I was reading an article about Princess Charlotte. I’m not really into the Royals(although she is really cute), but this article struck a chord with me. It was about the way that her mother chooses to dress her. Like a little girl.
There has been so much written on this subject over the years, yet we still battle the same demons. Dare I say, it’s gotten worse in the past 25 years.
Media, in all forms, is the greatest culprit. Have you walked through a mall lately? I try hard not to.
My kids like going to the mall, but nobody, IMHO, needs to walk by a Victoria’s Secret store. I don’t care if you’re a boy or a girl, the last thing my daughters need to see are female models, mostly naked for the whole world to view and for my girls to compare themselves to. It’s no better for my sons’ eyes either. Let’s all be honest here, I guarantee the young men walking by the store are not looking at the color of the model’s eyes.
Nor are they simply “reading the stories” in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition that comes out every year to massive media hoopla. These “media” are the men and women who talk about empowering girls and being strong women. Really?
It is a symptom of so much that is going terribly, terribly wrong in our society.
The website Beauty Redefined says (about Victoria’s Secret):
This is a company that rakes in $5 billion annually by selling sexually objectifying and limiting messages to all ages under the guise of empowerment.
When the desire to be desired is our No. 1 priority, we lose ourselves, our control, freedom, happiness, and worth.
I am yet to understand why people scream about the objectification of women, but then they shop there.
I know, once you make a conscious decision to not do business at one store, then you have to start watching everywhere you shop and everything you buy. I’m not saying to live for the almighty boycott – personally, boycotts drive me insane – but let’s think about the messages that our kids, our daughters, are receiving. We don’t need an attention getting boycott, but is there another option for your shopping? What if we all quietly decided that what Victoria’s Secret represents is not what we want for our daughters (and sons). What would happen? Maybe, over time and if enough of us changed how we think, they would have to change also.
Wouldn’t it be worth it?
I have five daughters with five strikingly different personalities. I have everything from the outgoing, leader-of-the-pack to the contemplative poet. Sassy and sweet (all in one girl, actually) as well as bossy and reserved. I like to think I have raised them all to love themselves, inside and out, but I’m sure I’ve made mistakes. That’s why I kept having more… I was bound to get it right on one of them. That’s a joke.
One thing I have not given much leeway to over the years is the manner in which they dress. I often used to have women remark to me that they loved that my little girls actually dressed… like little girls, not mini-big-girls. When they were little, there were no tight fitting dresses, no animal prints. Peter Pan collars and black patent leather Sunday shoes? You bet. No bare shoulders, especially in church. Leggings? Please don’t get me started. There’s not much left to anyone’s imagination with those things on. Pants with writing on the butt? Not a chance. Why would I want to draw attention there? I’m their mother.
It wasn’t easy, though. The world is trying to get our little girls to move at a pace that is much too fast for their emotional development. Tight fitting clothes, makeup and cell phones all before they turn 12. And our boys? We all know it’s a race for them to beat out their friends’ stories, whether they are true or not.
Let’s slow everything down. Let them be kids and let’s help them dress the part.
What are parents expecting their girls to strive toward if they dress immodestly?
If they want modest, confident beautiful girls…raise them that way.