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.
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.