As we walked by one of the kiosks, a young man stopped her and asked if she went to ABC Private School – he recognized the uniform as the uniform of his all-boys high school alma mater’s sister school. He was indeed correct – except my daughter is in the sister school’s middle school.
Maybe it’s the “Asians don’t look their age” stereotype or maybe it’s because she was in uniform or maybe because she’s tall for her age but as she said yes and I gave my best KDS (Korean Death Stare) to this young man and gently guided her down the hall, I had a mix of remembering the feelings of being mistaken as older at that age and what it may mean for my daughter..and me as her mom.
With the faster-than-the-speed-of-light economic growth in China, and young people flooding in from rural areas to the bustling cities in search of jobs and opportunities, a saying has developed about this group of new-to-the-city young women: The software doesn’t match the hardware. Kind of creepy when you think about it. Here’s a young woman in search of opportunity and she has been reduced to an electronic, a cliché, because she’s attractive but innocent/naïve.
We here in the United States are guilty of perpetuating some of that concept, too. Look around: magazine covers, tv shows, music . . . Have you tried shopping for “cute” girl clothes recently? Listened to the actual lyrics of some popular songs. Next time you’re at the grocery store take the time to glance over the covers of magazines specifically designed for your teen!
My fellow moms and I complain about the lack of appropriate clothing, the pressures our girls face to wear make-up, shave their legs and have first dates/first kisses, etc. And because many of these concepts were foreign to my mother, the "right" way to navigate through them are in many ways foreign to me.
Do you remember the first time you were mistaken as being older than you really were (as a 'tween/teen)?
Angie in Texas is practicing her KDS for all future boys...