When I was a little girl my mother would not let me wear Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. Even though my favorite Grandmother had brought both my older sister and I a pair…in different colors too…so we could both look like we had two pairs each… My mother had to mess it all up and not allow me to wear them…well actually neither one of us…but, this story is about me. LOL..
So, anyway mine were burgundy velvet and my sisters were teal. They had the signature right across the butt pocket in gold so everyone would know. Oh yes these were Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans! I was so excited! I planned out my little outfit and was about to stunt on ’em…till she said no. I swear I mighta cussed my momma out about 70 different ways (in my mind…) How could she do that to me?????
So, what did I do in all my grade school cleverness? I wore a ginormous pair of whatever off brand jeans my parents had brought me from Sears Warehouse over my Gloria Vanderbilt’s and headed out the door feeling myself. Got on the back of that bus and took them big ole pants off. They wasn’t ready! I wanna say that same day, I stole a tube of her lipstick to wear too…thus starting my love affair with red lips…which is another blog in itself…My mother found those jeans a lil to sexy for her young daughters…which, now as I look at them, I could see why. But all that child’s mind saw all those years ago was that my mother was a hater…Did we say hater back then…was it wack or weak???? I can’t remember…
I don’t know if my mother ever found out to this day about that…but, it is one of those memories and life lessons that kind of stuck with me. I think about that day more and more now that I have a daughter of my own. Our daughter is seven right now and beginning to feel her self and her femininity. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing…but, I’m trying to encourage her towards modesty. I want her to know know so much, but for the sake of this post suffice it to say that she should love her God, herself, and the God in herself. I want her to know that her body is sacred. I want her to stay Jr. Haute forever.
I pray that she stays true to who she is and isn’t negatively effected by the bombardment of media images that tell her she’s not pretty enough or that her hair isn’t straight/long enough or that being a mother isn’t enough… if that is what she should choose to be.
So, I try to provide her with ways to express herself and her own personal style so that she will never, ever ever ever change her clothes on the back of the school bus. Or play strip poker with Cherwanna T., Craig R., Craig B., Jennifer C. and Courtney M. on the back of that same school bus…oh wait, that was me… The picture you see right here is from a photo shoot we did. I made her key pieces but she helped pick fabrics, decals, images and colors. She is a natural. She is my model and my muse. When I look at her expression in this picture, its the same expression I had when I walked in the school with my Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans on. It is the expression of an individual that knows her worth! She is s child of God. She is in the process of learning herself and has the right to claim who she is. All we can do as parents is give children the tools, monitor and pray they are equipped when the time comes. But, at the end of the day she is herself. She is responsible for her actions. Yes, even at seven. Like Jada said of Willow, “It’s…a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes, and desires.”