Letter from the editor: August!


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The Independent Online

August! How are you and the children getting on? Teens, how are you and the olds?

Are they recognising your inalienable school-holiday right to lie in bed ’til noon? Remember when you were small, and they would moan at you for getting up at 6am? You can’t win. Now, you’re getting the full “why are you stuck inside on Facebook when the weather is so gorgeous?” Sigh, when is it that we all turn into our parents?

Perhaps they are turning into you? There was an article in the Daily Mail last week about a mother who “borrowed” her daughter’s clothes habitually. It used to be the other way round. That was when 40-somethings were really old. But we all tried our parents’ shoes, jackets or hats at some stage didn’t we? When we so wanted to be like them. Then, suddenly, we desperately wanted to be like anyone else, and wouldn’t be seen dead in their clothes – unless for fancy dress.

I see this in letters to i about our fashion pages – especially Saturday’s “i like your style – real clothes worn by real people”. The only criticism we get about them (except that the clothes are too expensive), is that the people featured are too young – as if under-25s are somehow “not real” too. We take these photos on high streets. We don’t give the photographer an age brief. We just say “stylish people”. Last Saturday it was shorts-wearers. Have you seen the average 45-year-old male in shorts? Fashion pages are supposed to be aspirational!

Anyway. Back to that Mail article, based on recent chatter about mothers treating their daughters as style models. It had pictures of mum, 43, and daughter, 14, in the same outfits. I can only imagine how humiliated the daughter still is. Hope mum was paid well – she’ll need it for the years of therapy ahead.