My interest in the nonsensical writings on baby t-shirts goes back to the moment I started reading, in my favorite pyjamas: the print on the front depicted a bunk bed occupied by various animals, and the writing that I read endlessly. times in the mirror without being able to translate it, Do not disturb where the sheep (instead of sleeping). I ended up translating: don’t disturb those who count sheep. It’s a common story: In the 1980s, we were all living behind fictitious hockey team logos and misspelled colleges.
In college, my cartoonist friend ended up, to support himself, drawing in an intimate basement fashion house where dozens of girls rejected by the fashion and design world designed graphics and fonts for sloppy pajamas. those that are then sold in flea markets. There were no computers connected to the Internet, and in the middle of the room there was an old English-Italian dictionary, which the young women again got up to browse to understand how to say “sunny day,” perhaps concluding that they said “the day of the sun”. The T-shirts with the ungrammatical writings therefore did not come only from China, we discovered amusingly by going through the sketches of the sad factory.
In my adult life, the only indication I always gave to relatives was: no t-shirts with the words written for children, no rocks like a dinosaur, no Boston baseball league, Route 66 prohibited. mistaken for members of a Pennsylvania softball team, or driving with misspellings printed on them. More than anything else, if the T-shirt for adults had long since morphed into an affirmation of identity, often of a crude spirit, I did not understand the point of turning infantile clothes into posters, since surely if children could have spoken through their clothes would not have said stupid things like “wild and free”.
Lately, though, I’ve noticed a new and unanimous trend in the nonsense world of children’s fashion writers. The sentences have all become motivational. Be happy go lucky, said the T-shirt of a little girl I crossed every day on the waterfront in my holiday town. She never changed, and I began to follow her: I wanted to understand if, as is often the case with those who spread self-encouraging slogans on social media, the adults who followed her betrayed signs of mental fragility. Over the next few days I repeatedly crashed the slides where, with the excuse of following my son, I was able to bring the minors close enough to focus on the writing on their clothes. Next to a flamingo, on the breast of a toothless child, was the invitation: be the best version of yourself. Time for friendly feelingsanother diapered infant was encouraged, with a rather aggressive temperament and an equally neurotic mother. It is still: Born to be kindroared the shirt of a slipper trying to push my son off the merry-go-round, and in danger of succeeding as I was too busy transcribing mottos into the notes on the phone. Joy in my mindconfirmed the sundress of a poor sulky girl, and then there was: Follow your dreams with good vibrationsa collage of rumors likely consisting of an alien that had picked up the signal from planet Earth but received only bits and pieces.
The line of autogenic training, on the other hand, speaks of the inadequacy of us adults who put these talking rags in the cart: I am enoughwhined the T-shirt of a little fat girl who looked after her brothers; it is still Do your own thing! And Toucan does it, printed next to a confident toucan, in a vague cloud of meaning between Steve Jobs, Obama and the support teacher. The stress of the boomer commuter who posts memes on Mondays cowered behind the writing Floss like a boss – laid in sequins – Full steam ahead And I live for the weekends: slogans that speak of children who are proudly sent to libertarian schools, but filled like buckets of thoughts by corporatists with the cult of success. Among many, many surf vibes Californians hastily imported to the Adriatic, there were also those who had insignificant logos for their age, but hopeful or ridiculously rebellious for their parents: Ramones, Nasa, Metallica, Harvard, UCLA, Rolling Stones, Doors.
In any case, the highest peak of motivational fashion is where the identity construction of the three-year-old intersects with rosewater activism: Make your voice heard or Dreaming about the future. I discovered that I am from the H&M Role Models line, which is inspired by Fridays for Future and dedicates an entire landing page to the project with profiles and videos of boys and girls from all over the world engaged in their environmental fight: minors all with agents and caché, victims not only of a corporate greenwashing operation of the brand that recently introduced the “Conscious” line, but above all of a generic language, increasingly emptied of meaning, forced into the mouths of babies who don’t have TikTok yet, but I’m on YouTube with the plastic tank top that says No planet B. Recently I read an article that some fashion designers could appeal to in an attempt at redemption: it said that activism, done as a child, increases self-esteem and strengthens the construction of an identity. The green thinking applied to disposable beachwear for children certainly does not perform this function, but rather the one – already widely covered by social media – to transform emergency slogans into a make-up so harmless that it can be used even at the age of three . for beauty.