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randomosity: Would you let your girl wear boy clothes?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Would you let your girl wear boy clothes?

At age 6, my oldest daughter asked for a mohawk. It's no surprise that I'm a pretty liberal parent, but even I have boundaries. I'm pretty strict when it comes to actual rules, but as far as expressing themselves I do try to let my kids make their own decisions. She stuck with the idea of wanting a mohawk for quite some time before I finally said "You know what? It's just hair, it'll grow back. Let's do it." I'm sure you can imagine the look of absolute horror on the stylist's face when my beautiful 6 year old with long golden hair said she wanted a mohawk. She (the stylist) even tried to talk her into a faux hawk instead. Nell was not budging. It wasn't that she was being defiant, it was that she knew what she wanted and she was going to get it (the makings of a powerful businesswoman, perhaps). After asking for what seemed to be the tenth time, the stylist finally buzzed her hair off. Buzzed. Her. Hair. Off. Just leaving the strip in the middle for the lovely mohawk.

Nell learned very quickly that people (adults as well as children) are cruel. Absolutely cruel. Complete strangers would say mean or rude things to her just passing by. At that age she was still wearing a little bit of pink and purple (usually mixed with black), so they knew she was a girl. Some older woman even came up to her and asked if I made her get her hair cut that way and told her it was not right for a little girl to look like a boy.

So, anyway, enough of the rambling... that story brings me to my dilemma today. Well, I guess it's not really a dilemma since I've already decided - but I want to hear what my friends think. Jenelle is almost 10 now. She has obviously been a tomboy for a while. She would love to have a mohawk still but the school won't allow it (only boys can have mohawks.. pfft). So she decided this year she wanted to switch to all boy clothes. She has been wearing what could be considered "boy's" clothes, but she said when we go back to school shopping she wants to actually shop in the boy's department.

For some reason, this was a tough pill for me to swallow. I'm okay with a tomboy, but my beautiful little girl dressing like an actual boy makes me a little sad. I have two other girls that I can dress up in pretty outfits, but it just feels like I've lost a little girl and gained a little boy. I don't want to stifle her creativity or personal style, but we did have a long talk about how cruel people are. Apparently she is ready to learn the hard way (again). In just a few weeks, we will be going school clothes shopping. Barring some miracle that makes her say "Mom, I'm going to get all dresses! Put me in beauty pageants!", I think my little angel is going to be picking clothes out from the boy's department.

Jenelle & Rachel last year

Would you let your daughter shop in the boy's section if that is what she truly wanted? Let me know! I'd love to hear your opinions. Leave a comment after voting please!




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30 Comments:

At July 19, 2011 at 12:51 PM , Blogger Alicia said...

of course I would! I would much rather my daughter wear boy clothes than some of these things that girls are wearing these days. If I had to choose between my daughter wearing boy clothes or skimpy little, too tight clothes that leave nothing to the imagination, you bet I'll choose boy clothes! lol

 
At July 19, 2011 at 12:59 PM , OpenID Jamie said...

I strongly believe in the right to express yourself, I myself wore basketball shorts and a tank top or thirst up until about tenth grade, then I started wearing jeans, and I just started wearing actual girly clothes when I was about 19, now being 22 I wear dresses! Something I'd never thought I'd want to wear (willingly) but I love them! Styles change, and how I express myself has changed quite frequently, I say let her express her self! Your a very good mom from what I can tell from the post. Stifled expression can really do damage to a child. And that no mohawks for girls rule, Are you serious!?!? Just not right.

 
At July 19, 2011 at 1:01 PM , Blogger RAPowell said...

This is a challenge, because there are some girls clothes that already mimic boys clothing, I'd prefer that, I mean if she was adamant about it, then yes, but it would be really hard for me... PS. we've boggled down and allowed the mowhawk for our daughter, she's ready for something different now :-)

 
At July 19, 2011 at 1:05 PM , Blogger Abigail's Boutique Designs said...

I would totally allow it. When i was about her age and started going through changes i wore huge baggie jnco jeans and skater shirts. (ya i know totally can picture me like that right? lol) well i did right down to the blue hair or whatever color it was for the week. Then in high school i went even further spike collars the hole nine yards. Well sometime during my senior year i went back to being a girl. I think we all go through changes for whatever reason be it creativity, shame of getting boobs, or maybe our family situations but no matter your age you should feel comfortable in your own skin, your clothes, your surroundings.

 
At July 19, 2011 at 1:12 PM , Blogger Gina Alfani said...

All I can say is that I am very happy I don't have kids when it comes to this kind of stuff!!

Have an awesome day . . . Gina

 
At July 19, 2011 at 1:14 PM , Blogger Sarah Nolan said...

I would, but I would try to find some that weren't so obviously boy, if that makes sense. That way, she wasn't picked on too badly. I wouldn't have let her cut her hair into a mohawk though. I won't even let my son get a full fledged mohawk for during the school year. Only for the summer.

 
At July 19, 2011 at 1:17 PM , Blogger Sadie said...

lol Gina. :) This is the FUN stuff, what are you talking about??

 
At July 19, 2011 at 1:34 PM , Blogger Natalie said...

Hell I wear men clothes, lol. I like to wear clothes that isnt skin tight, beening tall and a lil fluffy, woman's plus size are granny style or cost to much, so i go to guy clothes, cos its just more comfy..

i dunno about the mohawk, i always want my hair to be short enough that it can still go in a ponytail..

Hailey is 7, and she doesnt always want to wear the girly girly stuff, she hasnt asked for a mohawk either though, i think its NICE to see young girls not wanting to look like they r trying to show off for boys, gives me hope she will stay that way, haha..

anyways.. YOUR her parent, you can atleast set some ground rules or come to an agreement of some kind.. good luck hun!

 
At July 19, 2011 at 1:45 PM , Blogger katie L said...

I would say of coarse it's ok. Yes people can be cruel about people being different, but I think that's because we've all grown up in a society that says it's only ok for___ to wear ___. Then we grow up and think it's weird to do or wear anything creative. I think kids start learning things about who they are going to be at a very young age. And It's our job to tell them that whoever that is, it's ok. Kids (and ignorant repressed adults) might be cruel out there, but when they come home, they know they are loved no matter what they look like. I think that's one of the best gifts to give because it sets them up to trust and love themselves later on, and not judge themselves by what others think. And I bet you that those cruel kids and adults are only cruel because they wish they could be as free to be themselves.
Just one chick's opinion :)

 
At July 19, 2011 at 1:53 PM , Blogger Beth Jones said...

I prefer mens clothes to a degree myself too, so if I had a little girl... I would TOTALLY understand it. Practical, easy wearing, don't have to worry about body changes being HIGHLIGHTED. Of course, now I'm feeling a girly phase coming on, which is weird to me, LOL! Personally, I totally dig your daughter's look in the picture. Relax, Momma. :)

 
At July 19, 2011 at 2:52 PM , Anonymous kelly reedy said...

Wait.....girls can't have mohawks at school? THAT IS SEXIST! ABSURD!
I'd let her dress how she wants! My almost 9 year old wants to look like a hooker...and not a high class one at that!
And have you seen some of the clothes they have for girls this age???? The shorts...might as well just wear a thong!
And if she doesn't like it, she can always get new girl clothes! *wink*

 
At July 19, 2011 at 4:01 PM , Anonymous Jennifer Crowe said...

I would absolutely have no problem with that. Gabbie can wear whatever she wants as long as it is age appropriate. She actually already has a couple tshirts that I bought her that were from the boys section. They don't make Thomas the Train clothes for girls, so I buy them for her anyway. Gender roles seriously piss me off. I don't like that girls are supposed to dress one way, and boys another. Let them wear what they want, regardless of color or style.

 
At July 19, 2011 at 4:06 PM , Blogger Heather said...

i say let her do it. i agree with everyone else.. I would much rather wear mens close bc the are a lot more comfortable. its only until recently that i started wearing skirts/dresses by choice. otherwise growing up i was always in jeans.. or sweats of some sort.
As far as the mohawk. I would still let her do it but do it in a way that its a long hawk.. much like the 80s cut where she can have the sides shaved and the top longer so at school it can be down, if that makes sense..and then at home on the weekends what ever she can spike it up.

 
At July 19, 2011 at 4:17 PM , Anonymous Robyn said...

Are we talking jeans and tshirts kind of boy clothes here? If so, I see no problem whatsoever. I have a boy her age, and nothing I have bought for him would be terrible on a girl. She will just be comfortable. I wore boys jeans when I was a teenager because I could never find girls jeans long enough. And no one ever said anything to me about it. I could see her being teased if she wanted to wear suits or something every day, but even the polos and button down shirts, most people will never notice they are "boy" clothes.

 
At July 19, 2011 at 4:20 PM , Blogger alyse.oneil said...

I love that you let her get a mohawk. My mom let me do anything and everything I wanted to do with my hair. I would let my daughter dress how ever she felt comfortable, as long as she didnt show too much off.

 
At July 19, 2011 at 4:48 PM , Blogger Nickhole said...

Yes, I would allow my girl to shop in the boys department...but...I have boys, I don't know if I would allow them to shop in the girls department...but, A daughter in boys clothes, yes I would.

 
At July 19, 2011 at 5:26 PM , Blogger Sadie said...

Yeah Robyn basically t-shirts with skateboarders on them, and long shorts. She is horrified at how short the girls shorts are lol. My mom got her a pair of the longer boy shorts this weekend and Nell said "I like how these aren't so TIGHT on my skin". She just doesn't like tight fitting clothes I guess. I'm not 100% sure what she will pick out but I will definitely post pictures when the time comes!! :)

Thanks for the comments, guys! I appreciate you reading my blog! I'm sorry I haven't had time to respond to each one individually.

 
At July 19, 2011 at 5:33 PM , Blogger Ashley Rae said...

I don't have kids, but I am young, so my teen years are not that far away. But I think it may be a faze...I was all into sport clothes, only in the guy section. I wore all baggy and not form fitting, and only sports bras. THEN came Goth/Punk, I wore the heavy black makeup, only wore black, and those black pants from hottopic with all the chains on them, and dyed my hair black, got into heavy music, gauged my ears...and now the only thing that has changed is I wear better makeup, more girls clothes, jeans, and yoga pants, but most all my shirts are still black, my ears are still gauged, and I still love heavy music. I say let her do what she wants, and she will find something she loves, if she doesn't love it she will move on. :)

 
At July 19, 2011 at 7:08 PM , Blogger Elizabeth Le said...

I definitely would. I figure it this way, it may be a phase. I went through a tomboy phase where all I wore were boys clothes. Then eventually it was boxer shorts with combat boots and oversized sweat shirts...those changed to other phases of dress...so what she likes now may be just a short thing, and if not so be it.

 
At July 19, 2011 at 7:16 PM , Anonymous Thrifty Ninja said...

Kylie (8 years) went from a very girly, pink state into a "I hate everything pink and anything that looks girly" stage last year. I was devastated. I allowed her to do go through her "blue" stage but she is now back into the girly stuff...but not so much pink anymore. I let her do it because it made her happy, but saddened me. You have to let them be themselves though. :/ Even if it hurts you along the way.

 
At July 19, 2011 at 7:51 PM , Blogger Kerfuffle said...

I definitely would. The same way, if my son wants to wear one of sisters pink princesses dress, I "let" him. I am pretty liberal myself. My 4 year old, Rhiannon, also asked for a mohawk. I didn't shave her head and give her one, but I did her hair in a way that it looked like a mohawk... sort of. Her hair is longish... so I went section by section as you would with a french braid and sort of made a double bun out of each section right down to her neck. Then I kind of fluffed the buns out a bit so they all looked connected. She absolutely loved it!

 
At July 19, 2011 at 9:25 PM , Blogger Jewelee said...

My daughter went through this. Now that she's 18, she's all about makeup, dressing perfect, and all that other stuff that young ladies want. Let her shop in the boy's department. Most of the time, you can't tell the difference. Soon enough, she'll be looking at the makeup and other girly stuff.

 
At July 19, 2011 at 10:37 PM , Blogger aquariann said...

That's awesome you let her have a mohawk at age 6. It's sad people can be such judgmental jerks. I don't have a daughter, but if I did, I'd definitely let her shop in the boy's department. I've been buying t-shirts from there myself.

Btw, I'm hopping by from The Wednesday Window and hope you'll join my Summer Blog Hop, too.

 
At July 20, 2011 at 3:16 AM , Blogger Jessica Christy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At July 20, 2011 at 3:17 AM , Blogger Jessica Christy said...

Yes, I would! As a pre-teen I was most comfortable in boys clothes. Especially boys pants. They fit me better (even though I have always had an hourglass figure, girl pants just don't hang right on me). My mom had no qualms about her oldest daughter dressing like a boy. However, I was also in ballet at the time, so maybe that's why she didn't have a problem with it?

 
At July 20, 2011 at 7:36 AM , Anonymous Kate said...

You know I popped in yesterday and had to think about it. Ours wears boy shoes thus far. I've come to the conclusion after thinking how these girls dress these days and I'd rather see them in boys clothes versus daisy dukes and breasts hanging out...you know? I mean some young ladies dress very scantily. Besides I wear my hubs tshirts and boxers all the time ;) They are soooo comfortable!!

 
At July 20, 2011 at 8:32 AM , Blogger Debbie said...

Thinking about this more and more.. I was a tomboy I wore some boys clothes, not all but some.. But to this day at 39 I am a jeans/shorts/tshirt girl. I still wear mens flannels, etc. But my friend's daughter who si 18 wears alot of guy clothes and it's more because she likes how they fit. Sometimes I think it's a phase and if she wants to wear them.. well I guess let her and see if she outgrows the phase :)

 
At July 20, 2011 at 8:33 AM , Blogger Debbie said...

oops I forgot I hopped over from the Wedensday window :)

Love your story.. I've had my own struggles as well.. :)

 
At July 20, 2011 at 4:49 PM , Blogger OrangeHeroMama said...

wow. your post brought tears to my eyes. i am currently going through this struggle with my 10(11 in oct) daughter. She's a very different girl. Very talented manga artist. Reads fantasy novels. Likes her Ripstick(2 wheeled skateboard like toy). She's extremely smart, does amazing in school, has fantastic sporty/girly friends...but yet she prefers to wear skater clothes from the boys section...we wondered at first if it was so she'd have more of a connection with her dad(we're seperated)..But she's started to notice things that she can't do when dressed like this..like she tried out for the basketball team at school, but i imagine because she looked 'lazy' or not in athletic clothing she was probably passed over...or we went hiking as a family and she noticed that skater shoes weren't the ideal shoes for that(so she realized she needed real runners/hikers)...or when she had NOTHING to wear to a dressy occassion it really hit her hard too..
So now she's started coming 'back around' if you will..i can get her to choose the purple Hurley shirt with funky GIRLY designs..or she realized that the cute plaid shirts with little leggings are her style but yet can kinda be girly dressy if you play it right..
I think you just need to give her that year of time..which was about what mine required..she'll get older and come around slightly..i'm wondering if it was just an age thing..
I don't know. I would love to hear more from you! I thought i was the only one out there going through this currently!

Christy-- http://www.scrappy2010ramblings.blogspot.com
twitter @orangeheromama

 
At July 21, 2011 at 12:57 PM , Blogger sam_rayne21 said...

I only have a son. But I would like to think that if i had a daughter and she wanted to dress in boys clothes and knows what consequences my arise from that, that I will allow her to express herself. Like another person said I rather my daughter be in boys clothes then some of the things girls wear now a days.

 

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