I’ll be the first one to admit a slight uterus tug (slight…very, very slight) at the adorable photos that pop up on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. showing off little boys and girls dressed to the nines in the latest fashions. You say, “Aw,” and you might even gush about their little ensembles, complete with matching accessories that take them from day-to-night.
Until you realize that these are kids that we’re talking about — babies, really — and maybe having them looking like adults before it’s time might not be such a good thing.
A couple of months ago, a concerned mother wrote an open letter to Target regarding the sizing of little girls’ clothing seeming a bit (read: a lot) off, making the clothes shorter and tighter than necessary for kids 6 and below. After seeing an inseam of just an inch (1 inch) on a pair of miniature jean shorts, this mom raised legitimate concerns about what her daughter should and shouldn’t be wearing. She didn’t want her little girl traipsing around with skin-tight tees and barely there bottoms on, and she wanted Target to fix it (which, to their credit, they promised to do). In other words, she’s a child, so let’s dress her like a child. Sounds reasonable, right?
So then you come to the mini models of social media. Accounts like @Hails_World, @Desirremoraes and others show these tiny tots posing away with hands on hips and sassy expressions to the tune of thousands of “likes.” And while, yes, it’s cute, it would also be cute on a life-sized doll, which, honestly is what I feel like a lot of these children are reduced to.
How can you run and jump and play if you’re clothed in skinny jeans, tiny shorts and miniskirts, while trying to keep your stylish shades and matching scarf on straight? Not to mention the paper-thin flats and ornate jewelry that comes with being a baby fashionista? And then some of these parents have the nerve (the nerve!) to get upset when the photos they’ve taken of their stylish toddlers wind up on various websites and other social media. …Really?
If all you wanted was a doll, you should have gotten one, rather than putting yourself through pregnancy, labor and delivery. Dolls are a lot cheaper and way less complicated. Plus, they don’t talk or whine or cry or throw temper tantrums (that costs extra). And they won’t dirty up the expensive threads that you’re going have to keep purchasing. Because guess what? Real kids grow. And they grow. And they grow — right out of those intricate ensembles. Imagine that.
Your child is not your accessory. And for the Kim Kardashians of the world, let me repeat: Your child is not your accessory. And should not be wearing accessories. I mean, honestly, which mama in her right mind buys a $4,000 YSL purse for a toddler?? And what mother dresses said toddler in laces and leathers and then drags said toddler along to fashion shows during NYFW? What is the point?!
Let the babies stay babies as long as they can. Let them play and laugh without having to worry about smudging their lip gloss, mussing their hair or chipping their mini mani-pedis. Because before you know it, you’ll be lamenting about how quickly the time has passed and how you wished your baby could be a baby again. Well, maybe it would have seemed a little longer if you hadn’t been trying to make her a mini-you before the age of 3.
There will be plenty of time for them to grow up and dress themselves in the latest…whatever, so dress them like kids while you can. Tennis shoes (I love Converse sneakers on kids) and overalls and frilly dresses — let them look adorable without wondering if y’all can maybe pull off matching outfits one day. Because seriously, some of these outfits look better suited on someone that’s 26, not 6. And that’s a problem. Just sayin’.