Gwyneth Is Every Mom Worried About Her Preteen's Wardrobe

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Gwyneth Paltrow talks about her worries when it comes to daughter Apple’s clothing and make-up choices

Celebrities. They’re just like us. Except Gwyneth Paltrow, who is usually nothing like us. This time, however, the Oscar-winning actress has something in common with regular people. Like most moms, she’s worried about raising her preteen daughter, including what clothes and make-up she’s allowed to wear.

According to The Daily Mail, when speaking at the China Exchange in London, England last week, Paltrow admitted, “It is concerning because I think there is a very denigrating set of imagery and behaviors happening. Women are so powerful and so capable and to have it inferred that you have to generate yourself in any way to be likable is abhorrent to me. With my daughter I try to find a balance of being an example for her as a woman who works and tries not to go out in public naked.”

What she’s referring to is the way women and girls dress and not wanting her 12-year-old daughter Apple to feel that she needs to wear revealing clothing to feel empowered. She says, “I am her mum but at the same time I want her to express herself. Sometimes it is hard when she is wearing something really, really short and a lot of make-up and I have to resist the instinct as I want her to experiment and find her own identity.”

And for possibly the only time in my life so far, I’m going to say same, Gwyneth. So much same. My daughter is almost nine and entering fourth grade this fall, and toward the end of this school year, she developed a sudden penchant for tiny shorts and let’s say, brief dresses. So far, I have control as I hold the purse-strings, but like Paltrow, I also want to allow my daughter freedom of expression and creativity in her wardrobe. I remember that being very important to me when I was around her age and feeling angry and hurt when my mother tried to stifle it.

But at the same time, I am her mother.

While I will never say that I look down on women and young girls dressed in short skirts with lots of make-up, there is a certain age where those style choices feel a little more palatable to me as a mom. I’m not sure yet what that age is, but I figure I’ll know when my daughter gets there. For now, I don’t want her going out in shorts that hardly cover her bottom and I don’t let her wear more than a light lip gloss in public. She’s allowed to experiment with make-up at home and knows that wearing it to school is a privilege that will come as she gets older.

Raising young women in a time where social media likes are a powerful currency means that our kids are probably looking at things a bit differently than we did growing up, and that’s OK. It’s our job as parents to use our own barometer and help guide them the best we can while allowing them some modicum of freedom in their personal style. It’s comforting to know that even a lifestyle guru like GOOP has the same struggles as the rest of us when it comes to raising her kids. It sounds like she’s doing what we’re all doing — the best we can.