Tag Archives: having it all?

What We Want, What They Want

28 Jan

Last year, I wrote a blog post called The Daughters of Womanists, about the notion of our daughters “having it all.”

It was about what we want for our daughters, what to tell them.

This post isn’t about what I want for mine, but about what she wants for herself and how I feel about it.

My daughter is going after a career in fashion. I know, stomach drop. She wants to write about it, be a creative director, be a taste-maker; an amalgamation.  She’s currently away at a small, liberal arts college and working at two fashion companies in New York City: one is a top couture house, the other is a popular website, which also has a small store, Pixie Market. She’s writing the blogs, tweeting and modeling. In other words, she doing her thing, making it happen. Lots of young people say they want “to work in fashion,” but either have no idea in what capacity or what it takes to make it happen. If you’ve seen The Devil Wears Prada, you have some idea of what the world of fashion is like.  I watch that movie and cringe, especially now that I know she’s schlepping a quarter of her body weight in clothes in blistering heat (or freezing temps) to the back door of the Conde Nast building–home of Vogue–and spending an hour steaming ball gowns and a half hour learning the exact way to make coffee for the boss.  She does it all, takes it all,  without complaint–even the unbelievable rudeness (see Devil Wears Prada).  She’s okay with it, because it’s where she wants to be.

Yes, I’m her mother. Yes, I guided her to get a strong education and not go to a fashion school, but beyond that, I took my hands off the wheel.

Initially when Baldwin began talking about her interest in fashion, when she was about six years old, I put no stock in it. Then in middle school, same thing and by high school, I was beginning to be concerned. Can’t you find something else?  I would tell her how good she was at other things. I wanted her to have a career as a— well I didn’t know what—just that it should be something serious and stable.

From Pixie Market’s website. She was modeling in seven degree weather and snow flurries

Now she’s studying writing and French in college, doing her internships during both the school year and on breaks. She loves it and I’m so proud of her. I’m pleased that she’s going after what she wants, she listened to the desire she’s had since she was a little girl. And my hope for her, for both my children (and yours, too), is that they figure out what they really want to do, not what we want them to do, have the courage and willingness to go after it and to find fulfillment.


From her blog


Sometimes, I admit, on my bad days I still wish she’d chosen a safer field (which is where these days–Google?), where she’d get a job, a 401K and make a salary to pay for the life she envisions for herself. On my good days, I say, she’s got a passion and drive to make it happen. What more could a parent want.


From Pixie Market’s Instagram