Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dear Everyone in the fashion industry,

This right here? Is my daughter.

Gorgeous, right?
I know.

She'll be fifteen in a few days. She's more than halfway through her freshman year of high school. This is what she wears: khaki pants, collared shirt, cardigan. The collared shirt and khakis are required at her school, but this would be what she would typically wear even if it wasn't required. She might wear jeans instead of khakis, but other that that? This is pretty much her.

I think I went to six different stores to find her a pair of khaki pants which did not show off everything she had. During the summer when she tried on shorts, she was horrified that she couldn't find even one pair that was long enough. Cardigans? Forget about it. I found them at a store that caters to a decidedly older demographic. Even her plain shirts are cut smaller than the similar ones I buy for her brother.

I appreciate my modest daughter. Why can't you?

Not every girl wants to show off her body, and that's okay. It's more than okay by me.

She's almost fifteen. She's figuring out who she is. She's taking classes that interest her. She reads everything she can get her hands on. She dreams of college. She writes amazing stories. She acts. Several days a week she slaps on her tennis shoes and walks for exercise. She can kick my butt in several video games. She has tons of friends, both male and female, but decided on her own that she didn't want to get serious with any boyfriends for a good long while so she can focus on school and get into the college of her choosing. She loves old reruns of Family Ties. Her favorite boy band is The Beatles.

Yes, she has boobs. She has hips. She has pretty much a perfect size five figure.

She doesn't want to show it to you.

She is the most kind-hearted, loving, sweet, giving person I've ever met. She's hysterically funny. She's brilliant. She's incredibly self-aware...far more than I was at her age. Far more than I am now, frequently.

She wears not one drop of make-up. She inherited my good hair. She bemoans the pimples that appear on her chin and dutifully scrubs on medication in the morning and at night.

Boys ask her out, write their phone numbers on her hand. She doesn't even have to try. She doesn't even want to try.

Right now? She doesn't even care.

I make her watch Sixteen and Pregnant with me. She's horrified, which is my goal. We talk frankly about most everything, because that is important. It's important for her to know that she's loved and it's important for her to feel like she has someone she can tell anything.

She's not ashamed of herself, not in any way. She's careful and appropriate. She does what she feels is right.

She's amazing.

She's not a little girl anymore. I know that. She knows it too.

But she's not a grown-up either.

We don't ask for much, really. It's hot here. She needs shorts that are long enough so that she doesn't feel embarrassed while she's riding her bike. She needs dresses that aren't so short she's afraid to bend over. She needs tops that aren't so low cut they show everything, so tight that she asks me to buy a larger size for her because of the cut.

She doesn't want to be a kid. She's not a baby. She's just not a grown-up yet either. There has to be something in-between.

My daughter is more than I ever dreamed she would be. She is more than I deserve.

Please. Just let her be her.

Love,
Stephanie

16 comments:

Susannah said...

This is glorious. What a gorgeous and wonderful girl you have, both inside and out.

Just like her mother.

'M' said...

I am having similar issues with purchasing clothing for my daughter too....she is 9. I will not allow her to wear lace, animal print, sequins, short shorts or tule covered animal print mini skirts with sequins. It's downright awful. The clothing that they expect me to buy is inappropriate for all girls, young and old, but especially for a third grader :(

Jill said...

luckily, the 'boyfriend' look is in, try and sneak some boys clothes in when you can. would she wear a flannel over a tshirt or is that too hippie?

my friend's daughter has her own unique style, and she fuels it through goodwill. they obviously have clothes that are older, but if you can find something cut nicely gently used, it's probably worth some odd looks.

I personally have a really hard time finding things to wear, I did finally last year find some button up shirts from JC Penney that were covering enough. If she can get by with it height wise, you might try the 'petites' section of stores, they generally cater to older women, and you might find some basic skirts and such there that don't show her whole world, well, to the whole world... I have appx. 6 months before this becomes an issue for my daughter, and she's FOUR. She's moving up into the 6x+ range in shirts and will need to wear jeans from the 'big kid' department. This is NOT going to be fun.

Karen said...

I blame honey boo-boo and all those ridiculous child pageant shows. They glorify making little kids look like grownups. It's disgusting.

cassee01 said...

sounds like a new market waiting to be discovered!!!! maybe you should develop a clothing line!

Mama said...

Long time lurker here but I had to comment and say thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only one out there makes my daughter watch 16 and Pregnant with me. Mine is only 8yrs old but I want (and need) her to understand consequences to choices that she makes. I am confident that she and I have a better, more open line of communication than my own mother and I ever could have.

It is so difficult to find modest clothes for the girls, especially one who ALL about fashion like mine. We look at the models in magazines and on tv and we talk about how that's not a "normal" size for most women. I want her to have a healthy image of herself and not conform to what society says is good enough for them.

Thank you for writing this post, it really helps the rest of us who sometimes think we are alone.

P.S. I love, love LOVE your family (and I hope that doesn't sound all stalker freaky like)

Jesser said...

This is wonderful! On my to-do list for TODAY is writing a blog post about how I've started shopping at different places because my daughter crossed over into the 6+ range and I hate hate hate picking through the too-grown-up clothes that they foist on our kiddos to find something appropriate.

Heather said...

Girlchild and Anabelle are like kindred spirits. We go through the same thing when shopping for her. She's actually taken to wearing boys' athletic shorts when the weather is warm because they're both long enough and loose enough (she feels exposed in a girls' cut bermuda short because they're so figure hugging).

Your daughter is beautiful.

Stacy said...

Well said! I wish there were so many more mom's like you.

Dawn said...

Well said. I have amazing children too and it is shocking how they are still judged because they don't do things the way others do. You are blessed and have blessed with sharing.

Anonymous said...

I think you're shopping in the wrong stores. Try the Gap, Banana Republic, Nordstrom, Macy's, The Limited, NY&Co. You can shop in sections meant for career women who aren't into showing off their bodies....just people who want to dress nice yet conservative. Not everything out there is hoochie looking.

1blueshi1 said...

Love this! My daughter is 9 & has decided she doesn't want to wear a bikini anymore because she's getting older & doesn't want to show that much of her body. So far The Children's Place has been good to us, I dread her growing out of their sizes!

Kristy said...

Have you tried Land's End for the Khaki's and shorts (and even the dresses)? They offer several fits and lengths. If you have a Sear's nearby they carry Lands End clothing in the store, but I mostly shop online.

Anonymous said...

We have the same problem with my 13 year old. She's short and unfortunately her boobs & her butt have developed quite a lot, which makes sizing a huge problem. And she's still growing. With a family of 5, though, shopping at "mall stores," like Macy's or Nordstrom's isn't financially feasible outside of clearance sales, and catalog shopping is out because she's so short and must try things on. Fortunately, she's a great kid and recently racked up on several pairs of jeans (that dad even approves of) at Goodwill. Brand names she loves priced affordably! I was thrilled!

Cebene
GA

Jenski said...

Your daughter is amazing and wise beyond her years. I second the Land's End, & LL Bean is nice too!

Sarah said...

I remember not too long ago having the same problem when I was her age! It was very frustrating! I remember going through racks and racks trying to find something that didn't look too slutty! I hope eventually you both can find something that works! Good luck to you!