The latest show I think I will be adding to my DVR collection is TLC’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. For better or worse, reality tv allows you to stare and learn in ways you can’t in real life.
At first I thought the show would be featuring extravagant dresses and wedding receptions, but I did not expect that it would be featuring 16-year-old brides and 7-year-old little girls dressed like (sorry if I offend anyone) prostitutes. I could go on about my opinions on the entire communities fashion choices but it goes beyond that.
There just seems to be more and more examples of wanting little girls to be women way too fast. Growing up in the dance community, I was used to putting on makeup and could do my own by the time I finished elementary school. I grew up around older, boy crazy girls and tried to copy their clothes and hair, too.
However, now that I have a little girl, I can’t picture her in 4 inch heels at 7 years old nevermind in a cropped corset top and miniskirt to go with them. Between the types of families featured on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and Toddlers and Tiaras it’s no wonder that Storm’s parents don’t want their child to be identified by its gender (which kind of makes me think it’s a girl).
I can identify with Patrick Dempsey’s character in Enchanted when he gives his daughter a book about historical women. Snookie is not an appropriate role model. I want my daughter to know how to carry herself with confidence while realizing that looks aren’t the only things that matter. I try not to refer to my daughter as a princess, but won’t mind if she wants to wear a fluffy dress while putting together Lego’s.
I know I’m not really one to talk with the dresses and bows I stick on my little girl, but I can only hope to keep it in check as she gets older and to encourage her to be a well-rounded individual – whether she likes wearing dresses or playing in the mud or wearing a dress while she’s playing in the mud.