Full disclosure here: I have absolutely no experience in being a mother to a Fancy Nancy. But I have learned a few things from being on the other end of the equation. You see, I was a Fancy Nancy and my mom was. . . not. She was always feminine and lovely; but most definitely not fancy. I’m only realizing now how difficult that must have been for her at times.
I am the mother to two boys and one little girl- who at 16 months hasn’t quite decided to be fancy or a tomboy or somewhere in between. But, I hope and pray that I will welcome her style and personality with the same grace that my mother welcomed mine.
When I was growing up, my mom was casual and classy. She wore very little makeup, did little with her hair and wore simple clothes and jewelry. I, on the other hand- well! At five, I was braiding my own hair and styling my own outfits. I loved wearing a pink sock with a purple shoe on one foot and a purple sock with a pink shoe on the other. I liked to wear rings on every finger and if there was glitter or fringe or rhinestones I wanted them all! So, here are a few tips I have for mothers raising fancy girls, from the experience of a girl growing up fancy.
1. Let your fancy girl be!
Mommas, you have to have limits. No pajamas out of the house, neat, well fitting, weather appropriate clothes for school, and formal clothes for church; these were the rules in my house growing up. But within those boundaries, I had a lot of freedom to be my fancy self. I know that my mom must have cringed at some of the outfits I chose to wear to school, and probably giggled a little at some of my more creative hairstyles, but she never did so outwardly- and I love her for that.
2. Buy her things you know SHE will like rather than things YOU wish she would like.
I have a picture of me on my seventh birthday wearing an outfit my mom bought me. The shirt has black fringe, red rhinestones, large checkered hearts and a front tie. There may have been some glitter involved as well. I don’t remember. I get choked up looking at that picture because it is such a beautiful example of my mom loving me rather than trying to change me. She must have hated that shirt. She must have wondered if I would ever outgrow my penchant for everything gaudy or if I would hit 30 dressing like a drag queen. But she let me be- God give me such courage!
3. Let your daughter watch you/help you get dressed up on the rare occasion that you do.
I remember a couple of times watching my mom as she got ready to go on a date with my dad, and those memories are magical. I can hear the music playing on her cd player as she put rollers in her hair, smoothed on her red lipstick and slipped into her simple but elegant dress. I loved every minute of it, laying on her bedroom floor, and I remember feeling in those moments as though maybe mommy and I weren’t so different after all.
4. Let her make you fancy!
This one, I have to admit, was a dream left unfulfilled until I was in my 20s. But I always, ALWAYS wanted my mom to let me pick her outfit and jewelry then do her hair and makeup. I’m sure she didn’t understand how very much I wanted to do this or she would have let me, but nothing would have made me happier! You don’t have to go anywhere, just let your daughter express her creativity-on you! Just ask yourself: how much permanent damage can she really do? On second thought, it may be better to just not think about that!
Mom, I forgive you for not letting me style you – really. No, really! And I understand now that it wasn’t always easy or comfortable for you to let me follow my own wacky ideas of what looked good. But thank you for patiently loving me through them all. And to the momma reading this who is currently raising a Fancy Nancy – take heart. I am now 30 and I ALWAYS wear matching shoes. I generally avoid glitter, rhinestones and fringe too. Make the effort to celebrate your daughter’s uniqueness even when it makes you cringe a little (only on the inside)! She may not understand the sacrifices you’re making now, but she will look back and love you for them later.