Pram Lady and Forbidden Clothes

An important idea in both “The Pram Lady” by Vivien Alcock and “Forbidden Clothes” by Jamila Gavin is how people are unaccepting of differences. This is important to me because people should be able to be themselves without being hassled or excluded, also because people my age are not very accepting of others’ differences. In the “Pram Lady” Helena does not accept the way her mother dresses and behaves. She want her mum to be like other mums with “dyed hair and a perm” because it reflects badly on her.
When William, Helena’s new boyfriend, sees Helena’s mother and doesn’t realize who she is he makes a rude comment about her appearance: “God, what a fright! What a ridiculous creature! ” Helena reacts to this by running away from him and telling him she never wants to see or speak to him again. Even though Helena’s mother is “enormously fat” and wears stained clothes, Helena still will not associate with people who disrespect her mother.
This shows us that Helena herself has not accepted her mother for the way she is. From this, I learnt that I should not be so quick to judge others before getting to know them because personality shines through and is the most important thing. Oddly, though Helena doesn’t want people saying rude things about her mother, she says those things herself. Helena’s mother doesn’t mind what people think about her and tells Helena that she should just laugh with her friends when they see her.

Helena just wants her mother to be normal, when Helen tells her mum this she responds by saying “But that’s what you want, isn’t it, Helena? An ordinary mother like your friends have. ” Over time Helena gets stressed by the fact her mother forgets to do regular things like wearing unstained clothes. This doesn’t work for either of them because Helena is always worried about her mother and her mother is forced to change into something she isn’t to please Helena.
I relate to this because girls my age sometimes don’t except people for their flaws. Reading this short story made me feel that I should wait until I know someone before judging them. As is in “The Pram Lady”, “Forbidden Clothes” also shows the way people are made to feel like outsiders because they have differences from their peers. Nasreen, a girl who is living in the UK never felt different in Pakistan,

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