I remember this one time during a Christmas carnival at school, my mom had managed to put me in layers of clothes, just so I wouldn’t end up sick. To be cared is a nice feeling. It doesn’t feel like it when you’re nine, and you look like a burrito with hands. At that point, it wasn’t even about how I looked. It was more about the immobility that came with wearing layers of sweaters. Imagine a kid trying to move around in three sweaters, two lowers and two socks.
Now that I think of it, a lot of parents did that. It was like parenting 101 – to do things out of concern. The infamous turtleneck comes to mind. We all had one, hated it, and still ended up having to wear it. Mine still haunts me. It’s also funny that nobody cared that it was scratchy and suffocating. Parents just wanted us to have them, because “sardi nahi lagni chahie.”
The kids not wearing turtlenecks no more under their costumes…we losing recipes.— Maura Chanz (@maurachanz) November 1, 2023
Then there was this constant weird habit where we were forced to layer our ethnic clothes with random sweaters. They didn’t match, they didn’t even fall in similar colour schemes, and somehow our parents still made sense of it. This was when they were wearing something nice, and we looked like fashion disasters. This weird layering was so bad that Diet Sabya could’ve written long pieces on us, and they would make sense. Going back, I cannot not think of how even constantly saying no to these fashion blunders, didn’t make my parents stop from doing them.
*indian mums layering their kids clothes in winter* https://t.co/XiTJydJGAh— Tasleema Tar Mahomed (@TasleemaTM) May 30, 2020
I still get nightmares of that plastic headband that came with spikes. My mom used to think that it made me look cute. The only thing is, she could SEE the spikes on it, and she still wanted me to put it each time we went out. At this point I’m not even sure if I looked cute, or if it was just my mom sourcing her anger to the hairband. Parents are weird people, and I can’t imagine doing this to a kid. I know I would do it, eventually – put them in something they don’t like, but I can’t IMAGINE doing it. I’m only human.
A colleague reminded, “There were these net-textured dresses which used to be very uncomfortable. I was always put in them during festivals, even when I complained.” As kids, we certainly didn’t have any control over our lives, but the blatant ignorance is weirdly funny. Clearly, concern came out in weird ways for our generation. It also speaks so much of the trust issues that our parents pile on us. We’d tell them that something didn’t feel or look nice and the only reply was, “Aisa kuchh nahin hai, peheno isse.”
I'm old enough to remember when kids clothes only came in itchy.— UGLY MF (@Mr_Alexius) December 16, 2021
It’s funny, maybe a little sad, and still, a lot itchy. But it’s how our parents cared, and I never knew that generation gap could be funny. Who knew wearing a turtleneck would turn me into this paranoid person with constant trust issues?