Does this set off your internal alarm bells? Planet Awesome Kid is a website that publishes photos of kids wearing cool clothes. Or cute clothes. Basically, kids who look fashionable. Like internationally famous fashion blog The Sartorialist.
Wait, I’ll let them explain it.
On their website’s ‘about’ page, they say:
Planet Awesome Kid is a blog we are dedicating to all the inspiring, amazingly cool children of New York City and the Planet!
These kids are chic, eclectic, funny, organic, smart– in a word, awesome! We just had to photograph them and share their unique sense of fierceness with the world.
We can all learn a lot about true style and inner light from these kids. A child’s sense of self comes shining through in his or her style and what he or she chooses to wear. It is one of the most basic and instinctual ways that children show the world who they are. Whether they’ve dressed themselves or have been dressed by an equally awesome parent, we just love it. Babies, too, can be fashionmaticians!
My name is Julia Samersova. I have been in the fashion industry for close to 20 years, first as a model agent and now as a casting director. My family and I live in Brooklyn, and our mission is to bring you the dopest, freshest, coolest, most awesome kids we run into here on the streets of NYC and beyond!
We’re very excited to show the world the awesomeness we see every day, often in the most unexpected places…. Join us!
Here is our MISSION:
“Planet Awesome Kid” is the premiere kids street style blog dedicated to celebrating the individualism and spirit of children around the world. Our dual mission is to document children’s style and character and at the same time, help those in need by linking up with local and global children-based charities to host kid-centric events.
All “Planet Awesome Kid” activities aim to inspire kids to express themselves through art, music, fashion, photography and other means of creative self-expression. The objective of each event is to raise funds to donate to select children’s charities focused on providing support to underprivileged children and their families.
Basically, when you cut through all the empowering woo-woo words, Planet Awesome Kid solicits people to send in photos of their child and also has photographers who ‘scout’ for kids to shoot in the street (with parents’ permission I assume) like The Sartorialist.
Underneath each photo they publish captions listing the labels of each item the child is wearing. Like this:
And then people comment. Like this:
OK, that’s starting to make me a little squirmy. I’m not big on toddlers in jackets myself. Nor am I big on kids being defined by what they wear and having adults critique it in a public forum. Is that not a little….odd?
Although hang on (she says, giving herself whiplash), how is that different to looking at photos in one of my fave mags, Shop Til You Drop Kids? They’re pictures of kids wearing cute clothes. If it’s a fashion shoot, they’re not even wearing their OWN clothes.
So how is this website worse?
A few people have sent me to this site, assuming I would be outraged about it. I get that sometimes, ever since I got majorly pissed about the Cotton On Kids “They Shake Me” baby t-shirts (wasn’t that a fun day, you can revisit it here if you need a reminder), some people assume I am some kind of moral custodian for kids. Which I am totally not.
In fact, I can’t even decide what I think about this. It would be easy to take the predictable “kids aren’t fashion accessories etc etc” line. And I have to say I’m not all that comfortable with the description of kids as “fierce” when it comes to their style. Jesus. They are not Beyonce.
But it would be disingenous to deny that the way we dress our children is an extension of ourselves. In a way. Sometimes literally so. I can’t tell you how often I accidentally dress one of my children in the same colour as I’m wearing. It’s subconscious.
And the mere act of buying clothes for your kids or picking out what they’re going to wear when they’re not yet old enough to dress themselves, requires a bunch of subliminal decisions to be made about how you wish your child to look. Doesn’t it?
Personally, I’ve always been a bit unsettled by the mini-me approach to kids – I don’t want my little girl to be wearing harem pants and gladiator sandals and leather jackets if that’s what’s featuring in my wardrobe at the moment. Personally, I don’t like little kids dressed in black. There’s plenty of time to be an emo or a goth when you hit your teens, surely.
However, I won’t pretend that I don’t care how my kids look (although I’m stuffed if I can ever make any of them wear what I want them to…even the toddler….he rebels by spilling food on everything – just like mummy!)
What do you think? Does this site and the idea of fashionable kids make you uncomfortable? If you have kids, how do you decide what they wear and if you don’t, what’s your view of the kids you see?