Monday, 26 August 2013


"Well it's kinda like cool but with swag, like xyz has swag, but only swag when he walks, the way he walks, he doesn't dress with swag, I'll show you a photo of swag" - my daughter trying somewhat successfully to explain what swag is.

When I grew up, a swag was a sleeping bag that you rolled out under the stars.

Now it's a style. A fashion statement or way of being or carrying yourself. Like punk, indi (individual), hippie, gothic, metro, hip hop, swag is apparently just another one to add to the list. It's the type of clothes you wear, the way you walk [with attitude], & even talk. It's usually associated with rap artists & the hip hop style of clothing with baggy jeans, exposed Bonds undies, hoodies and hats.

Are we getting close? You know what I mean!

I did laugh as Thoughtful Princess was trying to explain it. She knew what she meant but couldn't articulate it clearly. We were driving to a concert, her & a friend were chatting incessantly when the word, swag popped into the conversation. I was curious to see if my interpretation aligned with what their teenage definition was. It was pretty close.

We are speaking the same language. Gotta check these things, as it changes with such speed. I banned the word 'gay' in our house for quite some time, thinking it was discriminatory towards homosexuals, but quickly learnt that it was just the current trend to describe basically anything that was great to embarrassing or uncool! Everything was gay for a while. Now everyone that's cool has swag!

What about style & fashion for our kids & teens?

We certainly can't dictate what or how they carry themselves, we see them evolve into their own style over the years. Not to box anyone in, but in general terms it's often what our kids are into that to some extent influences their style. For example in our family we have a surfer, a skateboarder & 2 dancers - and pretty much their preference for clothes and style fits broadly into what most of us would think those activities/styles would wear. With one exception, one of our dancers is a hippie {for good or bad she gets that from her mother}!

Confession. My hippie like daughter got in the car yesterday ready for church wearing ripped jeans, a sloppy joe and her ugg boots. I couldn't help but say something. And immediately regretted it. So what if she goes looking a bit casual? But it reflects on me? Am I not a good parent providing nice clothes? "You have so many nice dresses can't you wear one of them"?

I felt this incredible tension as a mother {& by far not the first & only to feel this tension!};

a] wanting her to have more respect for herself and pride to dress up for some occasions and
b] not wanting to make a fuss over clothes, it's really insignificant.

I think on this one I stuffed up. It was about me - feeling embarrassed, not about her comfort or having space to find her own style.

I listened to a gorgeous talk recently on Brene Brown's blog page - a lovely mother describing to her daughter the difference between style and fashion. The link is below, it's well worth a listen....Click on the hyperlink here and scroll down the page to the video of Katherine Centre reading her "What you now know" essay.

Cherishing different styles
Cherishing the nuances of language
Cherishing the naturalness of my four

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