Image credit: Pinterest
I’ve been looking at a lot of beautiful children’s places/playrooms on Instagram recently.
Man, they’ve changed since I was a girl! They’re just so darned perfect & well put together. So neat. So just so …. ‘just so’.
I keep expecting an actual Unicorn to appear out of the perfectly concealed flush wall storage and gallop round the room with a gleaming golden C3PO in a cowboy hat and chaps on its back.
It sounds flippant but there is seriousness behind it.
We hear every day of the Instagram generation feeling the pressure to be glamourous and gorgeous – from Love Island to Boden catalogues they are bombarded with visions of impossible perfection.
It reminds me of the story of The Red Shoes where a young woman is so seduced by the beautiful perfect shiny red shoes that she must have them. Yet when she puts them on they take her over and dance her into a state of absolute exhaustion.
Image credit: The Red Shoes
In the oldest versions of this story the remedy for this is for her to make her own version of red shoes, which she stitches together from scraps of red cloth she collects herself.
These are not the idealized shiny patent stuff of the glamour footwear: they are humbler and imperfect but much more authentic, made from the real material of her personal experience.
They will not take her over and dance her to death because they truly belong to her.
In a modern context I think of it like exploring the world through mucking about with tangible things rather than through a screen.
And I like this idea much better.
A while ago Persil took it up with their ‘Dirt is Good’ campaign. Instead of presenting a spotless, sanitized version of childhood, they went with the idea that getting messy was creative, fun and very good for kids’ confidence.
They put their money where their mouth was, too, and did a ton of research with proper academics to prove it. You can read about it here https://www.persil.com/uk/dirt-is-good/real-play/why-do-we-think-dirt-is-good.html
So this week we're keepin' it real. Once messy, creative, playfull room at a time.