Why Bad Outfits Shouldn't Happen To Good Babies

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

'A little girl the minute she is born is already the woman she will be.  So to empower a little girl is to empower the woman she will become.'                                            -Diane Von Furstenburg

A couple months ago while my parents were taking care of Poppy for the weekend I stumbled upon the following photo on facebook:

'there has clearly been a lapse in judgement here' said poppy.

I looked, but could find no caption saying something to the effect of 'Poppy just put on a skit for us in which she played Molly Ringwald circa Pretty In Pink'.

When I saw that Poppy was wearing this outfit, I began to panic.  I knew that I was being irrational and yet I was still genuinely bothered.

To me, you see, this outfit is spectacularly bad.  To begin with, the hat is reminiscent of a prohibition era flapper girl.  Not a desirable look.  Secondly, I might have been okay with mixing the tulle fabric with a zebra print...that juxtaposition is kind of interesting.  But then one can't help but notice the large, anachronistic pink bow in the middle of the outfit.  I've seen pictures of myself as a little girl in the late 80s/early 90s wearing these types of bows.  Judging by my facial expressions in these pictures, it seems that I didn't find them attractive then either.  As a matter of fact, I'd say that my expressions were similar to Poppy's expression in this photo.

Why does it bother me so much when one of the grandparents dresses Poppy up in an aesthetically unappealing outfit?  (Well, to be fair, the outfit in this particular episode was a few steps beyond aesthetically appealing.)  Matt says that it's because 'I have a lot of pride wrapped up in this baby'.  I guess that's true, and it reminded me of the theme of the Diane Von Furstenburg for Gap Kids commercial that I saw in this past Spring:

DVF talking to a little girl on the set:  'Give them a little attitude....that is chic, don't you think?'

the little girl nods, pretending to know what 'chic' means

DVF talking to the camera:  'A little girl the minute she is born is already the woman she will be.  So to empower a little girl is to empower the woman she will become.'

Matt thought that this was a ridiculous statement.  Admittedly, I'm not sure that the logic here is completely sound.  But as I think about this idea again, now that I actually have a little girl, I do understand what Diane meant here.  I might even add that empowering the little girl empowers the mother as well.

By the way, I'm not sure that Baby Gap gets enough street cred*.  Here are a some of their excellent (and inexpensive) clothes that I've recently bought for Poppy.  I must say that she is looking chic this season-

this really keeps her warm-

i got her this, except with navy cables down the middle.
very wimbledon.  

i have a military sweater like this in blue.  
i try to put something pink on her when she
wears this so that she doesn't look androgynous.
it looks nike with pink pants. 

i bought this in 12-18 months so she can wear it in the Spring-

when i put this on her head, it doesn't really look right.
the only reason I bought it was so people
might stop mistaking her for a boy.  

(I would never say 'do they make this in my size?', but I will say that Baby Gap clothes are way more hip and interesting than Big Girl Gap clothes.)

*While I was still pregnant I decided that it would be a good idea to get Matt slightly tipsy at Shin-Sei (that excellent Asian restaurant on Lovers Lane), and then take him baby clothes shopping at the Baby Gap just across the street.  It was indeed a good idea because Poppy ended up with many outfits from the DVF for Gap Kids line.

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