Kids should be able to express their style and creativity through their clothing…and it should be fun to wear. Many people would say this, but wouldn’t give it any more thought, but there’s more to consider.What if you knew, as a parent, that how you dressed your daughter could drastically affect her future sense of herself? Her body image, her self-confidence, and even perhaps, her safety?
No, this isn’t an advertisement for a superhero costume or even a suit of armor. It’s a chance to think about how a parent’s clothing choice make affect her daughter.
Miriam Jakal, has given this a lot of thought. Miriam is the creative force behind Saravia Boutique, a new online clothing shop for girls. Her daughters are strong and smart, and they might outrun everyone on the playground. What’s more, they do it all in their favorite colors, complete with sparkles and twirling skirts.
Miriam wants her girls to develop their own style as they grow, but in the meanwhile, she believes they should wear happy colors inspired by nature, with clothing cut so they have the freedom to run and play. Further, she wants to give her daughters a longer chance at childhood, where they don’t have to think about their bodies in tight, restricting, or revealing clothing.
None of Miriam’s designs feature spaghetti straps or bare bellies. Her kids can flip upside down on the monkey bars, wearing pants, leggings or pantaloons under their twirling skirts. These kids can play with confidence and strength, without worrying about their clothes.
Some parents choose conservative or modest clothing for religious reasons…and there are many strong reasons for that. However, recent research indicates that there’s more to it than that. No matter your faith tradition, you may be able to offer your daughter something powerful through the clothes you choose for her.
A little girl who is forced into women’s revealing clothing too soon may be much more likely to suffer with weight issues, poor body image, anorexia, or early/unwanted sexual activity. In short, giving kids a chance to enjoy freedom of movement and a positive body image may come about simply by your careful choices when shopping for clothes.
The sad truth is that clothes aren’t body armor. Parents want to keep their kids safe in a scary world. Yet, smart, independent girls with a strong sense of self-worth and self-confidence can do more to speak up, protect and take care of themselves.
Miriam Jakal’s designs are a handmade, unique opportunity to gift your daughter something fun for now. At the same time, investing in freedom of movement and less revealing clothing may also offer some insurance as she plays and grows strong and confident-- towards a body positive future.
Bio: Joanne Seiff is a freelance writer, knitwear designer and author of several books. She lives with her twin boys, absentminded professor husband, and two bird dogs in Winnipeg. Read more about her adventures on her blog: www.joanneseiff.blogspot.com.