I don’t rant very often.

But I spent the afternoon with my family at the mall.

Shoe shopping.

We were woefully unsuccessful.

And I left grumpy. But not because of the shoes.

Because of the teenagers.

Let me say this, neither Addie or Vivi will ever be allowed to leave the house in shorts or skirts that end above their fingertips.

There wasn’t a single girl wearing these…things, who wasn’t constantly pulling them out of her crotch.

I saw more butt cheek fold today than I’ve ever seen on MTV, VH1 and E! combined. ON TEENAGERS.

I had to physically restrain myself after seeing a MUCH OLDER MAN ogle a girl in a short skirt.

I wanted to take her to the side, grab her by the shoulders and say “HONEY. YOUR BUTT. IS HANGING OUT. WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE (11 years ago?) THAT WAS ILLEGAL. A MAN OLDER THAN YOUR DAD JUST ENJOYED LOOKING AT IT. COVER THAT UP. HAVE SOME RESPECT FOR YOURSELF.”

Then there were the bare midriffs.

YES.

Never have bare midriffs been acceptable unless you are on the beach/pool, near a beach/pool or walking to the beach/pool. Even then? Bare midriffs are debatable. With this being the case about bare midriffs, they are certainly not okay on TEENAGERS at the MALL in INDIANA in SEPTEMBER.

Google “cute teen clothing?”

YOU GET THIS.

WHEN DID THIS BECOME OKAY?

Google “modest teen clothing?”

You get…well. Let’s just say some people have some ideas about over the top modesty.

Shouldn’t there be some middle ground?

That being said, there were some girls who did cover themselves. Who dressed to flatter their body instead of flaunt it. I wanted to congratulate them. Thank them. THANK THEIR MOMS. The best part? They were the ones that stood out in a sea of non existent denim and tiny tank tops with multi colored bras hanging out from underneath them.

So.

That’s my rant.

(See also, ice cream is more delicious this week than other weeks. Make of that what you will. *ehem*)

Comments

  1. I checked the dictionary. I did not find “naked” under “pretty”. Most of the bare heinies that you saw don’t have jobs. This means their parents bought those clothes.

    Epic failure.

  2. I am so glad my daughter (now 17) is modest. Layers up in winter, doesn’t wear a sleeveless t-shirt (is only just wearing them with the ‘cap’ sleeves, for a while there it was boys t-shirts), lives in jeans or denim knee-length shorts.

    She likes to live life without worrying about what she is wearing or what image she leaves in other people’s memories, as do I. I think if girls (and women) today looked at themselves in the mirror and thought ‘this is the memory of me that I’m going to leave’ and then thought about the different men and people in their lives they just might dress differently!

  3. Oy! The things I could say about this. I just started letting the girls wear shorts not long ago and they have to come past their fingertips. It frustrates me though because it is so hard to find stuff that covers them up. Most days my girls layer up…a lot to keep covered.

  4. Moosh, I’ve been talking about this for YEARS!! (No I mean, since my blog launched in 2006). I have a daughter who is now a tween and her dad and I enacted a strict law that skirts aren’t above her knees and when she raises her arms, if I can see a belly button… the shirt goes to Goodwill or it doesn’t get bought. I’ve talked about all of this, advertising to young girls, clothing, sexing them up too young… it makes me sick to my stomach (there’s actually a post on lingerie for young girls on my site from last week). This is my biggest beef with brands and advertising – why they’ve set the bar so low for girls and why parents allow it.

    Ummm yeah, hopping on my soapbox now with you – best go grab mine! Thanks for seeing and saying what I’ve been saying for a long time now.

  5. My fiancĂ©’s younger sister always wears shorts where her butt cheeks are hanging out. Every time I say something to Joe about it he says it’s not my place and their mom lets her wear them, blah, blah, blah. But when we have kids our daughter will NEVER wear shorts that short. EVER. I never did. I hated that our cross country shorts were short. I didn’t like feeling like I needed to get swimsuit ready just to run a race.

    And the future sister-in-law? Her facebook profile picture is her in a bikini. Even Joe has a problem with that one.

  6. gah. my husband and i rant about this at the mall ALL. THE. TIME. we’re both completely appalled at the state of girls clothing, and also at parents who seem to think it’s ok to send their girls out looking like that. (that being said, i hate to judge other parents and so many times try to convince myself that these girls left the house in turtlenecks and changed clothes in a public bathroom.) the buttcheeks! the cleavage! the see-through leggings used as pants! the ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AGED GIRLS WEARING PANTS/SHORTS WITH WORDS WRITTEN ACROSS THE BUTT! why is it ok to call attention to the backside of someone who hasn’t even hit their teen years yet? ok. i need to be done since i could go on forever like this, and i don’t even consider myself that overwhelmingly modest. *sigh*

  7. Totally agreed on all points! It’s a scary world out there. Question for you: my daughter is almost 5 and has just graduated from the “toddler” sections from all stores. WHERE do you buy appropriate clothes for a little girl that don’t look like something 18 year olds are wearing?????? Without the sassy sayings and horrifying images plastered all over them. I’m having a hard time here. Seeing as you want to keep your Addie covered I would love some advice on where to get my Addie clothes! (yep, i have an addie too….aren’t they great!)

  8. Every single time I go to the mall I think to myself “no one told me this was prostitute night at the mall.”

    It’s really disturbing to see all these young girls dressed this way.

  9. It is SO SCARY thinking about raising two girls. I’m ready to invest in garbage bags and duct tape, just wrap ‘em up good before they leave the house. EEK.

  10. Were you at Circle Center? i was there over the weekend with 12 year old neice and her friend. They had those shorts on. I kept telling her that she will get a yeast infection. Not to mention the old pervs that they are totally oblivious to. Yes, it is BAD.

    Jesica V. Reply:

    niece…”I” before “E” except after “C”

  11. UGH. I literally just had this conversation with my fiance. Being kind of clueless, he did not notice the shorts-barely-covering-the-buttcheeks until I pointed them out EVERYWHERE I saw them. Modesty and whatnot aside, they aren’t even remotely flattering!

    Yesterday, I saw the boy’s niece’s senior photos – one was of her laying on her back, top pulled off one shoulder, all sprawled out. Another looks to be taken from the ground – a shot up her bare legs, with stripper shoes and a short, strapless dress on, lounging back on a pink couch. Seriously, they looked like boudoir photos, not something a 17 year old girl should be taking! When the mother and grandmother commented on how “cute” and “beautiful” the photos were, and how “grown-up” she looked – because, of course, they were all over Facebook – I wanted to knock some sense into them.

    Of course, this is the same niece who really has no plans after high school, because her mom and grandmother don’t talk to her about THAT.

    *sigh*

  12. all i have to say is: amen.

  13. Oh yes!!! As a mom of a 10 year old daughter who is 5ft 2in and could technically wear “junior” size clothes, I hear you and applaud! I point out clothes that are absolutely NEVER going to worn on her body all the time and she gets it. She is fortunate to have friends who also dress more age appropriate so I’m not fighting the “but everyone wears stripper shoes mom” battle. Yet.

  14. Ugh…I feel the exact same way.

    Trouble I’m having now is that my 6 1/2 year old daughter is the same size as an 8 year old. This means that she will be hitting the teen-sized clothes much earlier than she should…then life is going to get very tough. :(

  15. Yay for you!
    (and, it seems, many of your commenters)

    i often wonder how we went from boy-jeans & 2 shirts (one of course being plaid flannel) of the 90s grunge days to NOTHING there, bra straps showing b/c they are a *pretty* color.

    we really are rushing our kids to grow up too fast.
    and to mature too quickly will only be a much larger problem to bear. (or bare)

    kudos to you & anyone else who will encourage style with CLASS.

    the bean will hate me growing up for sure! i wouldn’t even allow funny words/sayings on her diapered tush b/c frankly, i didn’t want to draw attention to her tush. now nor certainly in the future!

    thanks for this.

  16. You know….many of these styles are recycled from the 60s and 80s and our parents and our parent’s parents said pretty much the same thing. I think some things beg to be asked here…such as do sexual predators choose their victims because they dress slutty or because they are perverted and sick and will have sex with a minor no matter what they’re wearing? Drawing the conclusion that a woman or girl’s dress is linked to the likelihood that she will be assaulted smells an awful like telling a rape victim “she asked for it.” Is our body something to be ashamed of? Do we really win when we squelch self-expression along with a teenager’s genuine need to fit in and identify with her peers? Do I like any of these styles? Not really. But I do have five kids and am neck-deep in teens so I know that I need to choose my battles carefully, knowing the important ones (drinking, drugs, sex, etc) are the ones I’m want to, and am, winning.

    My daughters have those exact same shorts. They wear them with baggy sweatshirts and they look adorable. But maybe I’m too happy that they are well-adjusted kids who haven’t had sex yet, or drugs and alcohol, and they get good grades and are basically nice people to get my granny panties in a puritan knot of self-loathing and judgey condemnation. I still hate the shorts but people! Wait until those babies of yours grow up before you start loudly casting words of condemnation to the parents and teens and see what it’s like and then come back and tell me what your teenager is wearing to school.

    Katie Reply:

    @Jen M, I fully understand and respect you picking your battles and have no doubt you’re raising your children well. But I have to say that for me, it isn’t about being ashamed of their bodies – it’s about teaching them to respect their bodies and wear what is appropriate (or at least more appropriate), and about the truth of the world – how people will treat them because of their dress and the impression it gives to others (whether friends, strangers, or future bosses and coworkers). I have no doubt it isn’t easy, it never is for parents and never will be. It’s a battle I would choose to fight – to an extent. And that extent is not allowing my niece’s ass to be literally SEEN because her shorts are that short.

    heather bays Reply:

    @Jen M, Wearing clothing in 1960 and 1970 that was short and revealing was different than clothing right now that is short and sexually suggestive. Our culture is sexually driven in every way and 100 times worse than in the 60′s and 70′s. It is overt sexuality and an overt sexualizing of girls/tweens. I AM a Mother of a teenager. I do know and I am sick of other mothers using the excuses of “well we dressed like this in the 70′s”. Pornography was not available in people, let alone teenagers pockets on a phone in 1970. The incidents of sexual abuse in the 1970′s were lower and let us not even get into the massive 4.8 BILLION girls that are being circulated in the sex trafficking industry around the world 14% of which are OUR AMERICAN KIDS (see http://www.ijm.com for statistics) I’ve had it with mothers of my friends kids making excuses and then crying when their girls are engaging in sexual activity before they are adults and wondering why. We are not closed or repressed in our home. Our 10 and 12 year old girls know words I didn’t know til I was 19 or 20 and just last week we discussed sexting and oral sex at the dinner table. We are under attack, and I for one am going to fight.

  17. What bothered me the most (besides all these outfits that I saw at the mall this past weekened), was that many of these girls were with their parents. Their parents SAW them like this and said it was okay. WHAT?!

  18. I have a Facebook friend (who I used to go to church with, btw) who constantly posts highly sexualized pictures of her teen and tween daughters THAT SHE TAKES HERSELF! It bothers me so much, but she’s not a good enough friend that I feel I could say something to her about it. Some of the pictures from her recent family trip show the girls rolling up their shirts to get fake belly/practically pubic bone tattoos from a street vendor and posing in skimpy bikinis in the water with arched backs. The younger girl is maybe 11 years old? It’s SOOO creepy!

  19. Casey,

    Seriously I have a 12 year old daughter who is 5’6″ tall and only weighs a mere 90 some pounds. She is tall and most shorts look very short on her. She is a really sweet girl who has a heart for God and others but it is a serious struggle to help her navigate this journey. The sexualization of tweens is profoundly prevalent and honestly, my girls are some of the only ones left in the neighborhood pool not wearing bikinis let alone what I call “shanties”…denim panties. I’m disgusted most of all that God entrusts these girls to us, their very lives to us and most of their friends moms aren’t even thinking along the lines of just plain protecting their kids/girls. That not only is dressing this way immodest, it can and is dangerous. Sexually these girls are not emotionally developed enough to know what kind of sexual messages this is sending. I’m tired. So tired of this fight. I’ve eased up on some things (letting her wear makeup in 7th grade) to counter all of the other fads/trends that I’m forbidding she participate in. It is a balance that requires total dependence on a higher power, and a tough stance on protection more than modesty. Sigh…you’ve hit a hot button subject for me. Thanks for sharing. I shared with my other 987 facebook friends. I only wish I wasn’t so alone in this fight. Most moms of my girls friends just don’t give a crap or they’re too concerned with their girls’ popularity to care.

    The End.

  20. I totally agree. I live in Florida, near the beach, and it is embarrassing to see what some people consider appropriate. It makes me sad to see booty shorts in the toddler section when I shop for my grand-daughter… Really??? You should see some of the baby bikinis… Sad.

  21. I’m kind of saddened by the comments here; I don’t think teenage girls are “hoochie mamas” or “smutty” or “hookers.” They’re just teenage girls. Yes, some of the clothes are much too revealing for someone under eighteen, but they’re still kids. I’m not too comfortable with talking about kids that way.

    Personally, I wouldn’t wear some of that stuff, but I do wear some of it depending on my comfort level, and like it when combined with something less revealing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a tank top. Basically, my rule of thumb is if my ass is going to flash everyone in the world, or if my cheeseburger baby belly is going to say hello to everyone, I’m not wearing it. But I’d so rock a pair of stiletto heels — if they didn’t hurt my feet — with a pair of shorts (not shorts-so-short-you-can-see-the-inside-of-the-pockets but still short) and a tee shirt. I think the key is moderation, and it’s sad that these girls don’t yet understand moderation… but someday they might. What’s really sad is that they don’t have some kind of parental figure saying, “Miniskirt?! HELL no, you are NOT going out in that!” That’s bad parenting, not teenage sluttiness.

  22. This summer I went and stayed with my little sister for two weeks while my stepmom was out of town. She was 12 at the time, just turned 13 last week. She is a fashionable kid, and very pretty, and saves her money to buy her own clothes, mostly at Abercrombie and Hollister. And she had the short shorts. Oh my lord. First off, the schools have a dress code, but they don’t enforce it. So all of her friends are walking around in them. Secondly, even the shorts from Abercrombie kids/juniors were that short. It’s awful! No one should be seeing 12 year olds butt cheeks! These kids are so young they may not even GET how older guys could be looking at them – they’re just wearing what is popular. But in reality, it is something people will look at, and it’s pretty inappropriate. Uck.

  23. we call them denim diapers and we look forward to cold weather when the diapers are (mostly) at home!