Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I know a little girl who doesn't like to wear dresses. Her mom buys her the most beautiful dresses you have ever seen, and each one is met with "I don't like it. I don't want to wear it." Ask her why, and she'll say, "It itches." Her mom buys these dresses for her, because they are beautiful and because her daughter looks beautiful in them. And also, partly, I think, because society usually says girls must wear dresses to be "dressed up."

My first instinct was to tell her mom that I think her daughter has learned to say that if it itches, she won't have to wear it. Basically, I implied that her mom should make her wear the dress. (Only because, I was with her when she bought it and I know how much thought and effort she put into trying to find a non-itchy dress for her daughter to wear on Christmas.) But then I got to thinking. Know what? Those dresses itch me too. And don't even get me started on underwire bras. Or stiletto heels. Or thong underwear. Or control top pantyhose. Or waxing. Or any of dozens of other things that women do to themselves in the name of beauty.

So, I've rethought my opinion on whether or not she should wear those dresses. I say wear pants. And hang on to that precious time when little girls could just be little girls and not have to endure the things us grownups do because we think it's the right thing to do. To her mom, I say good luck. Because before you know it, she'll be all grown up and wearing that uncomfortable outfit, just because it looks good. And also, good for you for not forcing her to wear those dresses. Letting her be a kid a while longer (and be comfortable!) is definitely something parents should do more often.

And to the dressmakers (especially of beautiful little girls' dresses) I say, "Make your dresses more comfortable!" It's only a matter of time before little girls grow up to be women and those women should learn to demand comfort and style in their clothing, as well as in all other aspects of their lives.

And a note to myself. Wear your comfy pajamas today. Who cares that they look bad. At least you'll be comfortable. And isn't that what we all deserve? A little comfort.

OK, I'll get off my soapbox now.