This is a topic close to my heart.
As a child I loved traditionally girly things, like dressing up going to ballet and dance classes, being a princess and pink was my favourite colour. However, this was such a small part of my personality and in fact I was more known to be a ‘Tom boy’. I played outside, in all weather and would have my long mousy brown hair tied back in a pony tail which sporty spice would have been proud of.
I would play football every week, get my roller blades out whenever I could and set up circuits in my garden as challenges to keep fit. I was the captain of the school football team and as I moved to high school I would play rounders, net ball, run track and long distance at every opportunity. Once or twice (nearly every lesson…. Shhhhh don’t tell nana freckle) I would skip my chemistry classes in high school and go and play rounders on the field with the coolest P.E teacher around. She knew that we should have been in another class, but she also knew the importance of sport in education and how it affects your mental health. Let’s face it, I was a better teenager after I had hit some balls with a bat and would focus on the rest of my day than being stuck in a poorly maintained delapedated building listening to an old bird natter on about the periodic table whilst peering over her glasses perched at the end of her nose.
Come to think of it, I am a better adult once I’ve done a bit of physical exercise but I’m a bit more Bruce Bogtrotter at the minute. And I’m okay with that.
Anyway…. As a child of school age I would wear practical shoes. I was lucky enough to grow up in the noughties where Rockport and Lacoste boots were fashionable for girls and boys to wear so I never really had a problem. It must have nearly broken my dad paying out hundreds of pounds for them, but as least they lasted and kept my feet dry and warm!
This summer I had that same job of finding shoes to fit the bill. The job of choosing school shoes for Flo was up to me, although she obviously had to approve otherwise there would have been chaos, and I was absolutely shocked at the range of girls footwear.
Mary Jayne’s and ballet pump style footwear galore but as for a shoe that covered the whole of the foot, non existent. The more I saw of typically pretty shoes the more it made me annoyed. Yes, we love shiny shoes with butterflies on and lights that flash in the heal but do we really? I would much rather prefer a pair of shoes which are comfortable, keep her feet dry and warm in the winter which she can climb the climbing frame in and run in without a problem. So, with the summer over and winter most definitely on its way we have found the perfect pair of black boots for her. With a lot of talk about gender neutral clothing and shoes with names which are most definitely breeding a culture of gender stereotypes, we need to be more aware of what morals and unspoken rules we are approving of as parents.
Just because we are girls doesn’t mean we want to be pretty. We want to be us. If that happens to be shiny shoes with butterflies and love hearts then that is great, but how about we give them the option. How about we as parents have an option and more of a thoughtful approach to letting our kids be, well, kids. Regardless of whether they are girls or boys they should be able to wear what they feel most comfortable in. What they most identify with. I know I did, so that’s definitely what I will let my kids do.
Flo’s school boots are from Bobux and they are just perfect for her.
Mother Freckle x