Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dress like a star or get served?

Having teenagers in the house is fun. It makes me realize that not much has changed since I was a kid. Some things are more out in the open, but we all know that history repeats itself. Unfortunately, when it repeats – it’s usually worse the second time around.

Designer Only

When I was in High School, if you didn’t wear designer jeans, shoes or clothes – you were definitely not in the ‘in’ crowd. Usually, your day would start off with an inspection of your clothes by your peers and if you didn’t have on the right digs you were teased all day. Matter of fact, every day you’d pay for that one infraction of dressing different from the crowd.

Today is no different. My son insists that his tennis shoes be designer. That means I’m paying about $100 plus per pair. I have four kids and just can’t afford it. So, what’s a mom to do? Well, I go to the flea market where they sell new shoes but at a price I can haggle over. It saves me about $30 or so bucks to purchase them this way, but it allows me to buy him those designer jeans, t-shirts and hats he desires. Now my kid is no slouch, he works and saves his money for these coveted items. His insatiable desire to look cool didn’t hit him until High School, but in the inner city where I grew up – babies wore designer wear. Huh? Yep, you heard me, in certain communities people will spend their money on designer clothes for their kid and not even have a car of their own.

Cool Cars Only

The other thing required by a cool teen, seems to be a nice car. Now that doesn’t mean it has to be new or even a sports car. It means it has to have a decent paint job and be comfortable for friends to ride in. However, when I grew up – if you had a dang car you were cool. Considering I spent tons of my travel time on buses and metro trains.

My first car was a bright yellow, Chevette. You couldn’t tell me nothing about my baby. I got it when I was 17yr old. I’d saved $400 and paid half of the sticker price towards it. My mom came up with the other half.

Now my kid wants a newer car. Well, I’m mom and want to get him everything he desires, but for a bargain. So I’m going to the car auctions to pick him up a stick shift (my evil plan is that he won’t be able to talk on the cell phone or text if he has to shift gears to drive).


Many of times while I was growing up, I realized that kid’s that desired these expensive totem’s of coolness were forced to steal, barter, borrow or work in order to get these things that helped them to fit in. My cousin had even gotten beat up over his shoes. Hopefully, in time being cool will mean being different. Creating your own style and setting trends. Unfortunately though, history just has a way of repeating.


Emilia Quill said...

I went the other way in high school. I was a weirdo goth and it got me a few friends who were also weird.

But being in a niche didn't save me from bullying. I wore a goth dress wich revealed my chest, though not cleavage to a party at our school. During lunch a guy walked into one of the tables because he had been staring at me. His girlfriend apparently didn't like this, so every chance she got she let me know I was a "whore, slut, cheap etc..."

I switched to evening school, most of the students there are either adult or working during the day. They have no time to bully anyone nor the desire. I'd recommend this to anyone who has a hard time fitting in.

salarsenッ said...

Good gosh, you know I hear you on these fronts. And it doesn't matter where you live, either. The media spews what the kids 'should' want or what is 'cool' through ever outlet. You're right. Not much has really changed. lol

April said...

I hope our Little One - who's 7 now and could care less that her bright red socks don't match the orange flowered dress, the blue and white striped cardigan, and the black sneakers - doesn't get too bad as she gets older, but you never know. For me, growing up...well, we had all the very much NOT designer stuff. And I very much wanted it. I wasn't popular at all...I don't want our Little One to go through what I did, though, and we CAN afford good clothes, so it's going to be different anyway. Just have to find the balance between spoiling her and making sure she isn't a social parriah (I can't spell...)

cleemckenzie said...

It takes time, this being different. We just must be like others until we're confident enough to be our unique selves.

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Beth said...

Good post LM and good plan on the car too. I blame the advertisement world for this! But you know, I understand having to buy designer clothes for school aged kids (especially hs kids) so they're not harassed, but there is no way I would buy designer clothes for a baby. They grow so fast and spill so much!

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