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Monday, November 9, 2009

Dressing your daughter

On Friday and Saturday night at any mall, you can find hordes of teenage girls dressed, shall we say, provocatively. Super-short skirts, high heels and low-cut tops abound.

Halloween is frequently used by teenage girls as an excuse to dress in as slutty a manner as possible. Skin-tight catsuits, hooker outfits, sexy nurse, and sexy cop costumes are roaming the streets.

I stopped in a convenience store to get a gatorade one day and found myself standing in line behind a young girl who was probably 12 or 13. She was wearing tight cotton booty shorts with the words “USE ME” printed across her butt.

Every day I see teenage and pre-teen girls wearing t-shirts with alcohol, tobacco, drug or sex advertisements emblazoned on the chest.

What is a parent to do?

I have a very few simple rules that were enforced with Angel, and will be enforced with Kira and Marisa:

- Nothing that advertises drugs, alcohol or tobacco
- Skirts cannot be so short that I can see underwear when she bends over or squats down unless she is wearing leggings or shorts underneath.
- She is not wearing anything with writing on the butt, even if it says “virgin for life.”
- No see-through tops
- In general, if the first word that comes to mind when I see an outfit is ‘slut’ or ‘hooker,’ something has got to change.
- No piercing of anything other than ears until age 16. Then we will talk about belly button if she wants to. (I will not approve tongue, nipples or nose, so don’t even ask)
- No tattoos until after age 18 and I no longer have the authority to stop it.

Things I am not worried about:

- Style of underwear, so long as it is not visible when she is dressed.
- Style of swimwear, so long as it fits properly.
- What she wears or does not wear to sleep in.
- Makeup after about age 14 or so.
- Hairstyle or hair color.
- Overall fashion style, so long as that style isn’t ‘slut’ or ‘hooker.’

Halloween (or other) costumes are on a case-by-case basis. For example, I was okay with a fairly sexy belly-dancer costume for Angel when she was 17 (especially since she wore black shorts under the sheer leggings instead of the thong that came with the costume). I would not have been okay with that same costume for a 14-year-old.

I also consider t-shirts with clever/witty/ironic sayings on a case-by-case basis. Some are okay and some are not. I know it when I see it.

I think that if you teach your daughter to have healthy attitudes toward sex and sexuality, and instill in her a large dollop of self-respect, that you will probably not have too many fights over her clothes or style of dress. A young lady who believes in herself and in her own worth does not need to get attention by advertising what she should not be selling.


The Mind of a Mom said...

One I used to do with The girl. She had to do the "sit-down" test. She would put on jeans and had to make sure she could sit down and I could not see underwear or butt-crack! And to this day I laugh because she will tell me "see no butt-crack"!