Remember when you were a teenager and you used to sneak into your mom's closet to steal her clothes? No? Never? That's what I thought. So why in the name of all that is holy would you wander into your kid's room and poke through HER closet today? The very idea makes me shudder.
And yet, a new study claims teen girls are such fashion icons that their mothers are taking their cues for clothes. Muffin top, thy name is mom trying too hard to be her daughter's bestie.
Listen, ladies, it is a hard day when you realize you have to shop at the stores YOUR mother patronized. When I realized the store whose shorts fit my childbearing hips the best rhymed with Ready Flower, I cried harder than my 6-year-old after she falls off her scooter on the driveway. It's the kind of pain a Phineas and Ferb Band-Aid just doesn't touch. But knowing the stock clerk at the grocery store won't get a view of my hiney crack when I stretch up on my tiptoes to grab juice boxes off the top shelf more than makes up for it.
I'm not a 16-year-old girl anymore. I want to dress like one, but I shouldn't.
It's one of the great indignities of being female that our bodies change. It's not just motherhood, frankly. Women, in general, gain weight as we age, or at least find it harder to keep off. Our breasts begin the slow decline toward our waists, and our skin loses its elasticity. Fitting into juniors sizes means pulling and tugging and sucking in and lying down on the bed, and even then we walk around like stuffed sausages all day, dreaming of the moment we can strip down to red-lined skin and get back into our sweatpants.
The option of going for something "made" for us is terrifying most because of the number on the label. And yet, I can't describe the bliss of sitting on my couch in the same outfit I've worn all day and feeling just as comfortable as can be. It's true. I no longer strip down at the end of the day like a hermit crab shedding the cramped quarters of its now defunct shell. I'm a happier woman. A healthier woman, self-esteem-wise, mental health-wise.
That's not just good for me. It's good for my daughter.
And what of the women with those superhuman genes who refuse to step beyond the juniors section? They're out there, and I once stared at them, green with envy. That they can fit into the clothes in the stores where I shopped less than a decade ago is painful for me. I love those stores for the prices that come of cheap materials used to make flash in the pan styles, clothes that don't need to last more than a season because the wearer is always looking for the next trend.
But of late, with a whole sector, I notice something I didn't before. The way her teenage daughter's cheeks turn red as her mother's thong catches the eye of that grocery stock boy. Her daughter doesn't feel like she's got a "role model" mom. She recognizes her for what she is. Trying. Too. Hard.
And that's the good option. Because if she's not the laughingstock of the teenage set, there's a good chance her daughter's shorts bear a striking resemblance to denim underwear. It's no wonder: look at her role model.
There are a few women who can pull it off. VERY few. So few that this trend needs to die. Now. Because if we can't grow up, how are our daughters going to do it?
Do you take your fashion tips from your teen?
Image via MikeBaird/Flickr