Friday, May 15, 2015

What she's up against (pt 3)

I have in the past written about the problems with "beauty" I expect Caroline to face as she grows older.  At risk of once again sounding like an old fudd, I wonder about the pressures that girls face to be "sexy" and worry about what my daughter will face in another ten or fifteen years.  For example:

Female students at a Connecticut High School are furious that dresses bought for this weekend's prom are being banned because they have exposed shoulders, backs, sides and legs. One mother—whose daughter had two dresses rejected—said, "They've suggested the girls wear T-shirts under their dresses. My daughter won't wear a T-shirt. She would be mortified."*

I leave it to the interested reader to look at some examples of the prohibited dresses in the linked article.  Some, frankly, I didn't find too objectionable, though I might feel differently if it was MY daughter wearing them.  Others... "Not only are you NOT leaving the house dressed like that, young lady, but consider yourself grounded for the next ten years!"

It's a pity that girls feel - are MADE to feel - that they've got to make displays of themselves (though I confess that the ghost of the eighteen year-old Jim is saying - rather loudly - "More display, please!").  Chrystal and I have talked about this sort of thing, and we both think that it's possible not only for a girl to dress attractively without dressing provocatively, but also that we HOPE to teach Caroline to do the former without referring to us, so that Ol' Baba hasn't got to tell her that she's NOT leaving the house dressed in a certain way.


(*) Via Hot Air.


  1. Some of the comments on that article are really sad. People go from one extreme to the other and make fun of both sides. Personally, I wouldn't allow my underage daughter to wear any of the dresses in that article. That's just me. Sex should be between two consenting ADULTS and I see no reason to tempt children to engage in adult activities. That's what these dresses do. They are provocative.

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    2. It's sad that girls feel they need to expose themselves to feel beautiful. But I'm really not surprised. It's the popular attire in Hollywood. I don't watch any of the awards shows but I've seen the magazine covers the day after. Wowzers. :(

    3. I agree. It's one thing for a girl to look nice, but another to figuratively hang an "open for business" sign around her neck

    4. And what about the parents? What parent looks at a child and says, "Oh, yes, baby: by all means, go out in public like that. Do us proud!"???

      One of the books I read early on in the process was That's My Girl by Rick Johnson. He relates that he made a point of going clothes shopping with his daughter as she grew up. As she got to be a teenager and he vetoed selections that he thought were inappropriate, she grew frustrated with him. She complained to her friends... who were actually a bit jealous that her father cared enough about her to spend that kind of time with her.

    5. I've heard stories like that! Friends being jealous that the parents actually cared enough to say no. Or kids being upset that their parents supposedly didn't care enough to actually saying no.

      What about the parents? I can't imagine they want their child to dress like that, but do they just not try to fight it? Maybe some do want their girls to dress terribly... I don't know! I don't understand.