Heels for Tots: Growing Up Too Fast

It seems like every day now I'm reading an article online or seeing a segment on TV about the trend of little girls wearing grown-up clothing. Young style icons such as 7-year-old Suri Cruise have started a craze among kids as young as three to wear wedges and kitten heels. Not only has this created a stir among podiatrists because of obvious safety threats, but it also raises concern for parents on issues of child objectification and sexualization.

But dressing like adults isn't exactly a new fad. Confession: I was one of these kids.

For the most part, I was allowed to wear whatever I wanted growing up. My mom had a "freedom of expression" policy. In other words, she got tired of hearing me beg to wear dresses, pearls, and pantyhose to the playground and didn't see any harm in it. My grandma still loves to tell the story of how I could apply lipstick without a mirror as a four-year-old better than any full-grown woman could (that's me in the first grade in the photo to the top right). And when I was only 8 years old, I got my first pair of platform wedges.

Just to clarify— my mom didn't exactly encourage me to wear any of this. Quite the opposite, she was a tomboy growing up and still is. She doesn't wear a lick of makeup, never wears heels, and always prefers pants to dresses. No, those were all my own choices that she let me make.

Looking back now, I could see how my mom would think it was harmless. The world when I was in elementary school was much different. This was a pre-internet world and people kept to themselves more. But in today's society, I'm not so sure little girls are safe to dress up like their favorite celebrities (in my day, it was the Spice Girls) without warranting the wrong kind of attention.

It's a tough decision when you have to choose between letting kids make their own choices or express their own creativity and protecting them from the not so good parts of life. The parts they likely don't understand yet.

In case you were wondering, I've since thrown out the pantyhose and pearl necklaces, but I still prefer heels to flats. I guess you could say I was born that way and some habits are just too hard to quit. I am thankful my parents let me experiment with my style, likes, and dislikes from a young age, but I do think I would've been fine holding off on the platforms for a few years.

So what's your opinion? Is the craze cute and all fun and games or is it too weird and risky?

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