"Why Children Shouldn't Be Dressed Like Tiny Fashion Icons" - By Ernur Yanbastıoğlu

Children dressed like they're about to walk down a Paris Fashion Week runway, with their tiny heels and their mother-daughter matching outfits. How cute, right?                 

"What a precious little thing you are."

"You're like a model already!"

"You look just like your mother, little lady"

The answer hides in the question itself: Why should children not dress like tiny fashion icons? Because they are children. If this answer is not satisfactory, let's open it up a little more. As Swiss scientists say, one needs to ask questions to understand better: Do children have to dress a certain way to be cute or beautiful? Are they not naturally the epitome of innocence, purity, and beauty? Do they have to earn these attributes by being fashionably chic? Is it necessary? More importantly, how healthy are our perspectives, that most certainly are being shaped by social media and consumerism? And how does this affect our little encephalon? 

Today, we are consuming far more than we need and we are dragging our children into this vicious cycle as well. Not as a child character, mind you, but as if they were our friends, miniature versions of ourselves, or even one of those iconic fashionistas we gush about...

Garments used to be for protection (from the sun, the cold, infections, toxins etc.) but has gradually become a socio-psychological mask of beauty, acceptance and social status. Children, even babies, are no exception. They have no say in being dressed up like little dolls. Since when has it become the norm to ignore the three crucial aspects of "health, safety, and comfort" when buying clothes? If we have to go back to our initial example, is it physically appropriate for a child to wear heels? How healthy is a child that wears laces and tight synthetic fabrics in the name of stylish fashion? Most importantly, how comfortable is the child who learns through play?

 

"You're blowing things out of proportion. Clothes can't affect the psychology of a child!"

"I have the means to buy my child expensive brands, so why shouldn't I?"

"She's not going to feel like a woman just because she dresses like me?"

"I'm not the one choosing these clothes, she is. If I don't buy them, all hell will break loose." 

I hear you, but I refuse to accept any answers that avoid taking responsibility. Remember that you as a parent, are the child's first social interaction. Your knowledge, consumer behavior, and perspective are reflected in your child, and they act as your mirror. You are the primary and most important factor in shaping their worldview. If you consider the fact, that children do not come into this world with an opinion on consumption patterns, your role as a guiding parent becomes crucial and quite obvious. I am sure you would not want to send the message that:        

"You are what you wear. You by yourself, your character and your positive behavior does not matter".

'"You get attention when you dress like a grown up. You are not an individual. You are only a copy of your parents"

"Looking good will make you the center of attention. Basic wear (perhaps age appropriate) will make you less attractive, and looking good is the most important thing in the world."

 

Please consider the following points when buying clothes to avoid raising children, who are materialistically wired, who pay no attention to labor and are prone to lavish and extravagant consumerism:

 

"My child is not a fashion icon."

"My son is not my dress up doll"

"Children are not fashion puppets"

"Every message that I convey to my child early on will have an effect on their future."

"What is most important is their healthy, secure and comfortable well-being." 

 

Cheers to a world run by love and peace, and where children are allowed to be exactly what they are...children.

 

Ernur Yanbastıoğlu

Psychologist and Family Counselor

ernuryanbastioglu@gmail.com