Sometimes people pass on their baby clothes to us - as foster carers who often have children passing though our doors (some arriving only in the clothes they are wearing) we are always exceptionally grateful for the pre-loved wonderfulness of these arrivals, especially as when sorting them I often get to reminisce about the glorious memories I shared with previous owner while they were wearing them.
However as I sorted some recent arrivals I found myself getting increasingly frustrated! As my room turned pink, why oh why is it always pink, I started turning red. It was not the colour however that was making me flip.
DISCLAIMER -This is in no way a reflection of the amazing parents who passed me these clothes. They are awesome and inspiring parents who engage with their children and raise them with with creativity and love. They both seek to empower their children with great success - their daughter is a firecracker of wonderfulness - this is a comment on our society and how we collectively brand our children.
I have to read the slogans and charity shop any that say ‘mummy’ ‘daddy’, that kind of thing, as these are not foster child friendly. As I read I found myself getting more and more frustrated - now there was nothing offensive. By this I mean in the shops they sell such slogans as ‘wag in training’ to a 3 year old! There was also a wonderful lack of the minor offensives of ‘drama queen’ or ‘shopaholic’ or ‘shoes shoes shoes’ that would go straight in the chuck bag. Yes this is what we put on our children’s clothes! What made me want to scream was the seemingly innocuous and widely accepted ’cute’ and ‘pretty’. At least 90% of these clothes had reference to how the child looked. Why on earth does it matter how a newborn looks - do we really want to brand our children with the oppression of perceived beauty as soon as we cut the cord - is this really the most important thing we have to say about our children! How unimaginative are these clothes makers, and how awful is our society that this is norm THE NORM. How we look does not define us - nor should it be what we emblazon on our children’s chests from birth! By the time they are two it is not even subtle - huge slogans all about how they look! My child is not ‘cute as a button’ but she is smart as a tack! So I am going to make my own range replacing ‘cute’ with ‘loved’ in newborn clothing and when they get to toddler age they will be branded with such words as -‘kind’, ‘funny’, ‘caring’, - no child of my will ever be ‘pretty’ they will however be ‘pretty awesome’!