When Lydia dies she is 16, right in the middle of the charged transitional phase between childhood and adulthood. To some extent, Lydia is still a young girl with an irrationally childlike way of thinking and little experience of adult matters. At the same time, she is also being introduced to activities associated with the loss of innocence during adolescence, such as smoking and having sex. This contrast of innocence and maturity is symbolized in Lydia’s perfume, which is called “Baby Soft.” As perfume, it is designed to make Lydia more attractive, and thus it is inherently linked to sexuality. On the other hand, the perfume’s name suggests purity and infancy. The combination of these two conflicting ideas illustrates the way in which teenage girls are placed under pressure to be simultaneously “innocent” and sexy, and that for many 16-year-olds, the binary between innocence and maturity becomes confusingly blurred.
Lydia’s “Baby Soft” Perfume Quotes in Everything I Never Told You
Upstairs, Marilyn opens her daughter's door and sees the bed unslept in: neat hospital corners still pleated beneath the comforter, pillow still fluffed and convex. Nothing seems out of place. Mustard-colored corduroys tangled on the floor, a single rainbow-striped sock. A row of science fair ribbons on
the wall, a postcard of Einstein. Lydia's duffel bag crumpled on the floor of the closet. Lydia's green book bag slouched against her desk. Lydia's bottle of Baby Soft atop the dresser, a sweet, powdery, loved-baby scent still in the air. But no Lydia.