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Happy Friday, Dear Readers!

Having a friendly little debate seemed to work well last week, so let’s try it again. I really hope some parents will chime in for this topic, as I don’t have children and therefore don’t have the level of experience with this topic that those with kids (especially daughters) will.

Last week, a CNN contributor by the name of LZ Granderson raised hell when he wrote an article blaming parents for dressing their young daughters like “tramps”. If you haven’t already read the article, you can do so here: http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/04/19/granderson.children.dress/index.html

Understandably, parents–and particularly mothers–were incensed at the finger of blame that was being pointed at them. You can read some typical reactions here: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2011/04/this-is-so-worst-thing-youre-going-to_19.html

Now, I do think some of the stones being thrown at Granderson are unnecessary. I don’t think he’s a pedophile, and I don’t think he’s really going to break his son’s legs. He was being provocative and inflammatory to prove his point–a point that pissed a lot of people off.

Since I don’t have children, I’m not around them enough to see much evidence of this disturbing trend. The school groups that come into the museum where I work tend to be dressed appropriately, from what I’ve seen. The cute little girls look like cute little girls. But I have experienced how difficult it is to find clothes that deviate from what is currently in fashion. If you don’t want to wear jeans that make you look like a plumber, you have just one other option…the so-called “Mom” jeans, and who wants to wear those? So you buy the low-rise, butt crack be damned! If it’s that difficult for grown women to find options, I can easily believe it’s just as challenging for parents shopping for their kids.

Toddlers wearing bikinis isn’t new. Any old photo I look at from the seventies had little girls in two-piece bathing suits, but no one thought it was provocative then–it was cute. And midriff-baring isn’t new, either–I remember receiving several “crop tops” for my thirteenth birthday, and they weren’t considered sleazy. My mother didn’t have a problem with them.

What do you think, Dear Readers? Is this a problem? Are our daughters being “sexualized” too young? If so, is it the fault of the parents or the manufacturers?

Write away!

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5 Comments

  1. Wayne

    I definitely think girls are trying to look older and and dress too skimpy. I definitely do not blame most parents for this( although there are a few to blame), I just blame society. All the adds featuring women, the stores who sell the clothes and tv shows.
    With my girls I try to keep them from where certain clothes, and wearing too much make up but there are so many ways around listening to your parents. It’s just up to us as parents to try to always keep them informed of our wishes and give them valid reasons and enforce it to the best of our ability.

    Reply
  2. Karen

    Karen

    Every generation is schocked by the next whether it be fashion or music. I am surprised, mortified as well as embarrassed at times for their choice of clothing but i’m sure my parents felt the same way about my attire or lack there of. On the other hand good for them for feeling confident to wear what they want and be who they are. I care more about their behavior than the boobs hanging out.

    Reply
  3. Story Teller

    Thanks for commenting, Wayne and Karen!

    @ Wayne – you sound like a great dad, doing the best you can in a world where women seem to primarily be valued by how they look and how much skin they’re showing. I’m sure other parents can relate to your struggle.

    @ Karen – well put. Behaviour is key, although clothing unfortunately does send a message. And it’s true that every generation seems to be horrified by the style and music choices of the ones that come after.

    Reply
  4. Lisa

    I agree with Wayne. You can only do so much to steer your children in what you feel is a ‘proper’ direction, but society and peer pressure can play havoc with developing minds.
    I have boys so I don’t have to worry as much about the clothing choices(quite the contrary – I have to fight with them to get them to put their stuff in the wash after days of wearing them).

    I do remember when I was younger and yes, society dictated a lot. I had ‘designer jeans’ which I insisted my mother wash after each wearing so I could shrink them again back to “tight”. I have found a good medium between plumber and mom jeans, but I am not always following the mainstream fashion. I am secure enough that I don’t really care. My jeans are comfortable and I feel sexy. That’s what counts… but I digress…great post Holli!

    Reply
  5. Story Teller

    Thanks, Lisa, and thanks for your comment. Sometimes, it’s easier to have boys, I think! You’ll have to tell me where you found your happy medium. My problem could be that all my jeans come from Victoria’s Secret…

    Reply

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