This morning I came across a tweet. And to quote: “What’s with young moms making their boys look like future heartbreakers? Can a kid be a kid bakithi” (Gosh young moms never win right?) I was a little startled because I was under the impression that every parent had the right to dress their child the best way they knew and wanted. Ok, maybe I was also taken aback because I AM that parent. And I reckon it’s unfair for us to be called out on personal choices. One thing I have learnt since becoming a parent is to try and never be critical of the choices other parents make for their children. The offence is magnified when the offender is not even a parent (but I think this person is a parent). The shock!!
Since my son was a born, I made it my sole mission to dress him well. I didn’t care how much an item would cost me. If I saw it and I had a vision of him wearing it, it was in the cart. The reason is I want him to look immaculate and polished at all times. I want to create an image for him that he will grow up with. I am the South African version of Kris Jenner. I am that parent who has a game plan for their child’s life. From how he looks, who he associates with, his social calendar, everything. One day when I trust him enough to make his own decisions I might sit back and watch but by then I would have sown the seed for him to look at the world through different eyes.
Let’s be honest, how many times have u seen a bland dressed child who was not necessarily well groomed and just swoon? *sound of the buzzer*. That child is like every other child. But when u see an immaculately dressed child, who exuded self-confidence and smiles like he/she owns the world, you want to play with that child, chat to him, hell, even ignore the parents and just chill with this “dude” or “chick”. That’s how the world works unfortunately, people judge you by how you look. First appearances are everything. I want my child to know that amongst other important things. The world likes people who are confident and well.. Beautiful.
I see the way he carries himself, you can’t tell him nothing! He knows he is cute. He knows he makes a good impression but he is also a child. He wants to play and high five and shows you his Spiderman collection or Ben 10 figurines. He is just a boy whose mother happens to dress him well. And he very much still gets to be a kid. He does play. At school, at kiddies parties, at home and whenever he feels like it. But playing doesn’t mean he has to be dirty or filled with grime. Maybe it’s also his personality, because he has never been that child who gets super dirty – so dressing him up has always been fun and worth it. He enjoys it and as he is growing older he is starting to pick out his own clothes (and we do have days where all he wants to wear is his Spiderman jumpsuit..). His clothes don’t count up any additional years to his little four years. And I guarantee I’m not robbing him of his childhood. He is still a child.
I don’t want him to be an ordinary child (or even adult). He is special to me and to the world. And if he knows that, he will never at any stage take his life and his opportunities for granted. I hope he will always carry himself with grace, poise and like a true gentleman. I don’t judge people on what they chose to wear but we live in times where men (and women equally) don’t care. They just arrive at funerals in jeans, spend all day in sweat pants, go to restaurants in shorts ect. I want Maqhawe to know, at a wedding/funeral you suit up! You wear the hell outta that suit like you will raise the dead! None of that jeans nonsense, totally disrespectful!
And ladies, anytime a well-dressed man who smells good steps up to you, he already has 40 points out of 100. Immediately you take that person seriously, he has your attention (until he opens his mouth and maybe he is the ultimate douche but…). How you look matters!! We live in an image driven world. And as a mother I am raising a future adult, a leader, a CEO, a GQ editor, maybe even future president. How bad would it be to dress him up now? There are so many things worse than wanting your child to look good. And in hindsight this is why we have cultures like “izikhothane”. These young men associate style with mismatched shoes and pants that would light up carousel #JesusFixIt .. I don’t necessarily blame their parents but if they knew better, they would definitely dress better.
And lastly I personally don’t spend all that money just for my child to look good on Instagram. That’s a fictional world, where people lean on sports cars just for show; put a random fancy location to their pic and all sorts of crazy efforts to get as many likes as possible. What I’m doing here is bigger than that. Yes it always nice to post up pictures and show the world your pride and joy (whether it’s your car, you pet dog, you beautiful home or your well-dressed offspring). There is nothing wrong with it. If you can afford to dress your child and believe in it, go ‘head.. And if you can’t, sit down and watch others do it.
PS: my favorite link of all times!!! http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/06/five-year-old-boy-whos-become-a-style-icon.html