Friday, May 20, 2011

My Daughter is NOT a S_x Object

Dear Clothing Manufacturers,

My 7 year-old daughter is not a s_x object, please design your clothes accordingly.

Infuriatingly Yours,

A Concerned Mommy

This morning Leeann asked if I could put shorts on the grocery list. She knew that today is Friday and Friday is the day we do our grocery shopping. What she didn’t know is that clothes don’t come from the grocery store. She doesn’t know this because we rarely ever purchase clothes for her. She’s got older twin cousins that pass along hand-me-downs and a great grandma who, between those two sources, keep her outfitted better than your average 7 year-old without us actually having to purchase any clothing.

Because of this I rarely pay attention to what’s on the clothing racks at local stores. Until today that is.

On a quest to check out little girl shorts options (so I can plan and budget accordingly…our stash is low) I perused the little girls section hoping to find some that would work for Leeann now that the weather is getting warmer.

What I found instead of clothing fitting for a 7 year-old was a host of clothing that I can only describe as smutty—in 7 year-old sizes.

I strongly value modesty, but I’m no prude. My daughter is by no means forced to wear skirts that cover her ankles, shorts past her knees or shirts that have sleeves at least down to her elbows. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind if she were completely covered from head to toe every day of her life, but I realize that it’s not very practical.

I do however have a significant problem with the clothing that I saw on the racks of a very mainstream American clothing store this afternoon.

There were shorts (not in the pajama section, mind you) that resembled guys boxer shorts… only shorter. Much, much shorter. With tight fitting low cut tank tops to match. The longest pair of jean shorts I could find wouldn’t have come anywhere close to attaining the minimum preferred standards of falling below my daughter’s finger tips when her arms are dangling at her side.

And skirts? Why would I put my child in a skirt so short that it’s impossible to sit it a manner that doesn’t reveal the cartoon characters on her unmentionables?

Speaking of unmentionables—padded leopard print bras… in an A cup? With matching stringy panties? Seriously? And silky, lacy tank tops that look like they belong on a rack at Victoria Secrets, or a gift that I would give to a blushing bride-to-be hanging smack dab in the middle of the little girl’s summer clothes section… do you see anything wrong with this picture?

Don’t get me started on the selection of itsy bitsy bikinis! Is it so wrong to expect that my child be fully covered while she’s swimming? Triangle shaped bikini tops and high-cut string bikini bottoms hardly seem appropriate for any child wearing a size 5!

The smattering of skimpy v-neck spaghetti strap tank tops, low-rise, super short, gappy, panty-showing shorts and t-shirts with things like “flirt” written across the front is enough to make me want to scream in frustration. I don’t even care for shirts with attitude-type sayings on them, let alone ones that would describe my young daughter as a s_xualized being (I’m not too prude to write the word s_x on my blog by the way, I just don’t want search engines thinking that’s a topic people can find here when they are searching for that sort of thing… thanks for understanding!).  

And believe you me, the only thing “Juicy” on my child’s bottom should be the puddle of popsicle juice she accidently sat in while playing outside. Fully clothed. Like a 7 year-old ought to be!    

She’s ONLY 7!

What’s wrong with this picture? Why is it so difficult to find appropriate clothing for my very sweet, very innocent, very non-s_xual young daughter?

Oh yeah, because s_x sells, and we as parents are obviously purchasing these clothing styles in droves and parading our young daughters around in them… or the manufactures wouldn’t be designing them this way.

Maybe I should write a new letter?

Dear Parents,

Let your little girls be little girls for at least a little while longer. They’ll have enough s_xualized pressure and self-esteem issues due to factors beyond your control… please don’t add to it by drawing attention to their bodies with age-inappropriate clothing. Protect your children. Let them be innocent. Help them learn to value modesty and educate them as to why modesty is important. And please, please stop purchasing this kind of clothing. It makes it difficult for those of us who believe children should dress like children (not ex_tic dancers) to find clothing that is actually appropriate. Clothing manufacturers are giving us what they think we want based on what we buy. Let’s stand together and inform them that we want our kids to have the freedom to just be kids for as long as possible. They’ll grow up all too soon whether we like it or not. 

Frustratingly Yours,

A Very Concerned Parent 


T & K said...

Bermuda shorts...they're 'in style' and go to the knee, unfortunantly they don't last on the sale rack long. My sister has made some cute dresses for my daughter, she loves them and they cover her! It is a frustrating situation.

Beckys blog said...

Raquelle refuses to wear anything but dresses. So we set the standard of always having to wear shorts or carpi leggings under them. We get hand me downs from cousins too so it is rare that I have to purchase girl clothes.

Robyn said...

We do a lot of skirts and dresses with shorts and leggings too. I am grateful that layering is in style these days!

And I'd love to purchase some bermuda style shorts... if I can find them!

Gwen said...

Completely agree with you on that Robyn! I have an almost 7 year old myself and I am always completely disgusted at the clothing I see in her size. I'm sad that we don't fit in 'Carter's' clothes anymore because they have always had nice and kid/age friendly clothing. Luckily we have to wear uniforms to school so I just have to worry about everyday clothes in the summer time even though that seems to be the worst. UGH. Thanks for your post and letting me get this out! lol

Diana said...

It makes me so upset too!
Land's End has very modest and cute clothes for girls. If you shop sales and the overstock section online you can get some great deals!

lizcraciun said...

We haven't had to face this issue yet personally, since the boys' clothing doesn't have the same issue ( though the "attitude" tees still bug me and won't be found in our closets) and Kendra is still in 9 mo clothes! However, from what I've seen, The Children's Place seems to have a little more appropriate choices. Lots of bermudas, tanks with better coverage, etc. What a world!

tbierly said...

Hear, Hear! I totally agree with the post 100%.

Marshall's Corner said...

Now that Nadine is in the little girls section instead of toddlers I have had the hardest time finding age appropriate clothing for a 4 year old (nearly 5). We had to go to 6 stores before finding her a bathing suit that was both covering and not graffitied with propaganda like "peace", "girls rule the world" and "deal with it". I don't really think it's appropriate to s_xualize our precious little girls or use them as billboards for societal agendas either. We have done a lot of shopping at used clothes stores as well as Walmart, not just for prices but because they offer clothes that are just plain Tshirts and dresses that can be layered. Seriously, society has a panic attack everytime a child is abducted and yet their dressing our little girls to be like little women, just as a predator would want to see them. Thanks for the straight forward honesty Robin!