As a cursory glimpse at Monday's "Past Fashion" showed us, parents often dress their kids in ludicrous outfits. Why? Well, the short answer is, cause they can. And, more to the point, cause after the age of 12, they can't. This piece from BBC news' Denise Winterman identifies the basic categories into which such parents fall - horrors like "Matching Outfits" and "Mini-Me" ensembles - and while the Beeb is pretty tactful about these tendencies, we'll break down the translations for ya, after the jump.Matching Outfits: Parents putting siblings in coordinating ensembles is "creating an identity for the family - and managing its public image." Not to mention undermining a child's sense of individuality! There's a reason school uniforms are good for discipline. Translation:The Control Freak. Offender: FLDS families, Captain Von Trapp, Joe Jackson, Four Cohans, The Shaggs Dressing a Child Like Yourself: "The motivation behind such a move comes down to possession and identity..'It's like you are saying they are a chip off the old block. The child is a blank canvas and you are projecting yourself on to them.'" Translation: Total narcissist. Offender: Christmas card families, Katie Holmes, Four Cohans Bygone Fashions: Dressing your children in the clothing of another era "is often about taking a stance against what is perceived to be declining social standards." It can also denote a wish to keep them from growing up too fast. Translation: Delusionals who need to get some Madame Alexander dolls, stat. Offenders: Tasha Tudor, whoever Baby Jane's mother was. Dressing Kids Like Grownups:Putting your kid in designer duds "is often down to a parent's own unfulfilled hopes and dreams." And, 'They are turning the child into what they wanted to be, but usually didn't become.'" Translation: Narcissists with misplaced values, but who want the best (shallow) things for their kids. Offenders:Amanda Wingfield, Mrs. Bennett, most of Hollywood. Gender Extremes:Putting tots only in pink or blue "can come down to trying to control who your child will become when they grow up....'Gender is a big part of this and dressing their child according to gender stereotypes sends out a message about they see them and how they want people to react to them. '" Translation: Latent sexism and homophobia? Or just an excess of Disney movies. Offenders: Larry Birkhead, Cathy Hilton, Barbie and Skipper's mom. What Were Your Parents Thinking? [BBC]
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