Copy Cat

“Every time I wear something new or different…she copies me. I am getting sick of it, Dad!”

I knew she was upset even before she set foot in the house. I received a text directly after school from her saying “I am mad”. She rarely comes home in a huff..for that matter, she rarely gets in a huff. But today she was, as she accused one of her closest friends of copying whatever my daughter wears or is using and then claims ownership of the style and boasts about it to all her friends.

I told her that what her friend is doing is similar to a compliment. I told her she shouldn’t be mad but feel flattered.

Instead, she said, “I am pissed!”

In recent months, my daughter has become quite the “uber-fashionista”. She has always had her own sense of style and is very aware of fashion and what goes well with what. She is very thoughtful in selecting her wardrobe and bases the choice on a number of variables.

It has been her practice to always want try on clothes, shoes, purses, makeup…whenever my wife and I are in a clothing store or at the mall.

On a recent trip down south for March Break, we had a few rainy days and wound up visiting the very big mall there or checked out one of the many fashion discount stores nearby. These are fashion meccas to my daughter.

She loves to try on shoes and typically goes for the garish and highest heel possible. On her little feet, it looks slightly ridiculous and comical. But the part that scares me the most is when she puts them on, stands up and begins to strut her stuff, pretending she is a model parading down the cat walk. She literally, “has it going on”.

Where did she learn these moves? Certainly her mom and I didn’t teach them to her. Her older sister doesn’t have the time of day for her so it can’t be her. Where did she pick them up?

So, she is pissed with her friend for copying every single thing she wears or has. First it was a cell phone. My daughter got one in the summer because of her need to communicate with us when she walks home from school. Well, her friend got a Blackberry and tried to “one up” her. We got my kid a new pair of Converse while on vacation (powder blue), her friend got a pair in purple. She wore a jean jacket to school one day…her friend wore a new one the very next day.

Monkey see, monkey do.

I reminded my daughter of her uniqueness…that it didn’t really matter what she wore because there is not another living person on the face of the planet who is anything like her. She is a one of a kind.

I reminded her that she has her own unique style and no one can take that away from her. This part I know. In fact, my daughter goes through several wardrobe changes before finalizing on what she will ultimately wear to school. She usually changes into something else after school…only creating more laundry for my wife and I to tackle. It doesn’t even matter if its really dirty…its easier to toss into the laundry hamper then to fold neatly and put away.

Yes, my daughter is a clothes horse with an obsession for style….and she is barely 11!

My last piece of advice concerning her copy cat friend was to simply ignore her. Let her do her own thing. In the end, it was my daughter who had the original fashion vision. So long as what she wears is clean and is suitable for the weather, I say, “go for it”.

I think its fantastic that my daughter has a clear sense of who she is and that she has developed her own sense of style. She is confident in her choices and in her skin. She is keenly aware of style and its aesthetic and will probably take this skill and apply it in some way professionally when she is older. Some days its a bit “out there”…but who cares?

If it makes her happy and confident in her own skin…all I can really say is, “you look fab!”

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About I'm Just A Dad

Stephen Gosewich is just a Dad (he is a former Enlightened Male but decided to change the name because when you search Enlightened Male, "other...wink, wink" are displayed. He spends his days during the week as a working stiff. At all other times, he just enjoys hanging out with his best friend and wife and their two very active and inspiring daughters.
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