One year when I was teaching kindergarten, I had an adorable little fashionista in my class. Her outfits were always lovely, and her hair was always perfect. One day, one of my other students wore a black dress with navy sandals. My fashionista was horrified! She came to me and said, “Miss B., I don’t think you’re supposed to wear black and navy together.” I explained that it depends on the outfit, and that we shouldn’t be afraid to take fashion risks. (If they ever create a Vogue magazine for the early childhood set, I’m a shoo-in for the fashion editor.)
I was surprised to hear this kind of criticism from a five year old. Although some of the kids in my class would arrive in well put-together outfits, others were obviously allowed to create their own ensembles. The result looked like something Willy Wonka would wear to a party.
I keep seeing that today’s school-age children are more obsessed with their appearances. And it doesn’t stop at just being fixated on fashion—they seem to be more body conscious and obsessed with weight.
Do you find that to be true? And what can teachers do to discourage it?