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Back-to-school fashion show

September 6, 2012 - Jodelle Greiner
There’s a commercial I’ve seen lately that bothers me.

It’s a back-to-school themed ad with a bunch of very stylishly dressed kids riding the bus all nervous and checking their hair and straightening their clothes. They get off the bus and walk the catwalk into school complete with model spins and twirls, adoring people (parents) checking out what they’re wearing the whole way.

Really? Is that how we want kids to picture back-to-school?

Back-to-school shopping has been around for a long time. Obviously, the kids need new school supplies — pens, pencils, tablets — that are appropriate for the classes they will take. New clothes are definitely in line, as well. Most kids grow over the summer and what they were wearing when school ended probably doesn’t fit anymore or won’t by Christmas, so they need new duds. Even the older kids who are done growing can use some new outfits to replace worn-out stuff or get ready for a new weather season.

My objection to this ad is the emphasis on back-to-school as a fashion show, like that’s the main reason for kids to go: show off their new wardrobe and check out what everyone else is wearing and make snarky comments about how cool or uncool every outfit is.

Back-to-school is for education. Let’s put the emphasis back where it belongs: in the classroom and on learning — not on what the kids are wearing.


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