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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Just because they’re selling it, doesn’t mean it’s right.

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Something happened when my daughter grew into a size 6.  I stopped buying her clothes.  The days where everything I saw was “soooo cute” were replaced with horror.  Sweatpants with words on their bottom, padded bras, strapless dresses… it was all too much.  Without really making a conscious decision, I just stopped buying her clothes.  It took me a little time to realize what the problem was, it wasn’t that my baby had grown out of the toddler section into the little girls’ clothes, it was that for the most part, little girl’s clothes are completely inappropriate.

Think about it.  Why is it ok to dress our little angels in miniskirts?  What message are we giving our daughters by buying them padded bras?  They are paying attention and if we allow them to dress scantily now, we are telling them that it’s perfectly acceptable to dress in a provocative manner.  And in a few years, when they enter that tween and teen years, will it still be “funny” or “cute” when they want to wear a miniskirt?

This phenomenon of dressing children in our image isn’t just for girls.  Most of the boy’s clothing is “street-style”, hoodies, skulls and crossbones, dickies and plaid shirts.  Are we raising gentlemen or gangsters?

Parents, what examples are you setting?  Are your clothes too tight?  Did you brush your hair today as you ran out the door to run the kids to school? Do you dress like your kids friends? Are you kids embarrassed to be seen with you?  It’s just as important the example we set as the clothes we choose for them.

All children have their own likes and dislikes.  My daughter loves glitter, as I’m sure most 6yo’s do, but I’ve taught her that if everything has glitter on it – top, pants, shoes – you just look like a big piece of aluminum foil. No one can appreciate what you have on.  When she told me she wanted pants with glitter on the bottom, it was that she wanted embellished clothing, not that she cared where it was, but unfortunately, this is what she sees on other kids, so this is what she asks for.  As parents, our job is to guide them.  Our children don’t know the perils of dressing provocatively, or of the endless choices out there, so talk to them, offer solutions and be frank.  Not every child has the same rules that we do in our home, and that’s ok.

Cultivate your child’s individual style now, so that they are confident in their choices later on, and able to be proud of what they are wearing, whether at school or at abuela’s and you will save yourself a lot of heartache now as well as when they are older.

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LatinoAmeriWhat?!

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Many, many (many) years ago I came up with the word “LatinAmeriGringo”.  I thought it best described me, and many others like me, maybe even you.  Back then, before the internet, there was nothing I could really do with that wonderful word.  Then the other day I was looking at my blog, and it hit me – duh!  It’s the perfect name!  So, here you are, same place, same stuff, new fabulous name – wait, should I charge more?!?  😉

But really, what is a Latinamerigringa?

Is it like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious for latinos?   As you may know, I was born in the US – no, anchor here huney, my parents were already citizens – and was raised in what I know as a very traditional Latino family.  I was taught that blood trumps paper (in other words I will be Latina no matter what my passport says).  My native tongue is Spanish – although you may not know that now since I am fluent in Spanglish.  Te puedo hacer un pernil delicioso, but at the same time, I was isolated from other latino’s growing up.

I grew up in a very Anglo neighborhood and didn’t have another latino friend until I was a teen.  I don’t dance Salsa (my poor husband), I have no perceptible accent in either Spanish or English, and I have referred to as “la blanquita” (the white girl) by other latin@s – a phenomenon that only happens in the US.  Some people refer to this as cultural schizophrenia.  A phrase I was never comfortable with, but to the outsider looking in, for those moments where you need one word for a quick description latinoamerigringa is it!

Think about it, I’m too “exotic” to be Caucasian (if I had a penny for every time I was called exotic, translation, “other”), I’m not latina enough to be latina, I chose a Mustang over a Quiceñera after all and I wanted to grow up to rule the world.  A husband and baby were not in my plans.  A Bentley and a couple of homes were more my speed.

So when I hear the question that follows me throughout my life, “what are you?” I don’t have to think, not vegetable, not mineral, I can just say Latinoamerigringa!

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