Friday, April 8, 2011

Dear Shopping Savage...

Dear Shopping Savage,

My daughter is a junior in high school and is being bullied by girls who critique her wardrobe. I've overheard her talking to her friends about what these girls say to her just based on what she wears and it bothers me. Is there a way I can interject myself as a parent, through fashion, without her feeling as though I'm overstepping my boundaries?


Mom and Daughter Battling Mean Girls


Dear M.A.D.B.M.G.,

Taking your daughter on a shopping spree and revamping her wardrobe only plays into her tormentors. If she changed her style they would look for something else to pick on. Not to mention if your daughter has a healthy self-esteem and is comfortable with her sense of style then you would be telling her to change who she is for others and that's not something you should suggest now, or quite frankly, ever.

Some advice to consider would be to sit your daughter down and talk to her about her tormentors. Try to have as candid a conversation with her about these girls and see how often the bullying occurs. If its as frequent as it sounds, then you have to guide her to not be afraid to stand up for herself.

If the Queen B and her Wannabe's say something to her, encourage her to say something back. Hopefully things don't escalate beyond a verbal exchange of mean girl quick quips. Have her block them from all social networks and from this point on laugh off anything that they say. However, she should never be afraid to confront them if necessary.

Girl world is a tough one to navigate. The rules are constantly changing so there's no surefire answer or way for her to beat her bullies other than to beat them to the punch. Taking the high road is always good advice but not before she makes it clear that she's capable of confronting them head on if need be.

In a few years those girls will be reduced to a series of unpleasant memories and that's how it should be. And if films like Heathers, Jawbreaker and Mean Girls have taught us anything, its that those girls who are bullying your daughter are only as powerful as they're perceived to be. Give your daughter insight into the ammunition she needs to wage, and subsequently win, this war and she'll be better equipped to handle any situation in her life from this point forward.

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