Growing Up Like A Jamaican – Too Busy Ah Follow Fashion

Is it me or has personal style gotten out of hand?  I can understand self expression but the line between what’s appropriate for school, at home or at work have been completely blurred.  What I fear is that once it’s time for young adults to go out in the real world and support themselves they will not want understand why – from 9 to 5 – they have to tailor their outfits to fit company code.  Here is an excerpt from my book “How To Raise Your Child Like A Jamaican” on this very topic it’s about how my mom put the kibosh on my attempt to follow fashion.


When I was growing up, Madonna, The Mary Jane Girls and Vanity 6 were the hot girl groups.  In high school, I was invited to a friend’s sixteenth birthday party.  As a special treat, my mother bought me my first pair of Italian shoes – black patent leather Bandalinos.  All I needed was the dress, so I scoured my Right On! and Tiger Beat magazines for something to wear and found a dress that Vanity from Vanity 6 was wearing.  It had spaghetti straps and was all lace with a see through skirt.  You couldn’t see the family jewels but you could see her legs almost to her hips.

I showed the dress to my mother and she approved so we went to get it made.  My mother explained to the dressmaker what we needed and added, “We’ll need some material to line the bottom of the dress.”  My face must’ve dropped when I realized I was not going to walk around with my goodies exposed like one of Prince’s protégés because my mother gave me a look that said, “I know you don’t tink you’re going fi walk around with your batty a hang out a door like de woman inna dis magazine?”  I smiled and agreed that the dress needed more coverage. 

Make sure that your children’s clothes are age appropriate.  When your daughter sits down in a skirt if her bare backside hits the seat or your son’s pants are so low you can see his underwear, then you should probably help them re-evaluate their choice of attire.

About the author

Dahlia Welsh