26 Aug
Mouthing Off: Would You Buy A Chandelier for Your Daughter’s Locker?

It’s Mouthing Off! Our occasional feature where we mouth off about something that caught our attention this week! We hope you enjoy reading and please, hold your applause til the end.

Last week a friend of mine was at the middle school with her daughter Megan for student orientation. After getting her class schedule from the front office, the two of them went to find Megan’s locker and were shocked to see a group of moms busy decorating their daughters’ grey metal lockers with (wait for it) this:

And this:

Yep. That’s $21 hot pink leopard locker wallpaper and a $26 motion sensor locker chandelier. We promise we’re not making this up.

(Oh, and that sound you hear right now? That’s all of the mothers who raised kids in the 70’s and 80’s screaming in unison “WHAT THE F—? A CHANDELIER? FOR A FREAKIN’ LOCKER?”)

Now, if memory serves, back when we were in middle and high school, nobody had $50 locker decor. And, more important, nobody’s mother made a special trip to the school to decorate their locker. Hell, nobody’s mother made a special trip to the school unless someone broke an arm or got caught in the broom closet with Mr. Moonbath, the hippie art teacher who smelled like patchouli and overripe cantaloupe. Parents just didn’t feel the need to get overly involved back then. But obviously that’s changed.

Maybe it’s just me, but this superficial decorating seems indicative of what’s happening more and more with parents. The coddling. The helicoptering. The monitoring of every single move. Listen, I know it’s really, really tough to let your little girl go off to middle school without you, but isn’t that also the perfect time to let her spread her wings and express herself a little? Starting with well, her locker?

Old gum. Rotten fruit. Broken hairbrushes. Smelly socks, dog-eared pictures of teenage werewolves, and the word “Buttface” written in Sharpie. That’s what a kid’s locker should have as its decor.

Save the chandeliers for the middle-aged women on HGTV. They’re the ones who really need them.

(Images from LockerLookz.)

41 Responses to “Mouthing Off: Would You Buy A Chandelier for Your Daughter’s Locker?”


Comment by Karin.

I had $25 of “decor” in my locker – an adjustable locker shelf, tap light (I started with a flashlight but it kept falling out and finally broke), mirror and magnetic pen case. lockers were decorated with wrapping paper for friends birthdays.

Karin Reply:

wait – I just re-read and this is middle school. I went to a one-35-student-class-per-grade catholic school up to 8th grade and my locker (housed in the classroom and assigned in order of height) was the size of a bus station locker and needed to hold all my texts and notebooks plus my bookbag (in the aisle would be a fire hazard) and jacket so there was no extraneous items in my locker and if it had been decorated with wall paper, the teacher would have flipped her lid over the destruction of school and church property and sent us to confession and THEN the principal.


Comment by Bean.

I remember cutting wood shelves that you banged in & out of place with the history book (the only one big enough) – and they still fell out if you weren’t handy with the measuring tape & saw. Wasn’t that the whole purpose of the quarter in shop class?


Comment by Jemima.

I had a plastic adjustable locker shelf with magnets to hold it in place. It always fell out when there was a boy talking to me, cascading junk everywhere. Hated that thing. Rest in the knowledge that whoever the chandelier kid is- she will be mutilated when the right kid finds out about it.


Comment by Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him.

I was given a few #2 pencils and some maxi pads for my locker. AS IT SHOULD BE.

Tell your kid they need new friends.

Christine Reply:

Hahaha, I forgot about the all-important locker maxi pads – I had them (and need of them) before my other friends so I became something of a dealer… people would sidle up to my locker and inform me in a conspiratorial whisper that their time had come, and could I help them out?…

Hayleyc Reply:

I was also the maxi pad dealer!


Comment by MJ.

I agree! I would have melted into the floor if my mom showed up at school… but then again maybe not. I think it is a cool idea but only if the kids think it out, plan it, pay/save for it and execute it. Where is the pride if mom did it?

BrassyDel Reply:

“I think it is a cool idea but only if the kids think it out, plan it, pay/save for it and execute it. Where is the pride if mom did it?”


Plano Mom Reply:



Comment by StephanieG.

I’m pretty sure my mom didn’t even know I had a locker in junior high and I turned out just fine. I didn’t even have a fancy wooden shelf that feel out, or a plastic one with magnets like Jemima. I just friggin made do.

And that’s exactly what LittleG is gonna have to do when her time comes in a few years!


Comment by Wendi.

My friend Karen just reminded me that I had Wham! and Manilow pictures in my locker. So obviously, a chandelier would have made sense for me.

Plano Mom Reply:

8X10 glossy photo of John Travolta as Tony Manero. White disco suit. Paid a lot of money for that in Austin, still have it.


Comment by Angie Uncovered.

In the time it would take to go buy those items for my daughter’s locker, I would drive her to Target or somewhere similar and help her fill out an application to get a job where she could buy that crap herself.
(Which is not to say that I wouldn’t have wanted it when I was a kid… I just know my mom would have made me buy it!)


Comment by N and Em's mom.

We used to make collages with words and photos that we cut out of magazines and taped to the inside of our lockers. One of the “cool” guys in school always had the locker next to mine (alphabetized order). He would always take pencils from my fancy pencil holder made from a Campbell’s soup can wrapped in paper, and in exchange, he wouldn’t let anyone mess with my locker. It was the perfect HS symbiotic relationship. My daughter just started HS. I can hardly wait to show her this post, so we can make fun of the locker-decorating mommies together.


Comment by Danielle.

Jees. It’d be cool if the kids were doing it and I admit the chandelier is kinda awesome. Not so cool if mommy was the one putting it in.


Comment by Sue.

You know what I had in my locker? Books, pencils, erasures. It’s a locker.


Comment by Plano Mom.

I witnessed those moms decorating the lockers as I was trying to cram stuff into my son’s. Those moms were busily decorating away, and I have no idea where the girls were. My bet is it will be trashed before Christmas.

And my son? He has a metal shelf we bought at a garage sale. I’d rather spend the money hiring someone to clean it out at the end of the school year.

Karin Reply:

I still have my metal shelf and expect to send it to school with my daughter in a few years.


Comment by Marinka.

Instead of decorating their children’s lockers, why don’t these women just burn cash? Or hire someone else to do it for them.


Comment by Muffintopmommy.

I had books and old, stanky lunches in my locker….oh $hit, I think I was a boy??????!!

What a wrongity mess of wrongness this is!


Comment by S Club Mama.

another reason I’m so thankful to have boys. We plastered our lockers in hs with pictures of our friends & from magazines. Hello Orlando Bloom! I’d rather look at him than stupid wallpaper!


Comment by wacdance.


I had my locker completely decked out with shelves, pictures, mirrors and magnetic pouches for all sorts of needless crap. I had so much fun decorating my locker. Then again, school supply shopping was my favorite day of the year!


Comment by Nixiechick.

I had an 1980’s plastic Trapper keeper wedged in as a shelf that would fall down every other month. If I had asked for wallpaper or a chandelier my mom would still be bringing it up 25 years later, making sure everyone knew she asked me WTF was wrong with me.


Comment by I'm a big ol' b with a captial B!.

I had the magnetic mirror, the plastic shelf, and some pictures inside my locker. That’s it.

The chandelier is freaking awesome though. I want one for my mini van. 🙂


Comment by Kat.

While the pink leopard paper and chandelier are a little crazy, I don’t think it’s fair to trash them just because it’s not something we had when we were in school. It’s easy to say “Well I didn’t have a cell phone and I didn’t die!”, but times change, and society changes with it.

Personally, I think it’s sweet when parents show interest in their kids. That doesn’t have to mean they will grow up all spoiled and evil. Honestly, it seems a little more complicated being a teenager nowadays than I ever had it. I didn’t worry about being shot in school. Maybe that nice stuff helps offset some of that chaos.

Still, whenever I see a kid playing with a toy that practically plays with itself, I’m sure I will bring up the fact that I was either forced to “enjoy the fresh air!” or play with large cardboard boxes, haha.

vodka tonic Reply:

That tacky waste of money and resources isn’t “showing interest” in your kids. Taking an interest is when you go to Back To School night and introduce yourself to their teachers. Volunteer at school. Talk to your kids about what’s going on in their lives. Proofread their essays. Know their friends and their friends’ families. Spend time with them. Play with them.

It’s not that much more complicated nowadays. Kids still need the same things: consistency, stability, limits, active listening, fairness and love. I teach in a school where kids *do* have to worry about being shot. I hate to break it to you, but motorized plastic chandeliers don’t block bullets. What “offsets the chaos” is good parenting.


Kat Reply:

Agreed. I figured it was obvious that the parental stuff was still necessary. I guess I don’t equate decorating your kid’s locker with bad parenting. It’s too easy to make negative assumptions about people, but the only “evidence” here is some decor.

Maybe a little odd, but not an indicator of complete failure 😛

Laura Reply:

I agree with Kat, there’s nothing so awful about a mom doing something cute to surprise their kid. This reminded me of how during back to school night in middle school my mom left my favorite candy bar and a CD I’d been wanting in my locker before she left so I’d find them as a little surprise the next morning. It wasn’t obsessive or invasive, she didn’t do it in lieu of supporting me in other ways, she did it because she loved me and thought it would make me happy. And you know what? It did. Not because I had another material thing that I didn’t really need, but because it was just a sweet gesture from my mom. You can judge based on the gaudy taste and you can declare it a waste of money, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that this alone is damaging behavior…


Comment by dahlila.

I was wondering whatever happened to my pink leopard skin pants.

I love the decor by WHY is a mom doing it. I seem to remember your mom is the last person in the universe you want in your locker, or even your school.

It must be a squanky school, here in Sacramento it seems kids aren’t allowed lockers. Too good a place to stash illegals.


Comment by A Mother's Thoughts.

That is insane! They probably had butlers standing outside the classroom with a glass of sparkling water too. HaHa this is humourious! And this is the kind of girl I want my daughter hanging out with for morals and hard work!


Comment by Kati.

I would NEVER decorate my kids’ lockers, because they would DIE of embarrassment if I did!

I think mine had in it: a magnetic mirror (A “locker looker”!), books (usually the wrong ones for the day), some broken pencils, and some pin-up posters of whoever I thought was cute at the time. And sometimes, me.


Comment by vodka tonic.

I had my bassoon case stuffed in my locker. There wasn’t room for anything else, or even much time to hang out at our lockers, anyways. Carried all of my books in a couple of bags like a bum.


Comment by NjMellie.

This is kind of the problem with kids today: parents need to NOT provide them with more than everything that they need. It’s all about making sure their kids have the BEST, the most fabulous, the coolest new thing. Stupid! That’s why we’re raising lazy kids. Well, not me, of course. But those other people are.


Comment by Tonya.

My question is this: If there is a chandelier in the locker, uh, where are the actual books and, Oh, I don’t know, school supplies supposed to go?


Comment by Poker Chick.

OMG, a chandelier for a locker. What a fabulous idea! Think of all the other possibilities once you let the veil of ridiculousless go!

La prairie eye cream for dogs

Chanel scented pink (nappy powder for babies with style? “nappy” is SO much fancier than “diaper” – it’s European!)

Bling for your toothbrush

Butlers for college dorms

We’re going to start our own fancy business now….


Comment by lizajane.

I just sent my first born daughter to Kindergarten. She came home yesterday asking me for a chandelier for her locker–all her friends have them she tells me. I nearly fell out of my chair. She’s five!!! She’s five!!!


Comment by CKGirl.

I graduated from H.S. in 1992. I never had anything in my locker except for books, backpack, jacket, cold lunch. My locker was narrow and tiny compared to the locker closets I’ve seen. I wish I could have decorated my old lockers to cover up old gum and graffiti left there by previous students. There’s also the element of cheer to open up a prettily decorated locker. Though I would have been mortified to have a parent seen decorating it for me. I also believe that a kid should be paying for it out of gift or allowance money.


Comment by Catoote.

The parents that shell out upwards of 70 bucks for their kid’s locker decorations are the same ones that will bitch the loudest about school tax hikes and when school programs are cut. Hypocrisy much?

I’m fine with my middle school daughter decorating her locker. With stuff she makes, gets as gifts, or buys her self. And you know what? She can decorate it herself and grow up a little more self-reliant than some of these other kids.


Comment by I'm A Single Man With Needs...For Throw Pillows | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] a straight, single man who wants to buy some decorative throw pillows. Do you have any ideas on how I can show that, while I may be a man, I don’t […]


Comment by Dee.

I personally think students can decorate there lockers how ever they want damn you don’t have a say if children have locker chandeliers or not my dayghter bought a locker rug 4 2 dollars and a chandelier for 14. Just eat shit and shut the fuck up

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