

In the same way, Brinestone could have put her son's pumpkin shirt away, if she had wanted to, because it was seasonally inappropriate. Her son might have asked about it, but if she had really been opposed, she could have done it. If it had become badly ripped or dramatically too small she would have put it away and felt firm about it because there would have been less question about him wearing it. Any tears would have been waited away. Not that she should have, but she could have.

What is more crucial is past that age of six or so, now that the child is becoming more aware of social conventions (e.g. we don't wear dirty clothes to school). Is your child now fashion-conscious? Is he or she concerned about he or she is matching? Does he or she look in the mirror every morning or are you the one making sure her hair isn't a haystack?

The parent shapes these things. Young children are, in reality, small and malleable and impressionable. If you check the mirror and make a big show, your child will too, perhaps rather earlier than you wanted her to. If you keep your (necessary) clothes-obsession on the down-low, your child will not be so obsessed unless she or he spends a lot of time with people who are (e.g. at daycare, nursery school, kindergarten).

I'm not just making this up. I've seen dozens (probably over a hundred) pairs of children and parents and dress sense and fashionableness is conveyed.

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Teshi
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quote:
Kids really do seem to come preprogrammed with a lot of personality. The only people who really question that are people who have very little experience with young children.
It drives me crazy when people throw all my experience like this out! I'm not a parent, no, but I am a much older sister, first of all. All but one of my jobs ever has involved children, mostly of quite a young age. I've seen galumphs of parents and children, as well as having being quite involved with my youngest sister's earliest years. On top of that, my mother is an early childhood educator and so I've been exposed extensively to her ideas as well as my own. I am now training to be a teacher. I've spent so many hours of my life with so many children in seven different settings. I cannot be dismissed because I am not a parent myself. That is ludicrous.

I don't deny that little girls like pink and frilly clothes, but the frillyness, particularly, is a socially learned phenomenon. On top of that, this phase of frillyness seems to focus on a certain age: from age 2 to 6, perhaps.

I can't get rid of the evidence of my own eyes. When I was about five, my mother made me a dress with puffy sleeves. I chose the material: it was pink flowers with green leaves on white. It was girly. I still have it.

But the reality was although I wore this dress, no fuss was ever made over it. My keeping it clean and being a Disneyesque princess in it was never emphasized (also, this was England so that Disney Princess Girlyness wasn't quite the same; princess meant something slightly different). I had the same predelictions as any small girl but past that crucial age of around six or seven, I began to adapt to being a more expressed personality rather than being a little girl. Now, my parents attitudes towards clothes-- simple, sensible, unimportant-- began to pay off.

I've watched both my younger sisters go through this process.

It is the attitude of the parent towards clothes or the clothes of their children that makes the lasting impression. I suspect that given a few years, provided this battle of clothes doesn't become a thing, this overexpressed girlyness will fade to be replaced with something more akin to the parent's attitudes.

Stop dismissing me!

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The Rabbit
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I'm sorry if it seems I'm dismissing you Teshi, but your experience is simply quite contrary to my own.

Young children I have known often have preferences about the clothes they wear that they do not seem to learn from adults around them.

This, for example,

quote:
I don't deny that little girls like pink and frilly clothes, but the frillyness, particularly, is a socially learned phenomenon. On top of that, this phase of frillyness seems to focus on a certain age: from age 2 to 6, perhaps.
It is simply counter to my experience. Lots of little girls like pink frilly clothes, lots do not. I have observed very little correlation between the girls preferences and what their parents and other children around them like. I've have quite a few friends who were utterly shocked by their young daughters preferences in clothing. In my experience, little girls preferences are simply not easily explained by socialization. Without correlation, causation is extraordinarily unlikely.

I'm not ignoring you. I'm trying to find an explanation for how you could come to believe something that is so completely contrary to my own experience.

I remember lots of things from my early childhood including some of the clothes I had. I don't remember anyone ever making a fuss over anything I wore as a child. I have 5 younger siblings. I don't remember adults making a fuss over anything they wore as children either. I don't remember getting any specific guidance about how I dressed beyond being occasionally told to put on something clean before going somewhere or asked to take off my newest dress before playing in the dirt. My mother pretty much catered to whatever fashions we liked, although she would occasional admit she thought the current trends we loved were awful.

As an adult, I like clothes but I have pretty diverse taste. I have things that are tailored and professional, things that are glamorous and feminine, things that are plain and practical, things that are wild and off the wall, I have some "western" clothes and some "hippy" clothes, some asian clothes, some folk costumes from various countries, some off the wall modern fashions. I like variety. My wardrobe choices confuse a lot of people. I think I still like to play dress up. That isn't something I learned from anyone. In fact, I can't think of anyone who shares my really diverse tastes in clothing.

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Christine
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I'm honestly not sure what you two are arguing about....seems like the old nature vs. nurture thing.

Do parents influence their children's taste ni clothing? Well, yeah. Parents influence children, the same sex parent most of all.

Do children have their own opinions despite this? Well, yeah. They come with their own personalities and preferences that do not always match their parents. In fact, some personalities will be more prone than others to specifically go against their parents' wishes, whatever they are, but then, they're still being equally influenced by nature and nurture even in that case. [Smile]

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DDDaysh
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Teshi- my child started caring a good deal about what clothes he wore long before he started having friends. He liked certain characters or the way certain clothes felt. None of that was put into his head by other kids.

And, for the record, it's my cousin who looks like a porcelain doll. She is only 4, but is so petite and perfect you almost don't think she's real! She is a real kid though. She runs and plays and since she has 3 older brothers, I'm pretty sure she gets to be a tom boy pretty often. That's why it's even more amazing that she always looks the ways she does. The child could probably win a beauty pageant without trying! (Though, thank GOD her parents aren't into that kind of stuff).

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The Rabbit
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Christine, I'm in full agreement. Peoples taste in clothing is influenced by both nature and nurture. My only objection was to Teshi's assertion that young children didn't care about clothing until they were taught to care. That simply isn't true of the many children I've known.
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scifibum
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Teshi's reasoning really resonates with me. I have not seen small children care about fashion, or how other people are likely to perceive their clothes, unless their parents (really, their mothers - I am only talking about my experience here) - instill that particular value.

Getting enamored with certain clothing or colors is not quite the same thing. Teshi already explained why; let me add that the concerns about social significance of clothing can be applied at the same time or completely without an individual preference for a certain look. It can be an independent variable.

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Teshi
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quote:
I don't remember getting any specific guidance about how I dressed beyond being occasionally told to put on something clean before going somewhere or asked to take off my newest dress before playing in the dirt.

...

My mother pretty much catered to whatever fashions we liked...

...

My wardrobe choices confuse a lot of people. I think I still like to play dress up. That isn't something I learned from anyone. In fact, I can't think of anyone who shares my really diverse tastes in clothing.

I would think these things are related. Of course, there's your personality involved in this, but if your mother gave you flexibility when you were a little person to wear whatever and never made a fuss one way or the other, that explains why you like wear a variety of clothes. You have no special likes or dislikes because you have few associations that some are positive and some not. They have different uses, but not negative and positive associations.

quote:
My only objection was to Teshi's assertion that young children didn't care about clothing until they were taught to care. That simply isn't true of the many children I've known.
I hope it is clear now that I didn't quite mean that. Children care about clothing the same way children care strongly about pretty much everything. It's what they care about that is different.

quote:
I'm not ignoring you. I'm trying to find an explanation for how you could come to believe something that is so completely contrary to my own experience.
Well, my experience is real. Perhaps it's even the same experience, just interpreted from the opposite way. I don't expect parents to influence away their child's individuality, but I do see evidence that the parent is responsible for most of the way a young child thinks and behaves.

I think as children we have a tendency to blame our negative attributes on our parents, and parents have a tendency to blame their child's negative traits on just-the-way-the-child-is. Obviously, there's a happy medium.

My mother describes parenting as taking a crazy, weird little person with strongly expressed personality traits (e.g. introversion, frivolity, interest in clothes, lack of interest in clothes, poor behaviour control, poor concentration etc.) and then you have to drag this child back from strange-land into the realm of the socialized or semi-socialized.

I don't remember if you have children, Rabbit, but if you did/do, I'm pretty convinced that they would follow a kind of your version of fashion. You would probably buy them a mishmash of clothes, and not preference the frilly over the plain or the blue over the pink. Some of your children, depending on their personalities, would be more fashion-conscious. Others would be less fashion-conscious. But all would exhibit a kind of Rabbitness about the way they approach fashion: they might not preference one "look" over another, they might have kooky style. They probably wouldn't become dedicated followers of one fashion.

In the same way, if you are a scientist and you make some effort to involve your children in your science (e.g. telling them scientific things in a casual, interesting way), you may not necessarily breed scientists but you will probably end up with people with some interest in the sciences.

The same goes for museums, and history, and music, and art and everything! Parents don't end up with clones of themselves, but they can convey attitudes, especially positive ones. (That is, I suspect it is more rare to have a parent who loves science and a child who rejects it than the other way around.)

Parents don't even have to be active role models. They can be passive-- providing they are consistent-- and still have an effect. Teachers can do this too: simply by standing silently and respectfully during a national anthem, for example, teachers can convey to most children that this is proper, socialized behaviour.

Perhaps the way to describe this is that parents don't usually pass the details of personality to their children, but they do seem to pass many attitudes towards things, especially positive ones that are reinforced outside the home.

If children see their parents drinking responsibly all the time, they are more likely to drink responsibly. They may choose to drink not at all, or drink less than their peers, or simply take a more adult approach with regards to health and safety concerning adult. This is something that is reinforced outside the home as a positive (e.g. at school, on children's T.V.)

The children of parents who drink irresponsibly or do not drink at all either have a poor role model or none at all when it comes to alcohol. They have a higher rate of alcoholic abuse and issues. But not all of them do, because there are lots of other messages coming at them about safe use of alcohol.

To me, this parent-child relationship seems fairly clear. We all know that we had to battle against our parents shortcomings as young adults and we continue to battle for the rest of our lives.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
I would think these things are related. Of course, there's your personality involved in this, but if your mother gave you flexibility when you were a little person to wear whatever and never made a fuss one way or the other, that explains why you like wear a variety of clothes.
If this hypothesis were accurate, one would anticipate that at least some of my 6 brothers and sisters would have similarly diverse tastes in clothing. Since they do not, it seems highly improbably that parental influences are all that important in my case.

quote:
You have no special likes or dislikes because you have few associations that some are positive and some not. They have different uses, but not negative and positive associations.[
You've completely misunderstood what I said about my taste in clothing. I have very strong likes and dislikes. Its just that what I like (or dislike) isn't defined by or limited to particular fashion genres. The fact that my tastes are diverse does not in any way imply that my preferences are not strong. They are.

You are trying to hard to force people to fit your theory, some people likely do but many do not.

I think that by age 10 or so, most peoples taste and interest in clothing is far more influenced by their peers than their parents. By the time kids reach their early teens, those who are more socially astute, tend to be more fashion conscious and generally concerned with grooming. Those who are more awkward socially, are typically much less concerned with fashion and appearance as well. By the time kids reach high school, almost all dress to match their social circle.

In addition to having a diverse wardrobe, I do have a pretty diverse assortment of friends so I may also simply be choosing my clothes to match my social circle. But at the same time, I rarely dress to match the friends I'm with. Perhaps It's simple vanity, but I do think the diversity of my friends and clothes is a reflection of personality and a generally love for diversity rather than one causing the other.

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ketchupqueen
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quote:
I think most children under the age of five or six inherently care very little about what they wear.
Well, that has most decidedly not been my experience with my girls. They have very marked preferences from, as was said, about 18 months on. (I would prefer a lot less pink than they choose to wear. I would prefer a lot less "beautiful" outfits than they choose to wear. But I let them choose and don't make judgements on their choices. My only rules are that their clothes must meet our standards of modesty; must not be wildly inappropriate in size or for the weather; must not be filthy dirty; if they are going to church, a wedding, or somewhere else where more stringent dress standards apply, they must select from a pre-approved choice of outfits, and I have veto power over any accessories they desire to wear.)
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DDDaysh
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Out of curiosity, does anyone else have a child attached to an inappropriate fashion accessory?

When my child was 3, he was attached to an umbrella (in a drought I might add!), but he finally grew out of that. For the last several months though, it's been gloves! We live in South Texas and I have the only child going into Kindergarten wearing gloves. His teacher also has trouble getting him to take his jacket off in the classroom. My poor son, he so desperately wants to live in a more northern climate!

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kmbboots
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My own experience is also contrary to Teshi's. I desperately wanted to wear pretty, frilly clothes so that I would be pretty when I was very young. My mother had other ideas for me and she and my grandmother made most of our clothes. I know that having to wear browns and greens "tailored" pinafores and having a short haircut still bothers me 40-some years later. I reveled in frilly nightgowns when I could.
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Amanecer
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quote:
I have not seen small children care about fashion, or how other people are likely to perceive their clothes, unless their parents (really, their mothers - I am only talking about my experience here) - instill that particular value.
My niece is four and she seems to highly value fashion. She loves picking out outfits, she begs to go shopping, and regularly compliments people on their clothing. Neither my sister or her husband place much value in that. They hate clothes shopping, are jeans and t-shirt people, and are perplexed by their daughter.
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malanthrop
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I love the fact that my daughter isn't a girly-girl. She has her own style...hates pink and asked for black converse all-stars for christmas. She has a Barbie Princess border around the ceiling of her room that she has been bugging me to replace (the same border she begged me for years ago). I let her be who she is at the time. If the parents are strong and involved, marketing will have little influence on the child's long term development. The boy who's hero is an imaginary character is lacking a father figure. My kids idolize me and still think I'm the strongest man in the world...I know eventually, this perception will change.
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Raymond Arnold
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I just found out there's a Three Musketeers Barbie. I am not sure what to think about that.
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