terrifying tweens

Let me just quickly set the stage for you here. So there’s Tween1 and Tween 2. Let’s call them “T1” and “T2” to save my fingers some tap-time here. They both had the statures of any other tween…lanky, under-developed, impossibly skinny, etc. These tweens were exceptional though…they were tweens with style. You have to understand that I’m not talking about scrounging about mum’s closet or make- do-with-what-you’re-given style. I’m talking style which took HOURS of idolising popular media. Style which took non-stop dedicated nagging to get your parents to buy you replicas of what’s “cool” style. That kind of style.
Anyway. So the conversation commences:

T1: So did you see what Becca was wearing at the Ekka today?
T2: I know. I couldn’t believe it. Ugly light denim washed jeans with some sort of “rainbow” belt. And some lumpy yellow top.
T1: Hah. I know. You know…it doesn’t feel like I even went to the Ekka this year.
T2: That’s because we only went to the fashion show at the Ekka.
T1: I know, right?
omg, so what was Natasha wearing today?
T2: Yeah, I know. What was she thinking? Hideous.

(insert similar horrible fashion-based gossip here) x 15 minutes.

Ok…is it just me, or is there something terrifying about this? Were you striving to collect as much worldly crap as you could when you were 11 years old? Were you cutting down the other kids around you because you were pursuing ‘cool’ness? These are young girls living to gossip and clothe themselves with things the world accepts as “fashionable”.

I’m trying to figure out if I was just the same back then, but just in a different context. Let’s see…what was I doing when I was eleven?
I was drawing pictures, running wild outside, practising violin, riding my bike, playing video games, and gaining my first intense crushes on boys. During all this…was I cruel to others? Was I so consumed with any one of these activites that it defined all my clothes, my mindframe, my demeanor? More importantly, did I openly cut down other kids for not having the right “stuff”?… ….

What about clothes? I remember certain pressures, for sure. When bell-bottoms started gaining prevalence again (in the late ninetees), it wasn’t “cool” for girls to have a different cut of jeans. It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? How can someone so young fiend after something as idiotic as flared pant legs? HAHAHA. It truly makes me laugh out loud. So yeah, I guess I was consumed with similar things as a kid too. But what made this conversation so appalling to me then?
I think it’s the extent to which these kids were superficial. They were cruelly judging and cutting down other kids because they weren’t conforming to their same silly values. Brutale.

Hearing crap like this makes me want to throw out everything in my closet that might borderline on ‘trendy’. If the world of fashion is influencing kids as young as this to morph into superficial monsters then…I want nothing to do with it.
Fashion’s there to make you feel confident in your individuality and creativity, sure. But little tweens don’t know what appeals to them anyway. They’re keenly observing confident adults and copying what they see is acceptable or praised by other adults.

Instead of asking, “what’s this world coming to?” I feel like I should be asking, “what have we let this world come to?”.