I've always had a talent crush on S.J.P. Somewhere around the Square Pegs and Footloose era, it became clear to me that—should we meet—S.J.P. and I would be
instant civilian/celebrity besties. By the time Sex And The City came around, I felt like
I knew her. S.J.P. seems like one of us; a normal girl, raising her kids, one Fendi
handbag at a time.
But when I saw this photo of her and James Wilke (I can never remember where I put
my keys, so don't ask me why I know the name of Sarah Jessica's oldest kid), I couldn't
help but speak up. Because in addition to wanting to tell Sarah Jessica that she tends to
overuse the word "lovely" she's also allowed her first-born (James Wilke, remember?) to
leave the house in a Very. Stupid. Hat. This presents a Very. Big. Problem.
Photograph by StarTracksPhoto
Prior to parenting, I winced when I'd see babies taken out of the house in what could best
be described as "pajamas." "That baby is eight days old already," I'd think to myself, "Why
can't they give him some real clothes?" Totally clueless to the fact that real
clothes should only be put on humans who don't poop every four-and-a-half seconds.
So I never left the house without dressing my kid in, what I thought, was head-to-toe
fabulousness. As a first-time parent, I viewed any excursion as an opportunity for anyone (read: they didn't have to be living) to tell me how fantastic (read: gorgeous) my kid was. When I took him along on a doctor's appointment at the young age of twelve weeks, this outing would be no different. I picked out an
adorable orange t-shirt with a white-collared polo peeking through, amazing camouflage
pants (the zipper and buttons were sooooo cute) and a newsboy cap that looked super stylish even when covering a good portion of my newborn's face.
When my doctor walked in he took one look at the baby, surveyed his outfit, and said,
"Who did that to him?" Five years later, I'm still horrified to think of my twelve-week-old looking like he was at a casting call for Newsies: Beverly Hills wearing a hat so
big it was perfect for everything but breathing.
We've all had our bad fashion moments. Old photos from my life show one Glamour "don't" after another. While I've had my share of fashion mishaps, at least they reflect poorly only on me.
When a child wears something stupid, onlookers never think, "That kid is wearing
something stupid." They think, "That child has a very mean mother."
Unless your child is a carnie or a clown, don't put him in stupid clothes. Someone
might ask, "Who did that to him?" and you'll be forced to answer, "Me." And if you are Sarah Jessica Parker, your son's stupid hat will be immortalized for all time between the pages of Us magazine, and carbon copied on the Internet for the rest of his life. As if his dating life won't be hard enough, try overcoming being seen strutting about town wearing a hat that is in serious need of Viagra.
THE TRUTH IS:
Just because a kid asks
to wear something stupid—like a flaccid hat—doesn't mean you have to let him. Sure, it's
better than a piercing or a tattoo of Superman, but not by much. Stupid clothes don't just
make our kids look stupid, they make our kids look really stupid. Which makes us look
stupid. Or blind.
THE ADVICE S.J.P. DIDN'T ASK FOR:
All of our children are going to go through various phases of "expressing themselves"
and "carving their own identities." This will involve dumb t-shirts, unfortunate music,
and a lot of dumb hats. Children should absolutely be allowed to express themselves and
carve their own identity, just not in public. And especially not in front of the paparazzi.