Swearing Mama: the Pornification of Fashion & Raising a Feminist Millennial.
It takes every ounce of restraint not to freak out. I feel a brewing, roaring rant rumbling in my chest. I’m sitting in the fitting room area of a Brandy Melville store. There is a horrible prison-like spotlight poised right in my face. I’m perched on tacky tufted sofa wishing I was not there.
I’m looking at my 13 year old daughter (November baby, going to high-school this fall) who is tentatively looking for my approval trying on clothing that looks like it came out of the “Greece” wardrobe series. Given the trends, she’s really not nearly asking near as much as what I’ve been spotting the past 5 years on the street.
She’s gifted with a tall, slender physique that can rock any style. By and large most of her Instagram inspiration feed is saturated with looks covering less than my hip aunties in the 70's.
I’m torn with “wear what you love and you feel represents you” when it looks, night club circa 1980. No lie, summer 2016 I can say I’ve seen more ass-cheeks in public view than the total sum of an average daycare worker’s experience.
She believes the idea that a women should wear what she wants. I believe that idea too. I also believe that women are more than eye-candy and yet there are not enough role models truly walking that talk.
Our garments are rarely as smartly or comfortably or suitably or durably designed as men’s clothing. It’s hard for me to explain that without getting very worked up.
I sum it up as the pornification of fashion; fashion designed to deliberately oppress women and reduce our ability to participate equally in the world of professional work, active life and consumes our time, resources and money with getting “the look” just perfect. All the time.
I strongly believe in her right to look as she wants. I just want her to also consider WHY so much of our culture so emphasizes clothing and shoes that reduces a woman to a lot of skin and not being able to walk comfortably?
I model feminism as a mom. I walk the talk in my professional and personal relationships.
And still, I feel like an asshole because I just can’t pretend I’m happy she looks gorgeous in what so trendy.
Instead I launched into a deeply profane diatribe of my deepest beliefs and fears for feminism. #failmommy
I was stumped. I had the gift of two very feminist parents AND awesome feminist role models options.
I struggle with making sure she knows she can trust herself and that I trust her. I’m really depressed that all the Instagram pics keep depicting the same images over and over and over. Selfie. Selfie. Selfie.
I struggle more because perhaps it’s time to let go and give an hallelujah and hope she learns to questions why clothing is the way it is, for herself.
Edit: Turns out yes. After asking BUNZ Facebook group, I got a lot of advice from older millennials. I’m realizing that I have to be there for her. And let her choose to a certain level. In these beautiful words I borrowed from a dude that what is most import is that she knows : “her value as a person extends far beyond her clothing choices.” True. Time to trust her and see what happens.