Moms Can Wear Anything Teens Can Wear (Oh Yes We Can!)

crop topI don't usually read the Social Q's column in The New York Times, but a recent question from a 14-year-old girl caught my eye (and, I'll be honest, my ire):

The teen, Gillian, says she gets along with her mom "pretty well" except for one little problem: Her mother "tends to wear clothes that are appropriate for girls my age," but "totally wrong for 42-year-old mothers." Gillian says that her mom's "skirts that are way too short, cropped tops, and cutesy branded tees" make her feel "humiliated" in front of her friends. When she tries to discuss her mom's style with her, however, the two of them just end up in a screaming match.

"What can I do?" Gillian wonders.

Um ... Gillian, how about this, for starters: Chill out!


Infuriatingly, Social Q writer Philip Galanes, who starts by griping about his own mother's style, advises Gillian to time her fashion intervention with her mother strategically and to couch it carefully. With all due respect, Mr. Galanes, this is not the correct answer.

Gillian needs to recognize that her mom, at 42, should not be condemned to a lifetime of mom jeans and sweatshirts simply because she chose, at the tender age of 28, to have children. Gillian should also realize that her mom's choices need not reflect on her (Gillian). They are her mom's choices. Gillian is free to make her own choices. (Although, I might ask, when did "way too short" skirts and "cropped tops" become appropriate for 14-year-olds, young lady?)

In fact, here's a message for all teens out there: Mothers are women with bodies they can clothe how they like, with styles they are free to express as they like. And by the way, daughters of ours, you'll probably thank us someday for setting a good, free-spirited example here.

But, memo to Gillian and teenage daughters everywhere, you really need to let your parents dress however they choose. After all, isn't that what you want your mom to do for you?

If you can wear a micro-mini, so can we. Want to borrow?

Does your teenager hassle you about how you dress?


Image via FaceMePLS/Flickr

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