Saturday, September 13, 2008


Welcome to Raising Strong Girls.
This forum is intended for parents, teachers, and health professionals who work or live with tween and preteen girls.
We provide a sounding board for your questions, concerns, comments on girls, society, media, health...
SO.... let's hear from you!  


Pops said...

Great site!

telisj said...

I took your class three years ago at Stonehill. I am so happy you started a blog!

I have a question I'd love to see posted: How do other parents/moms deal with the issue of fashion and name brands being so common and encouraged at a young age? I'm talking about 7-8 year old girls wearing Uggs, Limited Too clothing, Holister shirts etc.

I have an 8 year old daughter and I am really struggling with this issue. I remember longing for a pair of Calvin Klein jeans when I was in 6th grade in the 80's but name brands in 2nd & 3rd grade? This seems way too early for me but I feel very much in the minority compared to my daughter's friends moms.

Any help, advice, support would be appreciated.

Karol Maybury said...

Dear telisj,

Thank you for your excellent message. (And its fun to hear from a Stonehill person.)

First off, I apologize for the delay in replying.

The issue you set forth is very common-- and very timely. I see the same thing, and for a number of reasons I'm resisting the label-consciousness that is emerging earlier and earlier. My daughter is also 8, and I know just what you are talking about. Fortunately, she is not fashion conscious, like her mom. An aside, but I wish they still made Garanimals. Even for adults. Then maybe my clothes would match more often!

Back to your inquiry: there are many good reasons to resist, or at least put limits on, fashionista tweeneritis:

1) economy .. these items are just too expensive, IMHO! There are better things to spend money on
2) it feeds into our society's consumerism and materialism that is unhealthy at any age.
3) kids who cannot afford the items suffer if there is pressure, even subtle pressure from the group. If the group is wearing these items, it can also make parents feel inadequate, frustrated, resentful. That is just unhealthy & unfair, and promotes a superficial one-upmanship that is toxic to a peer group.
4) when these kids go to college, or become independent, chances are they won't be able to afford to keep up with this standard. Result? Credit Cards!! Probably with a negative result.
5) It models a superficial and unhealthy standard for evaluating others. The external becomes more important than the internal...
6) Some of these stores and brands co-opt girls' images in a way that really makes me mad. Have you been in some of these stores (Limited too, Abercrombie)? The sexualized images of girls has become ubiquitous. Also their clothing items are frequently way too precocious/sophisticated/sexy for young girls. I don't want my money supporting that type of advertising. Just my 2 cents.

You mention that your daughter's peer group (and the moms) seem to hold these items in high esteem. Not to go overboard, but if you aren't making much headway in suggesting that this is a negative trend, maybe start seeking some new socializing opportunities for your daughter?? (and you!) You're not alone. There are plenty of moms out there who feel as you do.

Thank you for broaching this timely subject.

Anyone else have some words of wisdom or encouragement?

for now,