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Just because they’re selling it, doesn’t mean it’s right.

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Something happened when my daughter grew into a size 6.  I stopped buying her clothes.  The days where everything I saw was “soooo cute” were replaced with horror.  Sweatpants with words on their bottom, padded bras, strapless dresses… it was all too much.  Without really making a conscious decision, I just stopped buying her clothes.  It took me a little time to realize what the problem was, it wasn’t that my baby had grown out of the toddler section into the little girls’ clothes, it was that for the most part, little girl’s clothes are completely inappropriate.

Think about it.  Why is it ok to dress our little angels in miniskirts?  What message are we giving our daughters by buying them padded bras?  They are paying attention and if we allow them to dress scantily now, we are telling them that it’s perfectly acceptable to dress in a provocative manner.  And in a few years, when they enter that tween and teen years, will it still be “funny” or “cute” when they want to wear a miniskirt?

This phenomenon of dressing children in our image isn’t just for girls.  Most of the boy’s clothing is “street-style”, hoodies, skulls and crossbones, dickies and plaid shirts.  Are we raising gentlemen or gangsters?

Parents, what examples are you setting?  Are your clothes too tight?  Did you brush your hair today as you ran out the door to run the kids to school? Do you dress like your kids friends? Are you kids embarrassed to be seen with you?  It’s just as important the example we set as the clothes we choose for them.

All children have their own likes and dislikes.  My daughter loves glitter, as I’m sure most 6yo’s do, but I’ve taught her that if everything has glitter on it – top, pants, shoes – you just look like a big piece of aluminum foil. No one can appreciate what you have on.  When she told me she wanted pants with glitter on the bottom, it was that she wanted embellished clothing, not that she cared where it was, but unfortunately, this is what she sees on other kids, so this is what she asks for.  As parents, our job is to guide them.  Our children don’t know the perils of dressing provocatively, or of the endless choices out there, so talk to them, offer solutions and be frank.  Not every child has the same rules that we do in our home, and that’s ok.

Cultivate your child’s individual style now, so that they are confident in their choices later on, and able to be proud of what they are wearing, whether at school or at abuela’s and you will save yourself a lot of heartache now as well as when they are older.

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About mzelma

Culturally ambidextrous renaissance woman. Mom, wife, daughter, entrepreneur, blogger, shiny and fabulous, just like home! Find out more at www.about.me/mzelma

13 responses »

  1. Well said amiga. I’m a mama of boys. Mainly we are in to super heroes right now. Hadn’t thought much of how it will be when we hop over to “big boy” clothes. Thanks for bringing to my attention to be aware that I am raising a man.

    Reply
  2. I agree It’s scary I remember the days where I could buy a little dress for my daughter and it came with little shorts or bloomers under now they are halter and short with nothing under I really question if they are dresses or shirts and if I question they I dont buy. While I dont mind the hoodys and plaid shirts I think the grunge look in boys clothing all seems angry but then again if they wear characters they get bullied. It’s really sad I never thought i’d say this but thankgoodness for uniforms. Well said Elma!

    Reply
    • Thanks Ruby! I remember when I was heading towards high school my saint of a mom gave me a choice of uniforms or not, and I chose not. Now as a mother (like with so many other things) I see why uniforms are a good thing too, it takes pressure off of each other and hopefully, the focus can go into learning. XOXO!

      Reply
  3. I always like to use my own rule of fashion. Never wear anything you’ll regret looking back in 10 years.

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  4. I agree! I’m dreading the day that my girls fit into those sizes.. Hopefully burqas will be the hottest trend in girls’ fashion when that day comes! Lol

    Reply
    • LOL!!! I heard someone on the radio say, “you don’t have to show parts to find a partner” I wish every child, teen and woman would memorize this!

      Reply
  5. oh wow. I didn’t know hoodies, plaid shirts, and dickies were for gangsters.

    this author has lost all credibility.

    Reply
    • They are on TV, and sometimes that’s the only thing people – teachers and faculty for example – are exposed to. We’ve all experienced the “flash judgments” here people size us up in the blink of an eye, which is fine for me as an adult, but why not give our kids a leg-up in school and society?

      Reply
  6. I’m so glad you are writing about this topic. It’s called hyper sexualization of young girls by the media and advertising agencies to sell products and we should not allow it. The repercussions of this are emotionally damaging giving young girls and later women a false sense of what beauty means. Even worse is the phenomenon of shaming, blaming or judging women on their attire.

    I’m exploring these topics further because I believe women still have a long way to go when it comes to achieving equality in the world and this is a very important issue. In order to progress in society things need to change. And as you have written, change begins at home.

    Reply
    • Letty, you are absolutely right. We have a very, very long way to go. I often wonder what decade we’re in when all the toys in the girl’s section have to do with housekeeping, beauty and mothering. Barbie is the feminist of girls’ toys because she drives a jeep?! SMH, horrible.

      Reply
  7. I agree with you!! My daughter is 11 and is about 5′ 2″ maybe a little taller by now,and its a constant reminder for the both of us when we go shopping. I ask her if she thinks the outfit is appropriate? Whether I want her to know what is ok and not ok to wear for her age. Thankfully I started young and she is well aware that her body 9in every way) is physically mature for her age. I don’t want her to be self conscience but I was her to take notice.

    But as a mom, I wear appropriate clothing as well. I’m not trying to act like I’m 18 again! lol Great post, thanks for the reminder!!

    Reply
    • It’s so hard when the available clothes are just… trashy! Kudos to you and so many other moms that keep things in perspective for their daughters.

      Reply

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