Tuesday, April 19

My Response to "Parents don't dress your girls like tramps"

Both the CNN article AND Katy's post.

While this post is a little off topic from my usual posts, I read, posted and commented on this LZ Granderson/CNN article, Parents don't ress your girls like tramps," earlier today. 

When Katy Widrick wrote her opinion over at her blog I had to write a lengthy/personal reply. Further, I wanted to share my thoughts here, as well.

Katy made the point that

This is representative of a further issue -- in my opinion, that issue is largely the fact that parents are increasingly absent.  However, I can only partially agree with your point about parents letting their kids have some freedom in their choices... but I only partially agree with you.   It's one thing to let your daughter wear your high heels and lipstick, it's another when they start parading around in your or their (I have no doubt that will eventually happen) lingerie.

Parents MUST to play a role in GUIDING their children's choices.  Because I don't care how "free" a spirit your kid is... No little girl needs to be running around have naked and dressed like a sex symbol.  That is SOLELY on the parents.  Shame on companies like Abercrombie for marketing the merchandise, but even more shame goes to the parents for saying, "Yeah, that's a GREAT IDEA" 

I think LZ Granderson made a HUGELY valid point which is that PARENTS are the one buying these items for their kids.  And from first-hand experience, pushing and or encouraging it.  Case in point: My (then) 7 year old niece Annie and her mom. 

I can't begin to tell you how disgusted I was when my sister-in-law bought some kiddie bras for my niece (who at the time was seven).  My SIL, Shelly bought them NOT because my niece asked or begged for them, not because Annie NEEDED them (she didn't).  Shelly bought them because SHELLY thought that they were funny and cute.   While I love my SIL, to me, that is just plain inappropriate.  And I have friends who would/will/have bought similar items for their little girls, for the same reason.

These parents make up the demographic that companies like Abercrombie, etc are trying to "reach" with these items.  I have never yet met a kid that chose outfits that are purely sexual because that's how they want to dress.  TV & media have A LOT of influence but it comes from even closer.  What are those kids learning at home.

Back to my niece Annie (who is now 11).  Annie has had some pretty serious body image issues since she was about 8 years old.  It was about this time when she (who IS beautiful and also a little toothpick)started comparing herself to other kids, real and on TV, and saying that she wasn’t pretty, or skinny, or she was too fat, she needed to lose weight.  This is the girl who understands the sexual undertone to Katy Perry’s “I kissed a girl” and sings it that way in order to get attention. This, btw, is something that still leaves me appalled.

The question isn’t what are we letting our KIDS do.  The real question is what are we encouraging our kids to do?

And the future right now is beginning to look pretty grim.

--happy living


  1. Teens are just so impressionable that any influence on them can stick. My parents always treated us with such love and that we were beautiful.

    Problem is that my mom always looked down on how she looked and that transferred to us. My mom is the most wonderful mother but I don't think she knew what she was doing. I want to be better example of self love when I have kids.

    Great post!


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