Now that it is school holidays a lot of my children’s friends have been coming over to my house. Yaya and her friends had some filming project to do and she wore her usual attire, shorts and a small tee shirt. “How do I look Mom?” She asked.
“beautiful” I replied. ( I must write about telling your children that they are beautiful..that will be tomorrow’s post 🙂 )
As they were leaving, her friend told me ” Sarah, I wish my mom was like you”
I didn’t know why she said that, so when Yaya got back home, I asked her.
Apparently, her friend ( Indian) is not allowed to wear shorts and must wear either skirts that reach below the knee or loose fitting jeans (her mom is very clear on that rule..no skinnies)
Last year, in my youngest’s school there was a mallu girl who wore leggings under her school uniform. You could always spot her in the crowd because she was the only one who wore black leggings in a school of 600 students who wore the normal uniform..which is a knee length dress. ( you have the option to wear the dress or shorts and school t-shirt. My kids opted for shorts and t-shirts)
There are many issues here that bothers me
1. Weather. Summer months are really hot. I wear outfits made of the lightest fabric at work because of the heat. When it is cold, you can layer up and keep yourself warm..when it is hot, the reverse is true. It is the same reason kids choose to wear shorts..it is not a fashion statement.
2. Fake modesty. This is one thing that bothers the most. Indian way of thinking..that you are a wonderful, well bred girl if you cover up your body. There is so much wrong in that belief..first and foremost, it is sexualizing a girl by judging her with what she wears. She wears a revealing outfit, she is promiscuous. which is often followed by the rhetoric that the women wearing revealing clothes are asking to be raped. ( And an elderly nun was raped recently )
3. Rights of an individual. Your children have rights. I know it is easier to say, I gave you life, therefor I choose what you can wear. Shouldn’t that be considered bullying? Def of a bully is someone who use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something. Your belief system is your own. Surely, you grew up in India, wore ‘proper’ outfits that covered you from head to toe and your entire community gave you the award that you are a good girl. But now you don’t live in India and are raising an Aussie citizen, why must you force your values on your children and make them follow dictates that are irrelevant to them culturally?
One of Yaya’s friend wears full length dresses from home and come to school very early, so she could change in to shorts/ mini skirts. She doesn’t work and doesn’t have any income of her own.. so ask yourself, where is she getting the money to buy the second sets of clothes?
When we were living in Malaysia, Yaya wore dresses. It was a joy to find cute dresses, matching hair ties and shoes for her. ( My oldest sister used to buy her beautiful dresses as well) Within a month after arriving in Canada, she started to wear jeans in winter and shorts in summer. It was so disappointing to me because I loved to see her in a dress. But I understood why she opted for jeans. She could only hang upside down on the monkey bar if she wore jeans/shorts !!!! She rarely wears dresses even now. To this day, I have never told her what she can/cannot wear. I chose to get out of India. It was my choice and I will not force my cultural roots on my children, when it was I who wanted to escape.