On Freaks And Geeks And Princesses, And Why Lady Gaga Is More Like Jesus Than You Think

October 13, 2010

Last week, Emilia went to school in a Snow White costume. She wore it with striped leggings and her hot pink skate shoes, the ones with the sparkly laces, and also a baseball cap. “I’m not really a princess, Mommy,” she informed me, “I’m just pretending to be one, because I like this dress.” Which summarizes her approach to fashion more or less perfectly: the determining factor, for Emilia, in selecting any article of clothing – shirt, pants, shoes, underpants – is simply “I just like it.” How things fit, whether or not they match, whether or not they are in season: these considerations are irrelevant. All that matters, to Emilia, is whether or not each individual item of clothing appeals to Emilia’s unique and ever-changing tastes, and whether the resulting outfit reflects to her, as she puts it, her “own self.”

This is Emilia, then, as her “own self” (Sporty Pretend Princess Edition):

october tots 022 3

… (I Like Stripes And Shorts Edition):

budge style stripe

… (Today I Like Pink But Not On My Legs Edition):

budge style 5

… (Dark Tinkerbell Goes To The NBA Edition):

budge style 4

For the most part, I just let Emilia wear whatever the hell she wants to wear. I draw the line at clothes that are soiled or so ill-fitting as to be uncomfortable, and I make sure that anything she heads out the door in is weather-appropriate and (obviously) age-appropriate, and if she’s headed to school she always has a change of clothes in her bag in case she decides, for any reason, that she no longer wishes to be dressed like a skateboarding Snow White, but otherwise, she’s free to make her choices.

I give her this freedom, in part, because I am just not interested in fighting her on her clothing choices – I believe that parents must pick their battles, and this is one that I see little to no benefit in fighting – but I give it to her, too, because it brings her such joy. She loves picking out her clothes. She likes to set them out the night before – every item, from underpants to socks – and give a detailed explanation as to why each article of clothing was selected (‘I’ll wear this shirt because it’s green and I feel like it will be a green day tomorrow. And my jeans with the ladybugs because ladybugs like green leaves and my shirt is green like leaves. And my Tinkerbell underwear because fairies have wings like ladybugs. And my Spiderman shoes. Because I like Spiderman.”) Then she puts on her outfit the next day and goes about her business, happy and secure in the knowledge that she looks, as she says, “like her own self.” She’s been doing this since she figured out how to open the drawers of her dresser, which was sometime before she turned two, so she’s got this personal style thing pretty well figured out by now. It’s eccentric, and it’s her, and I, for one, am not going to get in the way of it.

Which, apparently, makes me a bad parent:

FYI, there is a difference between eccentricity and being a plain old weirdo. And kids DO know the difference. You’re not fostering imagination so much as building a chasm.

And:

Hm, when given the choice between having the weird kid none of the other kids plays with (or whose moms turn their noses up at), or steering my child in the direction of acceptable, socially normal attire, I daresay I’d err on the side of not the outcast or freak. I applaud. Your attempts to instill a sense of adventure in your children, but at what cost? You show photos of your children’s eccentricities, and rather than thinking “oh, cute kid,” most of us are wondering how that child is going to turn out. Sure, rain jackets and knee socks are cute, but at home, not at school. Yes, the other kids and moms are judging.

To which I say: thank you! Thank you for providing me with another set of criteria for determining what kinds of moms to avoid, and for summarizing, so neatly, how parental attitudes can contribute to a culture of shaming and bullying.

Anyway.

John Stuart Mill argued that eccentricity – that is, the freedom of individuals to be eccentric, to express themselves eccentrically, to hold and propound eccentric ideas and to do eccentric things – was not only a hallmark of a free society, but a necessary feature of any progressive society: new ideas, after all, can only be borne from innovation and experimentation, and old ideas (or values or habits) that are not or are no longer good (however defined) can only be revealed as such when some are willing to reject the old in favor of the new, and this is the province of eccentricity. He also argued, however, that there is a tendency in the mass of any population to recoil against eccentricity – regarding expressions or demonstrations of eccentricity as ‘weird’ or ‘strange’ or ‘dangerous’ – and to actively or (more insidiously) passively discourage eccentric behavior or action or speech. Socrates, who was condemned to death for corrupting the youth of Athens with his strange ideas, is one of Mill’s favorite examples of the damned eccentric. Jesus is another.

Emilia, of course, is not emulating Socrates or Jesus when she wears a Snow White costume to school or when she pairs argyle socks with shorts and a raincoat, nor do I, as her mother, have any delusion that by allowing or encouraging her to express her whimsy sartorially I am changing the world. But I do believe that children’s whimsy should be encouraged, and not repressed, and that any child who expresses the desire to march bravely forward into the world with her heart and imagination on her sleeve, regardless of what other people might think, should be supported in that desire. I believe this, because I believe that children who are taught that difference is okay, who are encouraged to understand that looking different or sounding different or moving different are not markers of weirdness or badness, who are encouraged to freely express their own difference, who are discouraged from ‘turning up their noses’ and judging others as ‘outcasts’ or ‘freaks’ just because they are different, I believe that in those children resides our best hope for changing the world for the better.

But that’s just me. Maybe there’s an argument to be made that repressing children’s impulses to individuality and suggesting to them that any appearance of difference is rightfully judged as ‘freakish’ and that they should, like their parents, turn up their noses at such difference represents the greater contribution to their well-being and to the public good. If there is, I’d love to hear it.

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    { 158 comments }

    Karen October 14, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    The most important thing to remember is that there are groups of people out there who are just sure we are all loving our kids wrong! We don’t know how to love them. We let them dress all crazy and obviously neither we nor our offspring can be trusted. It’s as crazy as working/staying home or breastfeeding/bottle feeding, co-sleeping/buying a crib. No matter which path you choose, it is not the right one because you are loving your babies wrong, wrong, wrong!

    We clearly don’t trust each other & I don’t know what the hell to do about that. Anyone doing anything “different” must have a dark and sinister purpose.

    Look, there goes Socrates, Jesus and a large group of children undermining society norms with all their tutus and crazy hair days!

    Alex@LateEnough October 14, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Every time my son wears a tutu I get looks. He brought his pink rain boots to preschool this week. And I worried. Not about him. But about what others would say to him. At him. I desperately don’t want him to start questioning what he loves and doesn’t love against some made-up backdrop that is “culture”.

    Because at some point in growing up, we all develop a fear of being ourselves. And I’d like to let my son have a few more years of freedom.

    Maybe we can arrange a play date.
    .-= Alex@LateEnough´s last blog ..My Mom Turns Thirty =-.

    J from Ireland October 15, 2010 at 5:08 am

    So your a bad mother for allowing the beautiful Emilia choose her own clothes, jaysus that is crazy. I think at 4yrs old she is bloody great at deciding what she wants to wear, where is the harm in that. Never mind those judgy parents, sure they are not the kind of parents/kids you want your kids to befriend.

    Jessi October 15, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Personally, when I’m looking at the vast expanse of kids in my daughter’s life, I never, EVER, say, “Hey, avoid that kid. He looks weird.” But if I were going to, it would be the kids who are too buttoned up, who wear their bow ties and buttondowns to school, who always look they stepped out of a sears photo display, not the kids who are wearing things that make them happy and skipping along merrily.

    Of course, I pretty much let my daughter wear what she wants, so I guess I’m a bad mother, too. At least our kids can hang out.
    .-= Jessi´s last blog ..Hate =-.

    Katy October 15, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Oh for pete’s sake. Some parents need to get over themselves. And for the record the snow white dress is right on par with what the “cool kids” in high school wear for spirit days. I’ve never seen so many tu-tus in my life than on Fridays. And other days too. I’ll have to post some pics – the homecoming game is tonight. Your sporty fairy princess is gonna be the belle of the ball!

    And in my experience the kids whose parents didn’t let them dress themselves in preschool and early elementary are the kids who are sneaking off to drink and get high now that they’re in high school – it’s the only way they can get away from their suffocating parents.

    schmutzie October 15, 2010 at 11:04 am
    hello haha narf October 15, 2010 at 11:30 am

    your daughter is beautiful and i love that you encourage her to be herself, with her own wonderful sense of self image. somehow i have a feeling she will grow up to be an incredibly confident and kind individual.

    also, i might be related to her because i’m not a fashion whore, i simply wear what makes me happy.

    (here from five star friday. this piece is so deserving!)
    .-= hello haha narf´s last blog ..39 Today =-.

    Kristen October 15, 2010 at 11:46 am

    It seems that people’s energies would be far better spent if they tried to change the minds of those who label/dismiss/criticize/bully/torment others as “freaks and outcasts” instead of trying to squelch children’s imagination/creativity/eccentricity/whimsy/spontaneity.

    But maybe that’s just eccentric, whimsical, freaky me.
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..Pam Candelaria- My Birth Hero! =-.

    acm October 15, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    …the determining factor, for Emilia, in selecting any article of clothing … is simply “I just like it.”

    Of course, this sort of assumes that we operate in a vacuum. But that is never the case — she is constrained by what you’ve bought her, which is constrained by what society sees fit to sell for little girls (and by the very fact that there are radically different ranges of things for girls than for boys, from color spectrum to shapes and sizes), which is determined by how the majority of folks think that we should define and learn gender roles.

    It’s great that you’re not forcing outfits on your kid, and jeez, who wants to worry that much about impressing the other kids (and/or their mothers)?! Let her find the kids who aren’t being trained to be so superficial. But this is barely outside the norm anyway — even jumbles of patterns and styles are in every kiddie catalog (for girls)…

    Catherine October 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    @acm, you’re right, of course. Although I really should do a follow-up post with pictures of her wearing her brother’s clothes – which she insists upon doing regularly (thankfully he is very big for his age, so his clothes are not TOO snug on her) – or her own ‘boy’ clothes, which I buy for her whenever she asks, or pictures of Jasper wearing tutus and pink hats. A benefit of having both boy and girl – they’re free to sample from each other’s stock – but I think we’re also free to widen these horizons when we provide for our children. I take Emilia to the boys section in clothing stores, because she expresses interest. Any of us can do that.

    (And her first costume, selected by her? Buzz Lightyear. She only very recently decided that she liked that Snow White get-up, which was a gift from her cousin ;) )
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..If Wishes Were Horses- I Wouldn’t Need Air Canada =-.

    rebecca October 15, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Other than occasionally trying to talk Violet into overalls, which I LOVE, she finds her own style.

    We were grocery shopping one day, and the cashier was the mother of one of her schoolmates. She told us that every day, Hunter comes home and reports on what Violet wore that day. He loved her style. As do the other parents. (To shop that day, she had worn a pink leotard and tutu, purple kneesocks, and silver hightops.)

    Strangely, the only ones who judge are my mother and sister. My mother smiles, but asks me why i let her leave the house that way. My sister dresses her 4 year old stepdaughter in perfectly coordinated outfits and hair bows and MacKenzie gets no say. After trying to please them for a while, I said, ‘Eff that.’

    Amen and bravo to you.

    Laura B. October 15, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    For the record, “oh, cute kid” was precisely what I WAS thinking.

    I spent two years as a nanny to a little French girl, who at THREE years of age was concerned about people laughing at her because of how she looked. She would often balk at the door, then hasten to change clothes before leaving the house… a product, no doubt, of her mother’s hyper-sensitivity (and very vocal opposition) to having her daughter be seen in blue shoes and a pink dress.

    Given the two extremes, I’d put my money on eccentricity as being far less developmentally damaging. Skateboard on, Emilia!

    Mrs. G. October 15, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    My now fifteen-year-old son went through nearly two years(years five and six)channeling Mick Jagger with a side of Hobbit–he favored his older sister’s leggings, a white t-shirt, a beige vest with brass buttons and, no kidding, clogs. I struggled to keep eight clothing items clean and took a fair amount of shit and “advice” from other moms regarding their reluctance to “let” their kids choose to look so regularly “dramatic”. I had moments where I questioned letting him just be, but I just kept my mouth shut because he LOVED his look. And he did stand out!

    Eventually, for whatever reason, he began blending in with the style of his peers. In retrospect, I am so grateful that my instincts prevailed.

    I think allowing a child to choose his or her own style reveals a parent who has a strong self-esteem, a parent whose confidence isn’t affected by what others deem appropriate, a parent who recognizes that her child came from her but is NOT her (or her accessory).
    .-= Mrs. G.´s last blog ..Friday Five =-.

    Melissa October 16, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I’m shocked at those comments, and at some of them here who said they would look askance at a child dressed the way Emilia is. If I saw her I would do nothing but smile. She looks like the very essence of a joyful child who is at ease with herself and the world. I feel sorry for the children of people who would steer them toward other “acceptably” dressed children. Those parents are missing out on an excellent chance to teach that a person’s worth has nothing to do with the clothes they wear or how they look. I’m sorry for them, too, that they don’t know that already.

    mommymae October 18, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Late to the party, but wanted to say, “fuck that noise!” I bet those Prissy McDressersons would summarily NOT approve of me letting my 2 year old daughter wear her 4 year old brother’s clothes, including swim trunks. It’s just clothes, fuckwads.

    Her Bad Mother October 19, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Emilia has been known to wear her brother’s swim trunks. Over tights, of course ;)

    Mariglynn October 18, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Catherine,

    I love this post. That’s all I can really say, I love- no, I *really* love- this post.

    Her Bad Mother October 19, 2010 at 8:19 am

    :)

    Kimberly C October 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I like how E dresses. And I like that you allow it. I have a three and a half year old and she has major opinions too, mostly on the subject of dresses. As in, she must be wearing one. I just roll with it, at least in the summer- I don’t even buy her shorts because she will.not.wear.shorts. I have gotten comments from family, friends and even a little curiosity from the school over the dresses- It almost seems like people expect me to try to force my kid to do something other than what she wants, just to win the battle? To MAKE her do something just so that I can eradicate her will? Frankly, it is STRANGE.

    PS. She has started a trend at preschool and with her OLDER female cousins. Now they will wear dresses too.:)

    Jaya October 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Wowsa! I love her outfits. I would not be at all surprised if she grew up to be some hot shot fashion diva… or, of course, an artist.

    Bravo to you for letting her express herself.

    Karen F October 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Lol, I love this. One warning I discovered, leave them some room to rebel as teenagers. I have been so accepting of their individual personalities, I think a couple of mine acted “normal” just to rebel against me. Ironically, you may have the only teenager in high school wearing business suit!

    Enabler of Patriarchy October 23, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Probably no one is reading this anymore, but since your post ends with a question which, so far as I can see (but I might easily be missing something), no one has tried to give an answer to, I thought I’d give it a shot, since I think that this issue is more complex than you or most of the commenters seem to admit. First though let me make the disclaimer that I don’t see anything wrong with the way Emilia is dressing now, and I wouldn’t discourage it now either. Nevertheless, your question is framed in broader terms than that, so here is my general response.

    (1) It is important for children, teenagers and adults to be able to interact with and understand the world around this. This includes understanding how their appearance, behavior, character, etc., effects the outside world, and how modulations of those things may effect those interactions. Does that mean that we tell a child to conform at every step? No. But if we want them to be able to deal with the world, and feel comfortable with their own dealings with it, we have to help them to understand how other people are going to respond to them (and why) so that they can make decisions for themselves based on what every reasonable and responsible adult knows: this process is always going to involve trade-offs. Sometimes those trade-offs are bad; sometimes good; sometimes difficult; sometimes fairly easy; sometimes good and difficult; sometimes easy and bad, etc. How to make those trade-offs, and which to make, is part of life’s learning process. But their is no point in pretending that we don’t make them, nor that we shouldn’t make them (e.g., even the best friendships or marriages or careers involve them), or, perhaps most importantly, that we won’t want to make them (because Emilia is right now at an age where it’s easier to block out social pressures – but it will never be like that again, and not only during the teen years, and the truth is that most people would not want it to be like that again, because most people enjoy the society of other people even when it involves certain trade-offs). So we absolutely should educate our children to understand that and how they may have to modify their behaviors in order to deal with the outside world, because we want them to be able to do so in the most informed and self-aware manner possible.

    (2) Now here’s a harder truth: it’s all well and good to say “you don’t like eccentrics, well, Socrates and Jesus were eccentrics, take that”. Yeah, but most eccentrics aren’t either Socrates or Jesus. Some people are just messed up. Having spent some time teaching, I’ve seen for myself that kids who are told from earliest days how special they are no matter what often don’t have the best understanding of themselves and, especially, have a real difficulty learning because they can’t adjust their self-conceptions at all, even when they’re demonstrably incompetent in this or that respect.

    (3) Now let’s get back to Socrates and Jesus. They were eccentric *and* special. But you know what? That wasn’t enough. They were also great communicators, great “p.r. men”, so to speak. So this just goes back to proving my first point: yes, they were weird. And special. But they also really, really knew how to deal with people. Made some people love or revere them. Others hate them, to be sure, but that was, well…a trade-off. And it’s one that I’m pretty sure they understood that they were making. So I don’t think that it cuts it to say, in effect, “well, when people criticize my kids, I’ll just tell them not to ignore all of those real people they know and just take comfort in the fact that they’re like some mythical hero in a book or whatever” – because, well, if Socrates or Jesus had been that self-absorbed they wouldn’t have turned out as Socrates or Jesus.

    (4) Side note: since we’re on your J.S. Mill example, here’s the thing – Mill was actually wrong about the value of individuality and all that stuff. Just look around at his time and place: places in Europe where there was a lot more political oppression were also where the great artists and intellectuals were, by and large. Mill’s claim that personal and political freedom leads to intellectual achievement and artistic creativity has become widely accepted in our society, but I don’t think it has much empirical support (as our society is partly proof of).

    (5) Back to business – there is a lot to be commended in childhood, teenage and adult eccentricity. And much that is worth encouraging in and defending to our children. Much that is invaluable. However. It may be a lot more enjoyable for adults to ooh and ahh over childhood eccentricity than it is for the actual children who live it. In fact, I think that for some kids (and especially teens) their eccentricity becomes a kind of shield that they use to hide the fact that they really don’t know how to deal with the world, and their peers, even though they desperately want to. And that point it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle: child’s eccentricity cuts them off socially; they double-down on the eccentricity in order to help mask their unhappiness over their social failures; this cuts them off further socially. And so on. In these cases I don’t think that the thing to do is to just repress the child’s instincts. But helping them deal with it will mean not just encouraging it but also helping them to modify their behavior so that they can enter into a more productive relationship with the world around them. See my first point.

    Well, I could go on. But I’ve gone on long enough for now. I just think that it’s important to point out that these issues are a lot more complex than your presentation allows for, and that there are costs to an unqualified valorization of eccentricity which you don’t acknowledge. As I said, I have no problem with the specific case of your daughter’s outfits, which are charming. But your presentation of the issue seems really slanted to me. So maybe I’ll just close by trying to show how narrowly you’ve framed the question, even though you present it as if it were an actual open issue (my comments are in square brackets):

    “Maybe there’s an argument to be made that repressing children’s impulses to individuality [repression *might* sometimes be good - this gets into the argument about Mill above; but, more importantly, the issue isn't simply "repression" - which is a very loaded word to use in our society, where we are expected to repress our repressive instincts - but rather one of the inevitable trade-offs that successful interactions with the outside world entail] and suggesting to them that any appearance of difference is rightfully judged as ‘freakish’ [strawman: no one says this about "any appearance", by everyone - even you, I would wager - say it about some such appearances; the question is always: which, and why] and that they should, like their parents, turn up their noses at such difference represents the greater contribution to their well-being and to the public good [we can only know this on a case-by-case basis; in some cases, the "repressed" individual may be personally better off and making a greater contribution to the public good; in other cases the opposite. What is not the case is that "any appearance of difference" is necessarily good for and individual's well-being or the public good: but, if you can make the argument that it is, I'd love to hear it. Personally, I doubt that anyone would - e.g., that isn't even really what Mill is saying, at least certainly not in such an unqualified way. So who is? And doesn't the whole argument devolve into self-contradiction: i.e., you want people to express themselves except when their self-expression involves repression either of themselves or others. Or are you claiming that if all parents were like you we'd be living in a utopia where everyone just expressed themselves and there was never any sort of internal or external conflict whatsoever, so the impulse to self-or-other repression - which, on your terms, seems like it could mean simply behavior modifications - just vanished into thin air. And you really think that the completely ridding ourselves of anything that smacks of the instinct to repression would be an unqualified good? Have you read anything in Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil outside of aphorism 153? I'm not trying to be snarky about this, it's just that your own statements are so unqualified that it's hard to make sense of them any other way]. If there is, I’d love to hear it [given the way that you've caricatured the issues at hand, I doubt the sincerity of this statement].”

    P.S.:

    It seems to me like there must be some self-contradiction involved in writing, first, “nor do I, as her mother, have any delusion that by allowing or encouraging her to express her whimsy sartorially I am changing the world” and then shortly thereafter write that “I believe that in those children [i.e., children educated in the way that you are educating your daughter] resides our best hope for changing the world for the better”. I mean, you might not be saying that your specific encouragements of your specific daughter are going to change the world; but you think that the general principles which guide that encouragement are what will change the world, and which your daughter could presumably be an example of. More importantly, though, I just doubt that the sentiments contained in between these two statements are coherent. But I tried to say why I think that is the case above.

    Enabler October 24, 2010 at 10:35 am

    A simpler way of looking at the difficult might also be this: what’s the difference between “repression” and “self-discipline”? Surely we want our children to have the latter, which means that when they are little WE discipline (repress) THEM. Which means that we accept “repressing” our children…so long as we (and not those OTHER judgmental parents) are doing the repression. So children still have to conform to someone’s standards: our own. More generally, I just find implausible that even in adults anyone could consistently maintain that “repression” (self- discipline) is an unqualified negative – and, at least, I think it’s an idea that only works if you think that some sort of utopia is possible in which we all freely express ourselves but never get in anyone else’s way whatsoever. But even though our society is “anti-oppression” it doesn’t actually believe that (e.g., sexual harassment laws: so, presumably, you wouldn’t want your son to have to repress himself insofar as that involved loving other men, but you will expect him to repress himself insofar as it involves unconstrained expression of his sexual desires towards girls, even though those desires are a constitutive element of how most people experience their individuality: so the issue isn’t really “no repression”, it’s an issue of what sort of repression is good and what sort is bad, which means that issue isn’t really “individuality” or “difference” in some unqualified sense, but rather good versus bad, whether in terms of individuality or whatever. And if it is really an issue of good vs. bad then maybe we ought to help our children learn to think about those issues, which would mean not simply telling them, in some unqualified way, that their “individuality” is necessarily good, and that the people judging it are necessarily bad).

    Adeana October 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    “To thine own self be true.”

    I admire that you are fostering this in your daughter! Children need to know it’s ok to have opinions/a personality/likes/dislikes. They are PEOPLE. They are trying to figure out who they are! Good for you for essentially teaching what is so important! Especially for a girl!

    Jaeyde October 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Hurrah to you!

    Agreed. On so many levels.

    I think I may just adopt a similar policy with my kids when it’s that time. You’re allowing your daughter to discover herself, while providing a safety net (the change of clothes in her backpack). If she at any point decides she wants to wear what everyone else does, she has that freedom.

    Someone who mentored my husband and I told us about their parenting style – assume that by age 18 the child will be (or should be) making 100% of their own choices (even if they do seek parental input), should they not by age 9 be making about half of those? It was an interesting concept, for which they earned much flak. Their kids turned out fine. And so will your’s. :)
    .-= Jaeyde´s last blog ..A treasure found in our secondhand desk =-.

    Jacki (@jackiyo) October 26, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    My daughter came out with 5 shirts on the other day. I told her max 3 layers. Not sure really what the harm would have been had I just let her go to school that way.

    And today she had a dress laid out. I told her pants, please. And felt awful after. What would it hurt?

    I need to just let her be…

    Alexis October 27, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I know this comment is a bit late, but just wanted to add that I think Emilia and my 2 daughters (5 1/2 and 3 1/2) must have the same stylist :-) They are constantly experimenting with their clothes. The older one is a princess one day and a tomboy the next, and then mixes up the 2 styles on the following day. The both prefer to wear the brightest (and in my eyes, most clashing) colours possible, but as long as they are dressed for the weather (i.e. no bare legs in winter), I have decided to just go with the flow and enjoy the fashion show! Besides, they are both very stubborn and I would rather save my energy for the battles that really mean something.

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