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Baby Boy Clothes | Baby Girl Clothes | Boys Clothes PowerPoint Presentation
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Baby Boy Clothes | Baby Girl Clothes | Boys Clothes

Baby Boy Clothes | Baby Girl Clothes | Boys Clothes

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Baby Boy Clothes | Baby Girl Clothes | Boys Clothes

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  1. Mother'sRecollectionForTheBabyGirlsClothesInUK Perhapsthemother's recollectionspeaks adegreeof identificationwiththe babygirl clothes- adesire that she,the mother,mightpartakeof thenewborn'sinnocence; thatingivingbirth shetoo willhave beenreborn, grantedthegift notjustof innocencebuta fresh start.Morespecifically, theimmaculate' mayberead backtothebaby's veryconception;asanexpressionofmy mother'swish tohavebeenmy onlybegetter,formetohavebeen hersalone. Thereferencetomynieces,mybrothers'daughtersin effectnegatingtheroleinmyconceptionofthemaniKnewasmyfather,whowas notthefatherofthe mybrothers. Keepingupappearancescouldnothavebeeneasy,though. Frommyearliestyears, perhaps rightfrom myinfancy, bothmyparentsworked outsidethehome.WhenI wasverysmall,they shared responsibilityforthecleaningthepublicareasof theblockof flats wherewelived andofwhich myfatherwascaretaker. Theyalsoworkedtogetherinmyfather'sphotography business,andboth had jobs asbusconductors.WhileI donotknowwhether thesejobs weresimultaneous or consecutive,nor indeedwhethertherewereanyperiodswhenmymother was actuallyathome full-time,itseems clear thata lotof hardworkwasbeingdonetoearnthemeans tokeep thehouseholdgoing;andthatthere musthavebeenlittleinthewayofleisuretimeformymothertopursuehobbies likedressmaking. Since,However,Babygirlclotheswere"stillontheration",incommonwithmanyothers duringthe yearsof postwar austerityshe wouldsimplyhavehadtofindthetimeto'makedoandmend'. Inthis climate,makingclothesforherself andherbabywasperhaps anecessityasmuchasa hobby. Whatever the case,though, keepingthebaby'immaculateandwellcared for', whileasourceof prideand pleasure,muststillhavecosta gooddealof effort. Hencetheambivalentfeelings of amotherwhoselife andcircumstanceshadbeen, indeedremained, far fromeasytowards ababybornintoaworldwhich held outthe promiseof new opportunitiesforthechildren ofordinaryworkingpeople;ababy, moreover, whoseemedtobetheobjectof allthe loveandattentionthat sheherself hadbeendenied;a baby, nonetheless, who wouldonedaygrowintoawomanin societystillunkindto thoseof hersex. Thus maya mother'sinvestmentsin herbabydaughter, inflected byparticular circumstancesof time, place, cultureandclass, incorporatethe socialwiththe psychic.Thismother's ambivalent identification with her babydaughter alreadycontainsthe seedsofoveridentification,ofdifficultiesof separation. If a daughter figuresforher motherastheabandoned, unloved, childthatshe,themother,oncewas, andin someways remains,howcanmother anddaughter disengagethemselvesfromthese identificationswithoutharm,withoutforfeitureoflove?Howcanmother anddaughter learn to acknowledgethat theyareseparatepeople,torespecttheir differencesfromeachother?Any resolution, itseems,mustcomewithverygreatdifficulty:therewill inevitablycomeamomentwhenit is no longerpossible forthe mothertosustainthefantasyof her daughter astabula rasa,of the daughter's bodyas screenof herown fantasiesof plenitude. Thechildwill onedaystartansweringback, refusingthe mother's gifts,alongwith thevisionof theperfect,immaculate,wellturned out,littlegirl. At this point,matterof appearance,includinggirlsclothes,maywellceasetobe sourceof pleasure for themother, andeven becomea siteof struggle between motheranddaughter.

  2. Youcandress ababygirls clothesisoneof thosestatements, certainlyinthecontextinwhichI quoteit here,whosetruthisassumed to beperfectlyself-evident.It pointstooneoftheobvious andmost important plusesofhavingababygirl clothes. As piece ofconventionalwisdom,it condensesarangeof commonplaceandgenerallyunremarkedculturalassociations betweendressandgender. But italso assertsagooddealmorethanthat,say, thereexistdistinctforms andstylesofdress whicharevery much tied togender. Itimpliesaswellthat theways inwhich weactuallyrelatetogirls clothesandto mattersof appearancegenerallyarea ground, asmuchasanoutcome,of sexualdifference. If,for infantsthemselves,sexualdifferenceishardlyyetan issue, itcertainlyfiguresveryimportantlyin adults attachmentstobabies andveryyoungchildren,often inunconscious andcontradictoryways.Dressinga babygirl clothesupisheldtobeanoccasionof rightful andproperpleasure,andreward, for itsmother; the unspoken corollaryperhaps beingthatwhilea boywillobviouslyhavetobeclothed,this is moreof a functional necessity,andthat todress himup wouldbeinappropriate. Inthis particularsocial, historicalandculturalcontext,atleast,the investmentsina mother dressingaboybabyandgirl baby are assumedtobequitedistinct.Inthiscontextitmaywellbe inadmissibleforamothertoclaim, by wordor deed, anypleasurein dressingalittleboyup,as opposed to merelydressinghim. Forthis in effectwouldbeaconfessionthatshewasdisturbingthenatural andproperorder of genderdifference: makingasissyofhim. Buteven suchaforceful prohibitionas thiscannotaccountfor thepositivepleasureamothermay take indressingupher littlegirl.For themother,the laborof attendingto theappearanceof ababygirls clothes issurelyof averyparticularkind:itiscaughtupin that seriesof investmentsandidentifications atplayingeneral inhercare ofher littledaughter.Dressingupagirls clothesis asociallysanctioned opportunityfor a woman, incaringforthe littlegirlinherself, toloveherself; while atthe sametime providingherwiththeopportunitytodisplay,forthepublicgaze,the praiseworthyqualitiesof anadult whoputstheneedsofothersaboveherown:agoodmother, inotherwords,andthereforea good woman.Inanumberofways, therefore,havingababygirl clothesshecandressupmightbeintensely rewardingfora mother. However,the distinctionsbetween dressinganddressingupontheonehand, andbetween havingandbeingababygirlclothesonthe other,signal areasof potential contradiction, andsoareperhapsworthyof furtherexploration. Dressingupas opposed to meredressingimplies,as has been suggested, amorethanpurelyfunctional attitudetowardsclothes:itpointstotheelement of display, ofperformance,inherentin-certainrelationstodress. Girlsclothesarewhat youputonand take off,andconsequentlyvariousidentitiesmay- sometimesquiteconsciously- becreatedacross the surfaceof dress. Thiselement ofperformanceholdswithinitthepotentialof praisingapartthe gender/dressassociation, andthis inturncandisturbtheorderofgenderdifferencenaturalized in certainclothingstyles. Thenaturalizedorderof genderdifferencerestsonmorethanjustthe forms andstylesof dress,on differencesasitwereinthecontentofclothing:itisaquestionof formsor relationtopersonal appearance moregenerally, totheentirerealmof bodilyadornment.Dressingup - likeits cognate activitiesmakingupanddoingone's hair-suggests a relationof fabrication, construction,production. Herein liesaninterestingparadox: dressingupababyis possible,indeedsociallyacceptable,provided- andbecause-the babyisagirl;whiledressingupwillalsoactuallyproduceanybaby,maleor female, as

  3. feminine. Aslongasonebabyin its girlsclothescouldlookmuch likeanyother, outwardlyvisiblemarks of genderacquire acertainimportance.Inthecontext, dressingupparticipatesintheproductionof gender,whileatthe same timegesturingtowardstheveryartificeof thatproduction. A mother's attentiontotheclothingandgeneral appearanceof ababygirl clothes, then, participatesin the social, cultural, andundoubtedlyalsothepsychical, constructionofgender;specially,ofcourse,of femininity. It fabricatessomethingwearesupposed tobelieveisnatural,alreadythere;andsoreminds us thatfemininityisnotinfacta given, butisa product oflabor. Butin thespecificinstanceofamother dressingupababygirlclothes,thelabor involvedisalsoimbued with particularinvestmentsof desire, fantasyandidentification;with thebodyofthebabyfiguringaspretextfor whatwillbeexperienced as anenjoyable creativity. Inthis sense,thebabygirls clothesbecomesits mother'smuse,itsbodyher canvas,the dressed uplittlegirlhermother'sveryownworkof art:tobelookedat,admired, photographed,andhailedas acredittohermother. Theoftenarduous andtime-consuming workof producingawellturnedoutbabygirl thenbecomesan enditself,itsresult apparent,its usevaluepalpable. This is visibleandunalienatedlabor,whoseproduct bears, for all theworldtosee, thesignatureofitsmaker:indeed, themostsatisfyingsortofwork. The end-productbecomesidentified with,reflectsbackon, theworker herself,the mother,justasit constitutesthe babyasalittlegirl. As,throughthis labor, femininityisproduced inandthrough costume,throughmasquerade,soa mother's investment accruestoher credit. Clothes,astheymake the littlegirl, alsomakethegrown woman.Themother's fantasyof identificationrests uponadegreeof projection,the babyitsobject, itsscreen. Intheprocessesof projectionandidentification,thebabyis fantasized as partofthemother-whocanthen simultaneouslyhave,andbe,thebabygirlsclothes. In bothsenses,the babybecomeshermother's possession, andtheplaywith femininityinvolved in dressingher uppartofthemother'sown involvementwith femininityanditsparadox,its ambiguities anditsmasquerades. Intherespect,the mother's pleasureindressinguphergirls clothesmaynotbeentirelyunalloyed. Asidefromthe possibilitythathercarefor thechildcouldbeanattempttorepair, tocompensatefor, deprivations in herown childhood- initsverynaturea highlyproblematicproject- themothermuston somelevel alsobeaware thatthe femininitysheiscallingforth inthemasquerade ofthedressed-up little girl isnotwithoutitscomplicationsandcontradictions inthe worldbeyondthemother-babydyad. Relatedtothismustbethevirtualinevitabilityto themother's fantasyofoneness with her babygirl comingunraveled:for as thechildgrowsolderthe fantasyof thebabyas thescreen of its mother's desirewillbecomeincreasinglydifficult tosustain. It isherethatthedistinctionbetweenhavingababy girlclothes andbeingachildgirls clothescomesintoplay. MoreInformation@http://www.babyworldboutique.co.uk/girls.html