Do you fight the name-brand battle with your tween? Does she covet the clothes of another girl at school? Do you hear, "Mom… I have NOTHING to wear!" Even though her closet is stuffed with dozens of outfits? If so, you may have a style-savvy tween who is caught up in fashion.
It's easy for girls to become fashion-crazy and get drawn into the latest trends and popular name brands. A common belief among tween girls is that if they wear certain clothing, they will become more popular or accepted within social circles. Peer pressure from mean girls typically fuels this belief system.
In the December 2007 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, researcher Deborah Roedder John, found that
A young person’s level of materialism is directly connected to their self-esteem.
“When self-esteem drops as children enter adolescence, materialism peaks. Then by late adolescence, when self-esteem rebounds, their materialism drops.” Remember, Mom? What did you HAVE to have that was all the rage when you were in junior high?
While shopping for trends and cool designers isn’t a bad thing, feeling like we must shop in those stores might be a sign that our value comes from how other people see us rather than how God sees us. Ask questions to find out where your daughter's heart is on the issue. Does she covet the clothing of another friend? What does she like or dislike about her own wardrobe? Where does she feel her value comes from? Does she think a pair of Justice jeans or a Hollister shirt would make her more popular?
If you notice a branding obsession beginning in your daughter, it's a good clue to start talking with her about her confidence and self-esteem. If she feels like she must go along with the crowd, she's forgotten a powerful truth:
"And so I insist - and God backs me up on this - that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They've refused for so long to deal with God that they've lost touch not only with God, but with reality itself."
Ephesians 4:17-18 (MSG)
Remind your daughter that first and foremost, our acceptance and status come from the blood of Jesus and the crown He has placed on our heads. Keep your daughter grounded in scriptures that affirm her status as a beautiful, chosen, unique Princess. (1 Samuel 16:7, Psalm 34:10, Psalm 139:13-14, 1 Peter 3:3-4, Colossians 3:12-14, and Proverbs 31:30).
Focus on the things that make her truly beautiful. 1 Timothy 2:10 says women are to make themselves beautiful by the good things they do. Does she spend time helping her brother with his homework? Does she pick up the newspaper for the neighbor? Bake cookies for friends going through a hard time? Come up with some ideas for a fun service project to do together, and build her up to God's way.
If you're going to entertain the idea of name-brand, trendy (and modest, of course!) fashion in your daughter's closet, here are a few things to consider:
- Thrift stores, Plato's Closet, and other consignment stores are a great places to find bargains on name-brand clothes. You never know what you will find with the price tag still attached at much less than the original cost!
- Ross, TJ Max, and Marshall's carry name brands at discounted prices.
- Outlet stores are your friend.
- Visit the store and hit the sales rack first! Who knows what $4 steal you will find in the back of American Eagle or Justice?
Our True Girl theme verse:
"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32
Mom, the best way to teach your daughter to live like an authentic True Girl is to live like an authentic True Woman. And to do that, you've got to get your life lined up with the Truth of the Bible. Listen to Dannah Gresh every weekday on Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's Revive Our Hearts podcast. The program features biblical teaching, interviews that offer godly advice, and other opportunities to abide in God's Word.