Shopping for clothes


This week I heard of two different occasions where a girl was called “fat” by her peers. These were neighborhood girls and the stories were relayed to me by my daughters. The girls in question are 10 and 12 years old. How sad is that?

It gets worse. It wasn’t like these girls happened to overhear something being said about them. People talk about other people all the time. No, these girls were told “you are fat” to their face by girls that they considered friends. I was brought to tears when I heard the story. How cruel!

I know both of these girls. I don’t think they are overweight. I think they are athletic. They wear average sized clothes. Are there girls their age that are smaller then these girls? Yes, of course. Sadly, these girls are not exempt from criticism.

When I was a kid, I was very tall and thin. It was nothing I could control. I come from a long line of people with the same build. People used to (and notice I said used to) call me skinny. It wasn’t said in a complementary way. It was said with disgust, just like the “fat” comments. People were telling me that I was different from them, and as a kid, that is not what you want to hear.

Bottom line, don’t comment on people’s size – short, tall, thin or not. Chances are, they can’t control it either.

Yesterday I went shopping with my daughters, ages 10 and 12. Both girls needed clothes and shoes for summer and a few things to finish up the school year. They were armed with their own saved money, bonus money from Dad, gift cards and of course, my credit cards. Normally, I hate to shop and avoid it whenever possible. Yesterday we didn’t have any practices, games or concerts and therefore, no real schedule. It was kind of nice.

We went to the mall and had a successful trip. We got everything we needed and they liked everything they got. It was fun to see the happiness in their face as they found their treasures. The girls were actually being nice to each other, for a change. My girls do not dress alike so I enjoyed seeing them point out something the other would like.

Middle school fashion has trickled down to elementary school fashion as I am sure high school fashion has trickled down to the middle school. When I go to the school to work or pick up my daughter, it is sometimes hard to pick her out in the crowd as they all look alike. Even their hair is the same – much like the generations before – beehives in the 50’s/60’s, long straight hair of the 70’s, big hair of the 80’s. The fashion for girls is either skinny jeans or sweat pants. They wear Ugg-like boots and slippers, which have now been replaced by flip flops for the season. Name brands are not as important as it was when I was in middle school (then called Jr. High).

In the early 1980’s, I begged my mom for designer jeans. I had to have Jordache, although other kids wore Calvin Klein or Gloria Vanderbilt. My mom thought it was ridiculous to pay so much (probably $30.00 then) for a pair of jeans when you could get jeans at Kmart for much less. However, I remember the day she finally gave in and bought them for me and my then 9 year old sister. (Why do the younger kids always get things at the same time as the older one? Hey, I sound like my daughter!) These jeans were so tight that I had to zip them with a hanger while lying on the bed. I am lucky I didn’t slip and poke myself in the eye! I was so cool in those jeans. I later heard Jordache jeans were sold at Walmart in the 1990’s. What a letdown!

The fashion in the 1980’s is sort of funny to look back at: tight jeans and big, loose tops, jelly shoes, neon colors, leg warmers, preppies wearing the collars up on their shirts, lots of bracelets, big earrings and of course, big hair.  I wonder if, years from now, my kids will have a 2010 party with their friends and laugh at wearing sweatpants with boots.