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The rise of the Baby Ho

My school discos were way back in the Golden Age of the Eighties. They were fab.

Chomping down Smith's Square Crisps and chugging back Fanta whilst wearing satin pedal pushers and a scratchy nylon batwing candy-pink top from Chelsea Girl. There we all were, 10 years old or so, dancing around our plastic handbags to Duran Duran and (swoon) WHAM! while the spotty boys from our class tried to do head spins without splitting their tight grey shine-effect slacks or mussing their piano ties. Sadly, my terminally fusty Olds wouldn't let me have a Lady Di hairdo, making my fuzzy ponytail look hugely dorky next to the cool kids with their heavily hairsprayed flicks and... oh envy...super-long rat tails.

Firstborn went to a school disco recently. She's only eight years old, so the overprotective mama in me was thinking what's wrong with a good ol' fashioned party, you know, with games and prizes and cute stuff like that? But apparently these days even young kids turn their little noses up at pass-the-parcel, preferring instead to shake their non-existent booties to Katy Perry, Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

This is all fine, no problem, not a million miles away from what we used to do all those decades ago. Except for the fact that I'm pretty sure we didn't look like tiny hookers...

Our clothing may have been a major fire risk, being made from 100% drop dry nylon, but at least our flesh was decently covered up. The more risque amongst us may have flashed a bit of knee or a cheeky shoulder might have emerged from our baggy tops during an especially energetic dance move, but that was about it.

Ever-mindful of the dorky angst I suffered from as a pre-teen (the 'Willy Bears' sweatshirt that had me laughed out of Friday night Youth Club being one especially painful experience), I swore long ago that my daughters will never have to suffer the same level of humiliation. Sp Firstborn was dressed in clothes she had picked out herself and proclaimed as cool; a tutu-like skirt, a black t-shirt, Converse. She even managed to brush her hair.

We get to the disco. We're surrounded by what can only be described as an invasion of Baby Ho's. There's more flesh on display than in a late-night MTV rapper special. Hot pants teamed with knee-high boots. Glittery crop tops showing off little-girl-round tummies. Spaghetti straps and mini-skirts. Daisy Dukes and Uggs. Sequinned body-con. Leopard print! And then there's the blusher, the eye-shadow, the lipstick, even one case of what looked like diamond-tipped false eyelashes (could have been a nasty case of pink eye though, hard to tell with strobe lighting...)

In comparison, Firstborn looks like a nun. A beautiful, gorgeous, lovely nun.

In the car on the way home, Firstborn tells me: "That was kind of boring, Mummy. It was really loud and the boys wouldn't dance and some of the girls were talking about being In Love and how they couldn't live without make-up. I wish I'd brought my Littlest Pet Shops so I could have played with them instead. Discos are weird."

Guess I don't need to worry too much... yet.

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