In a couple of weeks Caitlin will be turning 13 years old. Yes, another teen in the house – oh won’t that be fun?
But seriously, at the moment she is still 12.
She’s going to be tall.
At 12 she’s already the same height as me and shows no signs of stopping. She shows a maturity beyond her years in how she behaves and in the way she presents herself, often being mistaken for someone older than her years.
But she’s 12.
Caitlin has her own sense of style.
Comfort above all else.
She still likes pink as much as she did when she was three and she can pull off any look at all, whether it’s in a pair of jeans and slouchy top or wearing a willowy skirt.
She doesn’t wear make up and hasn’t yet shown any interest in it. She likes to try different styles with her long hair. She likes to keep herself covered up. She isn’t a fan of vest tops or anything low cut. She doesn’t like skinny jeans and she doesn’t like short skirts.
And I agree.
Because she’s 12.
She is still a very young, very impressionable girl who is embarking on a confusing time of her life. Not a little girl any more yet not quite a woman.
Caitlin isn’t 22.
She doesn’t want to be baring her midriff in belly tops or showing off any cleavage she may have (oh, how she’ll kill me for that example!). She doesn’t want to be hoisting a short skirt down to ensure she’s not inadvertently displaying her underwear and she doesn’t want to be squeezing herself into skinny jeans.
So why can’t we find clothes that are suitable someone who cares about keeping themselves modestly covered up yet isn’t over the age of sixty?
Seriously, I am having a hard time trying to find skirts that are stylish, modern, pretty but long. It seems that shorts are the in thing this autumn and winter.
Okay, so they are supposed to be worn with tights but still… shorts in winter? Surely you’d need more than than one and a bit layers on your lower half to keep you warm when the temperature is dipping into the minus figures?
She doesn’t want shorts in winter whether they’re paired with tights or not.
She wants comfy jeans. Not big, baggy ones just ordinary ones please.
And pretty skirts she can team up with a pretty blouse or shirt in the summer or with tights, boots and a snug old jumper in the winter.
Ones that preferably come to her knee at least.
That’s what she wants.
That’s what I agree she should have.
Looking through the children’s ranges of clothes has shocked, saddened and in a few cases even terrified me.
What’s the hurry to wear little black dresses, and clingy clothes?
Why the padded bras for girls who have nothing to pad out?
Why jeans or track suit bottoms with “Tramp” or “Booty” across the rear?
Or skimpy tops with “Sexy” (or worse) emblazoned across them?
Why try to make 12 year olds (and younger) look sexually attractive? To whom?
And this is the kind of stuff available from toddlerhood.
Skinny jeans for 3 month olds? Really?!
Why can’t children be children?
Why do they need to grow up so fast?
Why do stores do it? Why don’t parents argue against it?
Why do some parents not argue against the whole TOWIE and WAG thing that girls really need to get away from? What role models are we encouraging them to emulate? That’s a whole other post, I guess.
Caitlin has her whole adult life to dress and act like a grown up.
But for the moment she’s 12.