Daughters. Beloved daughters. Even as young as mine are (under 6) do you know they still get more compliments on their clothes than boys of a similar age? Do you know that little girls worry about being fat now more at a younger age than ever before? And if you know either of those facts, you of course know all about the sexualization of little girls. Long long long before they’re mature enough to defend themselves, or carry and operate a can of mace.
So it is with a certain studied pride that I observe my daughters complete lack of concern for any of the following:
1. Personal hygiene – Including but not limited to dirty faces, sticky hands, and rats’ nests in hair
2. Clothing that matches or looks cute and bippy – They have not once (not once I say!) asked to wear either this outfit or that.
3. Clothing gifts – T-shirts and skirts and shirts are passed over with the same glazed expression that I have when someone gives me a vacuum cleaner or kitchen utensil as a gift. When a grandma sings “See? It matches!” she might as well be calling out “fjkdsl;jfdsklfjdskl;j” for all the excitement that is translated to the dim unimpressed eyes of my daughters.
On the other hand, out in the wilds of unstructured hippie child-rearing land (my domain), I sometimes wonder how my little darlings will ever make it in Kindergarten in the Fall (given that when they see me carrying a brush they run away screaming like wild monkeys facing a blowtorch)…? One imagines some sort of Summer Hygiene Training will be necessitated, lest they send the girls home with notes and signs or (worse) some sort of stigma.
I love little girls that are allowed to be little girls. Who run wild and free and dirty and completely carefree for as many years as this weighty world will allow. I wish for my daughters total freedom from cares about body image and beauty and lipstick and heels.
But since I can’t be sure they’ll have that. I can at least encourage their total disregard for looks.