Kids are reflective of prevailing taste in their age group. They want to dress alike and wear the same brands with the same logos. In this day and age, everything made for them is being licensed and trademarked, especially if it is based on a certain celebrity or animated cartoon. Kids want to be sure they are getting the real thing, no matter what the cost. A case in point are those expensive sneakers kids wear to school—and wear out too fast. It is a lost cause to try to convince kids to be more individual when there is so much peer pressure. If a child stands out in a pack, it may or may not be a good thing. If the child is confident and strong about their identity, they can be the one to start a new trend. So there is actually a way around the let’s copy each other rule. The popular kids know this only too well. They can get away with wearing different tee shirts or shoes and still gain admiration.
I am one of those mothers who is not in complete agreement with the copycat syndrome. I have always made things for my children and tried to be creative with their looks. I have been told that it is a losing battle, but there was a time when it didn’t hold true. I was looking for new backpacks for school and wanted something unique and creative. I searched online knowing that what is in stores is same old same old. Basically you can buy the shell in the fabric you want, say denim, faux leather, heavy cotton, or corduroy. You select the size of the backpack and the color and fabric of the lining. It could be a print or plain. Then there are dozens of ways to specify zippered or snap pockets inside and out so the child has segregated storage to keep things orderly and arranged. Finally you select the type of strap you want and if it is to be adjustable. Once you have made your choices, you are the artist who designs the rest. This is my forte. I keep scraps of fabric all over the place to be used for such occasions. I can make appliques and quilt effects and just use my imagination so the front and back of the bag are different. I try to use a theme that suits the child who will be carrying the backpack. It must be age appropriate, colorful, and fun.
Knowing how kids are criticized these days for being different, I was delighted when my child came home from school with the new hand-decorated backpack and spoke of the lavish praise it received. Creativity wins the day, not uniformity. We have to change our thinking about dressing alike. Other kids mentioned that they wanted one and asked where they could be found. They wanted to bring things to me to use in the decoration like sports logos and celebrity memorabilia. I have a new business in the work, I see.