When speaking with teenage and pre-teen girls, the most popular and sometimes most difficult things for me to discuss are…
1. how to dress
2. how to stay clean (hygiene)
HOW TO DRESS
It can be difficult to influence the way a young girl dresses because the world is mostly telling her to wear the tightest and most revealing clothes she can find. However, finding acceptable attire that makes a young woman look respectable is possible. The trends have shifted since the early 2000s, but it seems that they are stagnate right now. For the past 8 years or so, it has been all about skinny jeans and leggings. I can barely stand either! It is an easy way to say, “I don’t really care about how I look, so I am going to buy what is on display in the stores because it is easier to just blend in.” Honestly, when shopping, it is hard to find a nice pair of jeans that are NOT labeled skinny. The most popular item for women right now is leggings and blue jean button up shirts that are priced way too high! Come on, you can get one from the thrift store for 3 bucks! You should never buy clothes unless they are on sale! Yes, I said it.Young girls are always growing so why spend loads of money on things they will grow out of next month? Why spend loads of money, period?
Check out this blog on thrifting. You can do a youtube search for thrift store hauls to see how people transform thrifted clothes into masterpieces. Adopt styles that are colorful and vibrant instead of revealing and dull.
STUCK ON STALE
I do not desire to tell a young woman to stop wearing what is trendy. My initiative is to encourage her to find the type of clothes that best fit her and to stop buying what is “hott.” It is not hott when everyone is wearing the same uniform. Isn’t that just like being in school? I always hear young people complain about school uniform. So why buy the same things that everyone else has? The same shoes, the same fake long hair, the same shirts, the same jeans- the same style! Try something different and wear your own hair young lady! This is what I have seen the constant use of hair weave do to a woman’s hair.
I tell girls to try to listen to whats inside of them. Go with what’s natural and leave the fake in the store. A good place to start is to ask their parents to take them to the thrift stores, Salvation Army’s, and Goodwills. There, they can find unique items that speak more to their personalities. It is also cheaper and will allow them to have 3 shirts instead of 1. Sometimes variety is good.
It can also be difficult to explain to a young lady that Air Jordan’s (the tennis shoe) are not really designed for a woman’s foot. These shoes look hideous on women to me. They are too masculine. This is just my opinion. The girls always show resistance to this when we talk about it. Some listen, some continue to ask for these expensive ugly things. It may just be something they have to mature out of.
HOW TO STAY CLEAN
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Yes, we have all smelled an unpleasant young woman before! We have seen weave tracks, and plaque on teeth, and dirty bra straps. We have seen clothes that are too small, what appears to be ash on ankles, necks, faces, and feet. We’ve seen nail polish that has gone bad 3 weeks ago, we have smelled bad breath, saw body parts falling out of clothes… these ARE ALL THINGS THAT SIGNIFY BAD HYGIENE. You have to be careful when teaching this to a young person because many of the girls I talk to, have not been taught how to be sweet young ladies. By “sweet” I mean smelling good, feeling good, talking good, looking good.
Hygiene always starts inward and it oozes outward. What you are on the inside determines how you look. This starts with KNOWLEDGE. Put a book in a young girls hand. Visit your local library and request books on “teaching young girls about personal hygiene.”. Talk to them. Address hygiene issues head on. Pull them to the side and talk about it in a passionate way so that they can feel comfortable. Take them to stores like JCPenny’s or Victoria’s Secret where they can get properly measured for bra sizes. Get their feet measured at Famous Footwear or any department store. Buy measuring tape from the dollar store and show them how to measure the width of their hips and the width of their waists so that they can find the proper sized clothing when shopping.
Show them how to shop for sanitary napkins, getting the healthiest brands with the least amounts of bleach and chemicals in them. Tell them how to wash their bodies when bathing. Buy them soaps that won’t irritate their skin and that are sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate free. Give them scented oils that are natural instead of perfumes that are NOT. Many things can fall under this category and it is not easy to talk about it all the time, but you must. Show them how to take care of their own hair instead of funky weave! Girls should be wearing their own hair! Maybe adding a little color would be cool, but that’s it!
Love this girl!
In the end, I like to stick with all homemade and natural products like coconut oil, shea butter, coco butter, olive oil, rosemary oil, aloe vera, etc.
STYLE SUGGESTIONS: TRANSFORMING OLD CLOTHES
I really the It’sMyRayeRaye Channel on Youtube
After looking at these videos, you will come up with many many more ideas!
Peace and love,
Queen Duafe for African Essence