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Younger moms -- what is your opinion of these two t-shirts for a 13-year-old girl?

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 

Both are form-fitting t-shirts with words across the breast area. One says "bite me" with vampire fangs above the words; one says "wink wink." I'm just trying to get other perspectives; dd bought these shirts for herself at the thrift store, and I feel like having those words right on her breasts gives the impression that she's trying to draw sexual attention to herself.

 

I think she usually does a great job choosing clothes, but I felt concern about those two choices and talked with her last night about my concerns, and asked her to think about the kind of message she might be giving. She felt like I was playing mind games and wanted me to say either "Yes, you can wear them" or "No, you can't."

 

So I said, okay, then you can't wear them for now and I'll try to get some other perspectives -- not from people who know her but from the other mothers at Mothering. Thanks for any insights you might have. I'm posting this in general parenting because dd was concerned that all the respondents would be old like me, so I explained that some of the moms here are in their 20s. I felt like I'd be more likely to encounter younger moms in general parenting than in the teen forum.

post #2 of 73
I guess I am not a younger mom :) Anyway. I feel that a 13 year old should be competent and trusted enough to choose their own clothing. If you think she doesn't really get the "sexual" message on the shirts, discuss it with her, tell her, you are worried, you would not have chosen them for her because of this and that, and than trust her to make her own choices. I personnally don't think I would have a problem with such shirts. I don't see much of a sexual intention there. Most of the t-shirts have their writings or things on the breast area, right? I think, showing your trust to your daughter is more important than having to clench your teeth while you have to look at her at the dinner table ;) Trin
post #3 of 73
Thread Starter 

I really like your advice; it just confirms my initial intent -- which was to just express my concerns and continue to trust her to make her own clothing choices! Thanks so much!

post #4 of 73
I'm not younger either, sorry! But I don't think those shirts sound too bad. On t-shirts with writing, the chest area is just where the writing goes, even on men's shirts.

I hate those pants/shorts with writing across the rear, but those shirts wouldn't bug me.
post #5 of 73

Younger mom here (24). I DO actually think the shirts sound sexual, and the sort of thing I may have coveted at 13. I think a lot of teens dress this way without really realizing why. I don't really think it is a terribly big deal, but I would worry a little bit about adult reactions.

I cringe a little bit remembering what I wore sometimes as a teen and how my teachers might have felt about it.

 

I would let your daughter wear the shirts though.

post #6 of 73
I'm also in my early 20's, and agree with mamapigeon in that I feel it IS seen as sexual to the people looking. I agree with Triniity's advice, and I think it's important that you talk this over with her, and let her know why you are concerned. I think it's a great opportunity for a good dialogue about these types of things that crop up more and more, the older she gets.
post #7 of 73
Thread Starter 

mamapigeon, I do think part of my concern stems from worrying about adult reactions -- such as the reactions of the other moms at church and in our homeschooling group. It's just always a fact that each parent draws the line differently, in terms of how involved they get in their children's choices regarding clothes, music, media, and so on -- and even in terms of how much, if any, choice the children have about certain things.

 

And it seems like I am frequently at the often frowned-upon end of the spectrum these days. About a year ago, dd got really into discovering new music for herself on YouTube -- and also movies. Right now, she likes Kesha music and stalker and horror movies (to borrow from The Sound of Music, "These are a few of her favorite things"). And, of course, these are the main topics she wants to talk about in conversations. And I certainly don't think she should NOT talk about them -- it's not like she's doing "shameful" things that she needs to be all hush-hush about. I just need to keep reminding myself that my children's purpose for being on this earth is not to have everyone look upon me as some paragon of great mom-ness. Mothering them is not about me -- it's about helping them be who they were meant to be.

 

About the t-shirts, I did just talk with dd again, and explained that my initial intent had been only to express my concerns and then trust her to make her own decision. I said that I really do think she has great taste in clothes and always looks really nice, and my being concerned about two t-shirts didn't mean that I didn't think she could choose her own clothes. And I admitted that I think I worry too much about what other moms will think. She said she wants to get a t-shirt explaining that it's not her parents' fault because she dresses herself. :)

post #8 of 73
Older mom here...but also was a middle school teacher for 9 years. I would say absolutely not on the "Bite me" one; compromise on the other so it's a draw.

This is how I would go about it: I would also have a very frank, non-judgmental discussion with her, using the words (or something close): "Honey, did you realize that some people, like boys or even adults, might look at that shirt and think you mean 'Bite my nipples?' ". There is a chance she may not have thought about the message.

If she ditches the "Bite Me" (which isn't a polite sentiment in any case...would you be okay with her using those words in conversation?) shirt and you feel like being nice, give her the money she spent to trade her back for the shirt.

I don't get the sexual implication of the "Wink, wink" one.

I teach in a fairly tame community...kids of that age get caught in the bathrooms at school having sex. Also, about nine out of ten phones confiscated have either text or photo sexting, regardless of gender.

Careful, mamas, and good luck.
post #9 of 73
I assumed the "bite me" one was re the recent vampire craze? I wouldn't think it was sexual. Nor the "wink wink" one, really. Nor would the placement over the breasts bother me as that's where all t-shirt writing is. But maybe I'd have to see the shirts to get a better feel for it.
post #10 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I assumed the "bite me" one was re the recent vampire craze? I wouldn't think it was sexual. Nor the "wink wink" one, really. Nor would the placement over the breasts bother me as that's where all t-shirt writing is. But maybe I'd have to see the shirts to get a better feel for it.

 

I'm not a young mama, so my first reaction is to be a little jealous about the logo placement issue....I haven't had that problem in many years wink1.gif.

post #11 of 73
ROFL. I was thinking of 13-year-old bodies.

I should say though that I am also not a young mom by a long shot. I'm definitely middle aged, so maybe I shouldn't have answered. orngbiggrin.gif LOL
post #12 of 73

While not everyone may see sexual messages in the "Bite Me' t-shirt, the boys will. I teach high school, and they see sexual messages in many things. The whole vampire craze is/was pretty sexual anyway, so IMO the words do have that connotation.

 

The 'wink, wink" is more flirtatious than sexual.

post #13 of 73
Yeah but if teenage girls are expected to avoid anything teenage boys might find sexual, they will be left with very few options. I'm not sure if I'd be comfortable with my daughter (only 11 at this point) having to constantly think about whether a teenage boy will find something she's wearing sexual. She'd be continually living the the male gaze if she were thinking about that. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaze ) I think I'd rather she accidentally arouse a teenage boy from time to time than view herself in the third person all the time.
post #14 of 73
Just wanted to say interesting viewpoint mama zee. I hadn't thought of it like that. I guess I feel like at that age all I ever did was view it from a 3rd party stand point being as I was very insecure and worried about others perceptions. But if your child is self-confident and responsible it is a much different scenario. Great question I like reading everyone's responses!
post #15 of 73
I'm 27, idk if that's still "young", but I would probably not let my daughter wear those. To me, it's either black or white, the gray area may as well be black IMO. And this whole situation sounds gray to me......
post #16 of 73
Interesting that, for the most part, the younger moms say the shirts are too much, and the older moms say the shirts are okay. Are us older moms reaching "out of touch" territory? Yikes! wink1.gif
post #17 of 73
I'm younger as I was 18 when got pregnant with my DD. Honestly I can ser why you are concerned....but any huge fuss you make will make her want to wear them more smile.gif
At 13 you are rebelling and beginning to express yourself as being an individual. I think in the big scheme of things, it's not such a huge deal. Try and remember what it was like to be that age and if that's the wordt of it then she will be alright smile.gif
post #18 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

Interesting that, for the most part, the younger moms say the shirts are too much, and the older moms say the shirts are okay. Are us older moms reaching "out of touch" territory? Yikes! wink1.gif


I noticed, kind of funny.

While I do consider the shirts moderately sexual, I don't really see there being much of a problem wearing them. Most 13 year olds are thinking sexual thoughts anyway. rolleyes.gif

post #19 of 73

I am older mom but I can remember starting to get male attention around that age and I was totally unprepared.  My worry wouldn't be, oh no, she might actually make a boy think about boobs so much as oh no, she may be getting a lot more attention than she's ready for.  Both of those are pretty flirtatious and it probably won't take long for someone to comment on them.  She may blow it right off and not be bothered by it AT ALL or she may freak out.

 

My daughter is MUCH younger and we already have conversations about how her outer appearance doesn't say anything about who she is on the inside, but it will influence how people perceive and interact with her.  It would be nice if that were not true, but it is. 

 

Also, I just don't like clothes with words and messages on them.  They are fine for sleep clothes and around the house, but otherwise...not a fan.  Would she be mollified to relegating them to sleepwear?
 

post #20 of 73
I agree that just about anything can be considered sexual or sexualized.

That said, "Bite Me" right near the breasts is, to me, rather blatant: it is supposed to be.

OP will make the right decision for her child and their relationship.
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