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Tuesday 21 August 2018

Melanie Morris: I thrived with stylish, social parents, so will Victoria's little girl

SINCE reading that the Beckhams are going to have their first baby daughter, I've been wondering what sort of mother Victoria will make to a little girl.

We know she's a model mum to Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz. We've seen her turn up at school sports days, host the sort of birthday parties other kids can only dream of, and carry her young offspring around, on her (narrow) hip.

She's brought them to daddy's football matches, shown them how to cheer loudly in support, and she's brought them for fast-food feasts afterwards.

But will little Miss Beckham be allowed hot dogs? Or a bag of chocolate buttons? How will Victoria -- the fashion-obsessed, stick insect who won't smile in public because she doesn't like the look -- bring up her daughter? Will she want mini-Spice to be a version 2 of herself? Will she groom her to within an inch of her life, send her to kiddie gym and book her in for princess manicures?

Will 'Little Vic' be dressed to impress at every occasion? Turned out in a way that will knock Suri Cruise from her 'trendy tot' pedestal. You don't need to be a betting person to imagine that might be the intention.

Seeing pictures of a now visibly pregnant Victoria getting on a plane today, dressed in skin-tight leather-look jeans and five-inch Louboutins, she looks every inch the high-achieving mother. A woman who sacrifices comfort and practicality for discipline and style every time.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to look good, or wanting your kids to look good too, but I worry about the fate of little Miss Beckham.

I was the youngest daughter to successful, attractive, social parents, but I was no Kate Middleton. I was overweight for most of my childhood, teens and twenties and loved the more outrageous end of fashion. I dyed my hair every shade of the rainbow (often, all at the same time), dressed in oversized jackets and Victorian nightshirts and applied make-up to dramatic effect.

At UCD I was referred to as a 'human Christmas tree', there was just so much going on, but I was never taunted, teased or bullied. Other parents might have pushed and heaved a daughter like me into a more universally acceptable body, but mine never did. They let me be 100pc myself, offering nothing other than unconditional love and constant support. My father, I think, got a particular kick out of his often bizarre-looking daughter. It was the 1980s after all.

I never felt insecure, or lesser than other more conventionally attractive, or slim girls. And their pride was contagious. They instilled self-belief in me and encouraged my creativity.

As the years went by, everything worked out. I lost the weight (a few times), got over the fashion faux pas, ditched the heavy slap and got a decent job. I'm balanced, happy, healthy and ageing as well as can be expected.

If Victoria Beckham is tempted to impose her ideals on to her daughter, she would benefit from a chat with my folks first.

They would, I'm sure, advise her to let her little girl enjoy her life. Keep her out of the spotlight and let her stay young for as long as possible. Let her choose her clothes and develop her own style. If she's not interested in fashion, leave her be. Possibly easier to say than do, but this next chapter is no doubt set to be the Beckhams most testing one.

Because as they say, a baby boy can break your house, but a girl will break your heart.

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