Double Standards

Okay, readers, hopefully by now most of you know that I have three young daughters. Loves of my life. Sources of endless joy. Treasures beyond compare.

Drainers of the bank account.

One area my daughters are quite adept at spending money on is the clothing industry. My oldest daughter would be quite happy to wear things just like this every day for the rest of her life.

Fashion is not high on her list of priorities.

My middle daughter is a little scary. She is REALLY into coordinating outfits with accessories, having her nails done just so, and is always pining away for new shoes whenever we walk past them at Target.

The youngest. Well, if you read my blog two days ago, you are aware that she doesn't like clothes at all ( . However, we still must at least purchase them and keep them in her drawers for show.

So, with all these different tastes in clothing styles, we spent a considerable amount of time and money trying to find things they need and like (which are rarely the same thing). The funny thing is, there seems to be a vast double standard going on in the clothing world between kids and grown ups. And apparently, some grown-ups are confused on what is cute at what age...

This morning as I walked the 3-yr-old to her class at "school", I couldn't help but notice a very small child wearing a t-shirt that said, "I may be small, but I'm still the BOSS". Her mother was pleading with her to continue walking down the steps, but the little Boss had decided she was finished. Done. She wasn't moving another inch. After all, she was the Boss, and the Boss had made her final decision.

This got me thinking about all the t-shirts I've seen recently with similar slogans printed boldly across the front. And then I started thinking about what it would be like if adults sported these shirts.

Exhibit A:
It says, "I can't wait to hear ALL about it." The other girl is saying, "Seriously".

Okay. If you saw a grown woman wearing a shirt like this, it would NOT be endearing. Names like "gossipmonger", "busybody", "snoop", and "blabbermouth" come to mind, don't they? Is that the image you want to advertise about yourself? You may be like that, but do you really want everyone to know? It's usually one of our better kept secrets (or not better kept, depending on who you confess to).

Let's take a look at exhibit B:
If I showed up wearing an "I Love to Shop" t-shirt, my husband would NOT find it cute and cuddly. I daresay there's not a man alive who would find this shirt attractive on a woman he was financially connected to. It might be helpful to retailers, though. It would help them distinguish between the browsers and the buyers.

Exhibit C:
Where to begin? First of all, this has to be one of the tackiest t-shirts ever. An otherwise naked chimp sporting high tops and sunglasses? Can you imagine an adult wearing this and declaring to the world he was a "mischief maker"? I used to be a teacher. If I saw a kid come into my class on the first day of school wearing this shirt, I would be very tempted to turn in my teacher badge and take a job at Taco Bell that year. This shirt says, "I'm actually a real brat but my parents don't know what to do besides try to make jokes about it." Or even better, "I will make your life miserable".

Isn't that so cute? Let's buy that shirt!

Exhibit D:
I don't know about you, but I personally need no help whatsoever in helping my children believe they are princesses. It would be the same as giving them shirts that say, "Actually, yes, I AM the center of the universe." Not cute on kids. Really not cute on adults. We've all seen adults who could be wearing this shirt. That guy who blows up because someone at McDonald's gave him regular Coke instead of Diet Coke? Prime candidate. The lady who huffs and puffs because you can't get a grocery cart pulled out of her way quickly enough? Sneak a peek at what she's it'll be a "princess in the making" t-shirt from her childhood years.

And finally, Exhibit E:
This is my personal favorite. Now we all know that sometimes we mamas just wake up feeling cranky. Irritable. Less than nurturing. These are the mornings when you do NOT want to run into mamas who wear the first t-shirt we examined because your bad mood will be known all over the mama network by 9am.

But wouldn't it be nice if, on those (rare) days, we could just put on a t-shirt that says, "GRRRRH!" and get on with it? People would just know to leave you the heck alone that day. Waitresses would be sure to get your order right the FIRST time. The lady in front of you at the grocery store with 9,000 coupons would offer to let you get in front of her with your 6 items. Door-to-door salesmen would take one look at you and quietly back away from your front door.

Hmm. That one might be helpful, actually.

Yes, folks, the t-shirt world obviously has our number. They know we are a bunch of idiots. We will buy shirts for our kids with obnoxious slogans on them and call them "cute".

But seriously, I kinda want one of those "GRRRRH" shirts some days.


AKA Jane Random said…
Great points on all fronts!

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