What's so wrong with 'dressing like a mum'?
OPINION: There were gasps of horror last month when the Duchess of Cambridge and mother-of-two violated her princess contract by having the audacity to look like a mum at an official event.
"[A] little too frumpy, a little too mumsy," judged the People's Court of Fashion when the princess wore a below-the-knee dress, by British designer Tabitha Webb, to a welly-wanging charity event.
Yes, yes, I know that she IS a mother and that she was attending an event where she was required to throw rubber boots. But does she really have to drop her standards so far as to actually look like a mother? Doesn't she know that the entire fate of the British Monarchy rests upon her Jimmy Choos?
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And to make matters worse, she didn't even look like a young mother. She looked like an 'old' one!
As USA Today explained: "[The] blue-white-and-black splatter pattern … came off looking like a dress the late Queen Mother would have worn. And she was born in 1900."
If you're under the impression that one royal fashion faux pas can be overlooked, you're missing the point. Just think of the example Princess Kate is setting for other mothers.
'Mothers who look like mothers' is fast reaching epidemic proportions. There's even a Wikipedia entry for the term 'Mom Jeans'. And as one public service announcement informs us: "You may be a mum — and a happy one that that. But that's no excuse for dressing like one."
"It's all too easy, once children come along, to dress more and more for comfort and practicality, until we begin to lose touch with our own identity — and can look around the school playground and spot several other mums in a similar 'uniform'," warns Karen Skagerlind in an article titled "How NOT to dress like a mum".
For those of you in need of re-education, looking mumsy includes such fashion crimes as: wearing shoes that are more practical than sexy, a wardrobe that consists of mainly black clothes, not bothering to accessorise your outfits, and opting for comfort when selecting your outfit.
I know that it's difficult to chase a toddler running full pelt towards a busy road when you're wearing stilettos, but do you really want to be the sort of person who prioritises the safety of your child over your universal obligation to look sexy at all times?
I think we all know the correct answer to that one.
And it might be easier to kick a ball with your children at the park in active wear, but please remember that your children are watching you. Consider the life-long consequence of role modelling to your daughters that a woman's comfort is more important than looking hot.
Don't make the mistake of letting money be your excuse to dress like a mother either.
The cost of having a baby and your lost income from caring for the baby may exceed $40,000, but it's all a matter of priorities and self-respect. Try eating dust instead of food and redirecting that money into your clothes budget. This financial self-love strategy also works wonders for baby weight.
And while we're at it, you may not have slept for a year, but other people have to look at you so for heaven's sake, would it kill you to smile?
Some would say that the standards for mothers are too high — that we expect mothers to shoulder the financial and lifestyle burden of childcare and domestic work but at the same time to always look as though they are not tired, rundown and limited to paltry disposable incomes.
But can you imagine what would happen if Kate and the rest of us mothers continue to make the mistake of choosing comfort over beauty?
Oh, umm, that's right, nothing.