Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps

| April 25, 2011 | Comments (3)

If I could stand on a mountaintop and force people to listen to me, I’d read this CNN column over and over and over again.  I read it until parents understand that girls shouldn’t look like hookers and boys shouldn’t be raised to think girls should look like hookers.  I’d print this article and send it home with every newborn girls’ parents.  I’d ask every parenting magazine, book, class, website to use the article.  I’d ask all houses of worship to discuss it during services.   The topic is that important.

As the mother of twin daughters, I’m horrified by what is for sale for little girls to wear.  I’m not sure what happens when little girls go from size 6x to size 7, but according to the fashion industry, they should look like hookers.  Our girls are really, really tall for their age.  They just moved into a size 12.  Do you know what size 12 clothes look like?  So many of the clothes are inappropriate that it’s easier to talk about what is appropriate.

I know it’s expected that I’d rant against the retailers selling the clothes, but why bother?  The retailers are in business to make money.  Someone is buying their little girls and pre-teens these clothes.  If there wasn’t a market, they wouldn’t sell it.  What I don’t understand is how parents put their daughters into these clothes.  How does any self-respecting parent put a little girl into a string bikini?  How does any parent put a pre-teen into stilletos, halters and mini-skirts? 

No matter how much progress we think women have made in society, we put ourselves back when we teach our daughters that their worth in society is based upon their bodies.  In our house, we have a “not butts, no belly button” rule.  This means if we can see your butt or your belly button, you cannot wear it.

The problem is that what we say at home is contradicted by what the girls see in the general public.  We go to a pool and most of the little girls are wearing bikinis.  We go to brunch and see pre-teens in skin tight clothing and with a full face of make-up.  Their friends give our girls make-up kits as birthday presents.   It all adds up and makes it harder for our girls to believe that their grades are more important than their lipstick.

Shari blogs about life with twin daughters at Two Times the Fun.  Photo courtesy of Stock Exchange.

I realize I’m just ranting in the wind here.  As long as parents dress their daughters like tramps, we’ll be fighting a societal norm that tells our girls that dressing like a tramp is acceptable.  In our house, we’re willing to keep up the battle for our daughters and their futures.  It would just be a little easier if more parents would join us.

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Category: beauty, Chicago, girls, New Posts, Parenting, teens, tweens

About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

Comments (3)

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  1. If I could stand on a mountaintop and force people to listen to me, I would read this blog post and direct people to the CNN article. Parents need to stand up and say no, maybe if it happens enough, designers will change their ways. I’m so glad my girls are adults now and the grandkids are boys.

  2. Unrendycrex says:


  3. w1s3r says:

    Amen! Excellent post!
    It’s so wonderful to have a determined parent stand up against this outrageous fashion statement. My parents also focused on a strict dress code for me–all shirts must have sleeves, cannot go lower than the collar bone, and certainly may not reveal belly buttons or butts. The same went with shorts–they had to go to my knees.
    As strict as it sounds, it helped out a whole bunch. The right kind of guys were attracted to me, and the wrong kind of guys stayed way away. Guys were comfortable around me, and I never had to worry about a wardrobe malfunctions.
    How you dress really says how you feel about yourself. It’s disgusting how society demands that you flaunt your body in order to get what you want. That type of thinking will only lead to disaster.

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