Earlier this month, Manasi Pandey proudly watched her five-and-a-half-year-old daughter Aahna, fitted out in hot pants and a halter top, walk the ramp at her school’s ‘fashion fiesta’.
“Aahna was thrilled. It was an opportunity to further develop her self-confidence,” gushed Pandey. At Kangaroo Kids, where Aahna studies, the fashion fiesta saw toddlers dress up in beach wear, ethnic wear and evening wear.
“Fashion is about self-expression and the show gave every child a chance to look fabulous and feel fabulous on stage,” said Kusum Kanwar, head of school operations, Kangaroo Kids.
With teen icons such as Hannah Montana dominating television screens, fashion weeks cropping up routinely and reality shows showcasing children’s talents, it’s no surprise that fashion consciousness has reached toddlers.
Pre-school chain Children’s Nook had a fashion segment in their February carnival. “Why should children have insecurities about their appearance?” asked chairperson Pinky Dalal. “This is just an adult mindset. All the children got a chance to look good and have fun.”
Even private parties host fashion shows. Vanita Rodrigues, a party organizer, has organised three parties with fashion shows. “The kids were excited. The evening was like a beauty pageant and they had all picked their own outfits,” she said.