I was always a little different to the other kids around me. I was never interested in becoming popular, I never got into the ‘girlie’ stuff that my friends were doing, I was, and still am, quite happy with my own company. My eldest child is a lot like me in this way, I’m sure he is known around our area as ‘the kid with the dreadlocks’. He is not interested in what others think of him, he is not interested in becoming a ‘cool’ kid, he is happy within his own skin and I totally admire this of him. High school is not easy and can become a ground for bullying, teasing and harassing, yet I know that my child is stronger than those who have to pick on others in order to make themselves feel worthwhile. Don’t get me wrong, in the past we have had incidents of physical harassment and we looked at him changing schools, he did not want to and presented a persuasive argument not to do so.
When people talk to me about my son’s hair and I mention that I was the one who locked it, they just don’t know whether to believe me, perhaps they are expecting a reaction along the lines of “One day I’m just going to shave it all off”? He hasn’t always had this freedom with his hair, during his primary school years it was kept in a short back and sides manner. When I look back on photos of my son before his hair was locked I am so glad that he has his dreads – it’s what makes him him.
Children, teenagers and adults need to express themselves through their own style. Our clothes and the way we wear them can tell so much about who we are. My daughter hasn’t worn a dress for over 9 months, and only ever wears one when it is her birthday celebration. I gave up buying dresses for her – it’s simply not her style at present. I don’t want to appear all superficial and I know that we shouldn’t judge a person by what they are wearing, but sometimes our style and how we wear things can tell others so much about us. I know over the years I have worn many different styles, ranging from the spooner type in high school, the athlete when I was at Uni, the RM Williams type when we lived in the country, the hippie when we were staying in Byron Bay. I think these days I am a combination of all these types including the daggy mum who won’t get out of the car in the morning because I still have my Ugg Boots on!
All my children wear a uniform to their schools, and I also have a few shirts that can be regarded as ‘uniform’, I am all for individuality but I am also all for showing pride in your school/workplace/team. We show this pride by wearing our uniforms proudly, making sure that they are clean and presentable, and although all the other students are wearing the same, you can tell which students have pride in their school and which students wear their uniform simply because it is school rules.
Next time you get dressed and do your hair, ask yourself, what do these clothes say about me, my attitude to life and my attitude to others?