Fashion Faux Pas

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?


2 thoughts on “Fashion Faux Pas

  1. I think it all comes down to teaching kids to look at the inside of people. I like to show pictures to students and ask them to tell me what they think about those people. Then I tell them who they really are. I might show bad pictures of athletes, Nobel prize winners, etc. Then I explain to the kids that these are extraordinary people and that we cannot “judge a book by its cover” so to speak. It is an eye-opening exercise for students to see how far off they can be just by looking at a picture. For older kids (high school) you can even show charming pictures of criminals. Then explain that you don’t trust people based on first appearances. It can lead you to danger.

  2. Teaching prek for 25 years I too have seen this fashion change. Although I too find some of the clothes adorable I never comment on a child’s dress and yes I do have to bite my tongue.I make comments related to all the children about their personality traits such as you are such a great helper, I like the way you help Joey do this or that.
    But another biggie I do is start the year off telling parents preschool is a messy place in order to let your child experience it fully dress them in play clothes. But sadly I too see children dressed like fashion divas.

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