Stop Shoving Babies In Skinny Jeans: A Manifesto
Pinterest boards,Â Fashion Kids of Instagram, Tumblrs (like Ladys and Gents,Â Mini HipsterÂ and Children With Swag), mommyblogs, even the wayÂ Rachel Zoe dresses herÂ son, Skyler: the internet is awash with miniature fashion plates dolled up in expensive clothing meant to make a statement about individual parents, not their children. And these kids are often photographed in clothes that mimic adult fashions, in ways that are clearly supposed to emulate adult photo shoots.
Kids are not mini adults. They are kids! I’m not saying you should dress your child in head-to-toe Garanimals or Gymboree, if that’s not your taste, but are baby aviators and baby ponchos andÂ baby pencil skirtsÂ really necessary on a daily basis? Let’s not forget that ish cannot be comfortable for little bodies, especially for running, playing, jumping, sliding, swinging getting messy, doing art projects…any of the things children do on a regular basis.
I attribute much of this trend to the rise of personal blogging and the ubiquitousness of Instagram. These days, everyone is “curating” their life through what they share on the internet. The conflation of material possessions with a happy, fulfilling existence is real; We see it every single day on our phones. So it makes sense that there would be more parents wanting to show off the things they buy for their children, to have a “branded” life full of black-and-white Scandinavian prints, clean lines, and ironic t-shirts.
But I really wonder what effect this is ultimately going to have on the children who are dressed so their parents can rack up the “likes.” Of course, parents dressing their children for validation is not necessarily new; My mom took extra care to dress my sister and I up for special occasions, at Halloween, or even just for going to our grandparents’ house. She favored smocked dresses, elaborate braids and big hair bows, but I remember how it felt to be dressed in something my mom had picked out versus something I’d picked out myself. Most of the time, from about age three on, I hated it, because I’ve always used clothing as a way to assert my own identity.