I like a good debate so I always listen to Jeremy Vine on Radio 2. Vanessa Feltz is standing in at the moment. One of the topics today was about a mother who doesn’t like her daughter “being a goth”. They spoke to both mother and daughter. I think it was a weak topic really, usually they discuss more important issues, but I guess that’s what annoyed me, this woman thought her opinion on her daughters attire was important. The daughter was had been to boarding school and was now at University studying art. She was a natural blonde but currently had her hair dyed red and lots of piercings. Her mother was making it out to be such an issue, and even Vanessa Feltz was saying the girl should be pleasing her mother!! Why should the mother’s opinion on what the daughter wears be more important. She was saying that it’s because she was such a pretty girl that she always used to dress in flowery dresses and she thinks her daughter looks aggressive, and she’s worried how people perceive her. To be honest, the daughter sounded much more intelligent than the mother, and she said all her piercings can be removed and her hair dyed to a normal colour if she needed or wanted to, and that she knows that some people will judge her but if they speak to her they’ll realise that she’s a nice girl. It really annoyed me that some people still want so much control over their daughter and all the listeners pretty much sided with the girl. I just think, she’s expressing creativity and her time at uni may be the only time she can experiment with her image, none of it’s permanent so why is it such an issue!!?
I thought I’d open a discussion on here about it as I’m sure a lot of you have stuff to say…
An 18 year old is allowed to make her own decisions, and she SHOULD be making her own decisions.
If that had been my child I would have made sure she knew about the risks of infection and scarring, and I would have talked to her about how some people might react negatively to her appearance.
But I would also point out that they would be wrong to judge her by her looks, the same way it is wrong to judge anyone else by their looks.
Sounds like her mother will find out later that she has been alienating her daughter.
At 18 years old, she can do what the hell she likes. And in all honesty, having been in this situation, the more the mother demands her daughter dress/look a certain way, the less she will.
We’re pretty laid back as parents, and we’ve decided that under 16, ears pierced once only. 16-18 years, they’re in voluntary education so they can get hair how they want and piercings. We will not allow tattoos until 18 though. Get piercings and tattoos from reputable places, and remember that while you can change clothes and grow out hair and take out piercings, ink is forever.
Seriously, this girl is 18, the mothr has no right to tell her how to dress. x
I think for me, the thing about looking ‘different’ in any way is that it is actually a pretty good way of weeding out the kind of people you probably wouldn’t want to talk to anyway!
Really, it is none of the mother’s business how her daughter chooses to dress or how she decides to adorn her body. It is, after all, her body. She does not belong to her mother! Personally, as far as my girls go, I’ll be perfectly happy with whatever style choices they make…provided they are clean and that tattoos and piercings are done safely. I wouldn’t take them, or pay for any body modifications under age, equally I wouldn’t freak out if they did get something done under age (it would be utterly pointless, might let the authorities know that someone was piercing/tattooing underage kids though). If they talk to me about it, I’ll be letting them know that there are some workplaces where they would have to cover tattoos and that they might need to think about how much of pain it would be to have to do that, other than that, I think only terribly shallow people would judge a person based on appearances. Personally, I wouldn’t be interested in that kind of person’s opinion anyway.
It’s ridiculous what people think good children ‘should’ be doing, a boyfriend of my mums when I was young had blue hair and an earring, gasp, shock, horror! He was constantly asked by his mum why he couldn’t dress nicely like the man who lived down the road (a friends son), yes he had a nice suit but only because he earned a lot of money from drug dealing. You never know!
My brother says that if my children ever decide to rebel against their upbringing, they will end up really neat and smart!!
I once rebelled against my mum, bearing in mind I was already a good student, pulled up knee socks and blazer type, pushed it and went out with a man in a suit who was an managing director, mum was finally shocked
Sounds more like the mother was more worried what people thought of HER!
This exactly ^^, sounds a lot like how my mother was when I was in my late teens, it drove me nuts. I certainly felt that it was mostly to do with what the neighbours thought of her rather than anything to do with me.
At 18 this young woman is an adult and IMO her mother should keep her opinions to herself unless she has something nice to say.
Just wonder if there was some attention or publicity seeking going on here - not that I heard the show. Dd2 had a friend at primary school who was very blonde, pretty and was always immaculately dressed in top of the range girly clothes. We met her again when she was 17 and she was a Goth - black hair and all. Still pretty and beautifully dressed. xx
Totally agree an 18 year old can do as they like. I hate the hypocrisy that says it’s ok to pierce your ears (but only once) but no other part of your body. It’s ok to dye your hair but only certain colours etc.
Once Leo is of an age that I feel he can understand the consequences of piercing, tatooing etc and understand hygeine etc then I wouldn’t have a prob with him doing as he likes and if for whatever reason I happened to not like a tattoo, piercing he had I would keep it to myself!
I really felt sorry for the girl actually because she didn’t sound like she wanted to upset her mum, and she even said if she felt her mum thought it was affecting her personality she would make herself look normal again. I don’t think someone should have to be able to choose between their own happiness and their parents. I was that age not long ago and people act like you’re “rebelling” for the sake of rebelling and going against your family. Yet that was not strictly the case for me, and I doubt it is for most people. For me, I thought, I’m sick of looking how I “should” look, I want to look how I want to look. It wasn’t a decision to go against my family and that can often be the hardest part about it. Some people say rebellion’s a healthy part of growing up, and that every teenager does it. But I think if their opinion is respected at an early age they don’t have to rebel to do what they want to do. I don’t think teenagers get to an age and think, “I want to annoy my parents”, I think the desire to be themselves overrides the feeling that they have to please their parents. And if the parents don’t respect their decision, then they lose respect for their parents! I would never make my LO have to choose between her happiness and mine as I think it’s a horrible feeling, and I will never try to mold her. She’s only 11 weeks so can’t choose what to wear herself, so I dress her in a variety of styles, today she’s all in pink, tomorrow she might be in boys dungarees and a green top. As soon as she’s old enough to pick her own clothes she will!
A lot of the callers said her mother should leave her as “it’s just a phase”... Now while I agree that that’s often the case, I find it undermines the daughter’s decision. I feel it’s like saying, “we’ll accept you now because YOU WILL change back”.
I heard most of the debate (not the comments afterwards). And to me it sounded like the whole thing had been been picked up by the media and run with. Both mum and daughter sounded rational and loving - the mumclearly had a great relationship with her daughter despite their different view points. I wonder whether this was just a mum letting off steam to mates via a blog or twitter or something, and the debate got into the public arena and was hugely inflated. It really didn’t seem that it was affecting their relationship in any way, and both of them made really rational points.