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Sexing up our kids.... - Page 3

post #41 of 73
An adult man who looks at teenage girls or thinks sexual thoughts about them is not committing a crime, but it's still his responsibility to make sure he doesn't go beyond just looking.

A girl can look very sexy and trendy and still be mostly covered. If she wore tight jeans, even jeans that covered her belly, and a form-fitting sweater, she would look very good and would appeal to men. If a girl is pretty, nothing can hide it. I think girls should be encouraged to embrace their good looks and not be ashamed of them.

More about thongs: I think I would rather my dd wear a thong and keep it covered than wear regular underwear and have them show. Sometimes kids who have to wear uniforms to school feel a sense of individuality and autonomy by wearing cute underwear, even if no one sees it. It's one part of their wardrobe they can have complete control over, if no one has to see it.

I think if my dd wanted to wear something that even I would not wear, I would ask her why. Like a crop top - I know that in the summer I am really uncomfortable in clothes that cover my belly. And since I am short, I do not look good in high-waisted pants. It could be that a kid who wants to show her belly just can't bear to have it covered in the heat. My dd just recently discovered her belly and always walks around with her shirt pulled up so she can play with her navel. It's possible that kids have non-sexual reasons for wanting to wear certain things. If my dd says "I want to look nice for men" or that she saw it on TV and that's why she wants it, perhaps it's time for one of those mother/daughter talks...

But I think when in doubt, I will assume the non-sexual meaning first.

Or maybe work out some compromise - like, no crop tops at school but you can wear them at home, or you can wear either the crop top or the low riders, but not both.

Of course, since she's only 18 months it's easy to talk about "all the stuff I'm going to do." Maybe when she's 5 or 6 I will see the situation in a completely different way! One just never knows...
post #42 of 73
I have two problems:

1) I'm buying dd (2 1/2yo) shorter dresses for the summer so she can learn how to negotiate a dress without tripping all over herself. Why do they all look so trashy???? Short dresses on little girls used to look cute and childlike. Now they are emblazoned with words like "Lover" and "Sexy" and have pseudo-tears and hole in strategic places. What happened to eyelet trim and a little flare at the bottom of the skirt to twirl?

2) Why is it "OK" to dress her to look like a streetwalker but not let her just wear a swim diaper at the public pool with no bathing suit?

It makes no sense
post #43 of 73
post #44 of 73
I am so glad this thread is here! I cant handle seeing little girls wearing mini skirts and strappy tops with glitter on them! Makes me sick!
post #45 of 73
Just wondering...

...how would you all feel if a young boy wanted to wear Speedos, tight spandex shorts, a t-shirt that said "Hot Lover Man" or jeans that showed his underwear? (I'm not making this up; these clothes exist for grade-school age boys!)

I know they make Speedos for toddlers. I would be embarrassed to be seen with anyone of any age who was wearing one of those!
post #46 of 73
post #47 of 73
I have seen the Speedos in 2T size, and the baggy jeans that people like to wear halfway down their butt on kids age 6 to 8. I think spandex shorts are available for all ages, and t-shirts with stupid sayings (the same things you'd find written on the thongs) for grade school age as well.

I don't think as many people are as concerned though. It's the double standard again - when a boy dresses that way, people say "Oh, how cute, he looks just like his big brother" or "He's going to have the ladies flocking around him!" But when a girl does, people think it's "sick and wrong."
post #48 of 73
OK maybe sexy clothes don't force men to lust but it sure doesn't help them fight it off. call me old fasion but I feel we are our brothers keepers. I want my dd to help thier brothers by not leading them into lust and I excpect young men to help my dd (thier spiritual sisters) along by not expecting them to dress in a way that cheapens them and by covering themselves as well (I don't think it appropriate for men to run around without shirts on any more than it is appropriate for women.) I guess I expext everyone to do what is best for others even at the expense of fasion. so as for me and my daughters we will keep under cover.

And about Speedos - SPEEDON'T!! My neighbor mows his lawn in a speedo. eewwwww! He is tall with a pot belly and skinny pastey legs. yuck. Let me tell you. these things don't stir up any amount of lust in this girl. they are just nasty. They have thier place but in the suburban front laws of the midwest is not it. again i say
post #49 of 73

ok, this is TOTALLY OT!

Please! You guys are ruining all my fond memories of all the really beautiful swimmer guys in college with their impossibly long legs and teeny tiny butts in teeny tiny speedos...

ugh! a middle-aged guy mowing his lawn in a speedo...
post #50 of 73
I'm totally with the posters who question what short skirts and glitter tub tops have to do with sexual availability. I sometimes wear short skirts and I am NOT sexually available. When did belly and theighs become sexual objects - they are belly and theighs, and me and my 5 year old daughters can expose them as much as we want.

I'm not going to not breast feed in public because some man might sexualize my mammory gland and lust for me. His problem not mine. Me and my daughters aren't going to cover our bellies and theighs because some man might lust for us.

I am very unhappy that that my daughters will grow up in a society that tells them that beauty (and a sexualized beauty) = power/happiness. But girls learned that in the fifties when they wore huge skirts. Message is same regardless of the clothes.

What I want is to protect my girls from this message. I wish I knew how to. My mom did all the right stuff (no barbies etc) and I still ended up all messed up (despite the fact I wear sweats 90% of the time). For example - of all my positive teacher evaluations, the one where the girl mentioned I was pretty made me happiest

In short, I think clothes is a scapegoat. We can dress our girls in the most conservative clothes and still watch them suffer for our culture's insistance on women's beauty as the most important attribute.
post #51 of 73
This thread is really interesting to me. I've only been in the USA a year now so I'm not really familiar with the trends and attitudes. Some of this stuff is really surprising for me.

Speedos are a NO NO??? These are those little spandex underpant style swimmers, is that right? All boys wore them I was a kid (70s), if you wore shorts you were a hopeless dork, or must have had something to hide. And then it was a cultural thing - nowadays, the Italian and Greek boys wear speedos but the 'white' boys all wear baggy shorts. In Europe men wear Speedos. I always put it down to white boys being insecure and ashamed while latino men were more secure and confident about their bodies and sexuality.

Boys can't seriously swim in those baggy shorts can they? Isn't that why boys/men wear speedos for competition swimming? It's more comfortable, better suited for swimming, dry faster when you get out of the water? What about function here?

Hey lilyka, your poor potbellied, pastey legged neighbour may have just been trying to get more of a tan, to get rid of those pastey legs. He probably wasn't trying to be a sex symbol.
post #52 of 73
I agree with wombat about Speedos - I grew up in the 70's, too, and all boys' swimsuits looked like that, so I don't see how dressing a little boy in one is equivalent to dressing a little girl in a sexy outfit. And as far as adults go, don't get me wrong, I would rather see a gorgeous, fit guy in one than a huge potbellied man, but if I say that anyone "shouldn't" wear them, that's the same as when men look at a woman with a less-than-Playboy-bunny-perfect body on a beach and say she has no right to wear her bikini. People can wear whatever they want - there's no law saying you can only wear revealing clothes if you have a certain kind of body. People are so conditioned to seeing only perfect bodies in movies and magazines that they develop this sick mentality that anyone who does not have a perfect body should be ashamed of it. The sad thing is, a lot of people are ashamed.

But I stick with my previous posts on this subject (back on topic here) - that "sexy" clothes for kids are just wrong. I don't think they necessarily invite sexual attention, I just think they are inappropriate because of the message they send to the kids who wear them (or even see them in stores) about what it means to be a girl, or to be attractive.
post #53 of 73
Greaseball wrote:
I think girls should be encouraged to embrace their good looks and not be ashamed of them.
Right on! I think it's important to have a choice of clothing styles available, so that everyone can wear what he or she finds comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, but I think those who choose "sexy" clothing should not be judged any more harshly than those who choose "nun" clothing. I'm really disappointed by the judgmental tone of many posts in this thread.

I wore short-shorts and halter tops (the kind that are a triangle of fabric w/strings that tie around neck and back) every summer of my childhood because those were PRACTICAL clothes in the heat. I see absolutely nothing wrong w/that. I began to wear tops w/more coverage during puberty because I felt that I now "had" to wear a bra or it would be indecent; I suffered many days of discomfort and heat rash because of this, and I don't think it was a positive thing at all!

For those of you who are annoyed by too-long boys' shorts: Have you considered buying girls' shorts? Some of them are available in colors that coordinate w/boys' shirts (or you could even let your boy wear pink shirts!) and have pockets.

For all of you who are unhappy w/the clothing selection in stores: Why not MAKE clothes for your kids? My mom did a lot of this, not because of modesty but because the stores in the '70s were packed w/yucky synthetic fibers and because I was always very thin for my height. It's pretty easy to cut a pattern one size for the length and another size for the width. I loved my custom-made clothes.
post #54 of 73
I think we need to be concerned about not just the clothes, but the combined messages of the clothes, the TV, the games, the toys, the music.

Obviously, for reasons of religion, I would not allow tight, short or transparent clothing for a child of either sex. But that is neither here nor there.

Down the highway from my home, there were 2 unrelated incidents that have come under investigation. One of a 9yo boy having "sexual contact" with up to 13 young girls (I think from age 5 and up). Another of kindergarteners engaging in sexual conduct.

Now, I understand that sexual exploration and "playing doctor" and such are likely to occur when kids of both genders play together. That's old news. But the quote from the 9yo had to do with liking it when the little girls gave him love, or loving, or some such verbage.

There IS responsibility involved in letting a girl wear something that says "foxy," or "naughty," or whatever--because like it or not, a lot of the other kids out there are watching a lot of very young kids having sex on TV...and a lot of parents are pretending it's not there.

I won't place judgment on a person's clothing choices, nor would I ever place blame on a victim of sexual crimes (I have been there too). It's frightening, though, to think of how much time these tweens spend away from parental guidnace, and what can happen when they are out there.
post #55 of 73
How does a 2-year-old child know who Britney Spears is? Maybe if someone doesn't want their kids to take an interest in pop culture (and the clothes that go with it) there should be a rule about no watching commercials. Maybe the parents could get rid of cable.

I don't think the media can be blamed for everything, but it does have more of an influence (even on me!) than people realize.

I have to admit though, I was a little shocked at some of the dancing I saw on American Juniors. (Not that I was really watching it, I mean! I was just too lazy to get up and turn it off!) I think the most talented kids could make singing and dancing like a kid look just fine. It's obvious the kids are not really that talented; that's why they copy others' voices and dancing.

I really think a lot can be said for just not exposing kids to stuff in the first place. Don't take them shopping in department stores; stick to kids' stores or catalogs. Or give them your old hand-me-downs from when you were that age. Where does a toddler get a Britney Spears CD? Her parents probably buy it for her and then complain about the child wanting to be like her. (Or the grandparents or someone else could have bought it for her.)

I don't think children intentionally seek this stuff out.

And also, especially for girls, the more people can tear down traditional gender roles of servitude to men and placing looks above all else and stuff like that, the less a girl is going to want to look like something a man would want to look at! If girls were encouraged to play in the mud, they would choose the clothes you can easily do that in.

I finally got a string bikini that fits! And I decided against the matching one for DD, because I didn't think she would like the neck strap.
post #56 of 73
Exactly--if I am choosing to be entertained by TV shows that glorify behavior I'd never condone IRL, to absentmindedly singing along to a tune about using people for sex, or adultery, or whatever, how can I wonder when my kid thinks it's normal and OK?

It's insidious, and so many of us are pretending it's not there, and that is what is letting it grow so strong. It's OK to be grossed out or disapprove, and good to discuss why.
post #57 of 73
I really don't think it's the clothes that are the problem here. It's the society that places a value upon the clothes and upon the people wearing them. In Denmark, women office workers will sunbake topless in the city parks during their lunch hour. Are they displaying sexual availability? Definitely not, as I imagine many ignorant male tourists have discovered. They just really dislike strap marks and after a long, dark winter, they worship the sun.

Children are naked at the beach, even up to age 6,7... or else just wear swim bottoms. Are they sending a message of sexual availability. No, not in Denmark. Danish men can control themselves. (personal experience here, I was married to one) Actually they do 'look' and 'think' but they are too well socialised to ever say or act on those thoughts. Thoughts and fantasies are legal, it's when men act inappropriately on these thoughts, that problems arise. And that's what socialisation is all about. I must add I never once got 'wolf whistled' at in all my years in Denmark.

And lilyka, I once read an article about a middle aged man mowing his front lawn stark naked! You should be thankful yours is nice enough to wear Speedos Although this is unusual, eccentric behaviour even by Danish standards.
post #58 of 73
Btw, do you actually have your old clothes from when you were a kid? I thought I was a packrat!!
Yep, I do, and my mother has baby clothes that HER mother wore! I am already starting a pile of dd's clothes that she can give to her kids. A lot of my clothes were handmade and people always ask where I got them. It's not stuff you see in stores, which is a shame.

Anyway...when did the belly become such an erotically charged zone? They used to black out the belly button in old Playboys. I think people don't like to see bellies today because the navel, the remnant of the umbilical cord, is a reminder that we all come out of a woman's body, that we are all born from woman, born from sex.

I also think that's why maternity clothing covers the belly even though that is so uncomfortable! That's why the next time around I want to be pregnant in the summer. I won't have to worry about finding winter coats and pants that will fit me, I can just wear my bikini!

I have no desire to cover up the proof that I have engaged in sexual intercourse. (Pregnant belly, that is.)
post #59 of 73
It can be a hard choice sometimes. Now, all the college kids seem to be wearing stuff that is loose-fitting, like sweats, but that exposes the belly. And there is all this tight-fitting clothing that covers everything.

My high school had the most liberal dress code in the district. Its policy stated the navel had to be covered, while other schools say the whole belly has to be covered.

Now schools are saying that shoulders have to be covered, but only the girls. Is it another of those "too close to the breasts" rules?

At my high school, you could not show shoulders but you could show cleavage, and boys could go topless in the halls. I think if a student can't learn because someone's shoulders are showing, there's not much hope for them in the real world. How do they expect to get a job or drive a car if the sight of a shoulder can "distract them?"

I have to drive by several fraternities daily and I would be in a lot of trouble if I could not function in the presence of shoulders, nipples, navels and thighs.
post #60 of 73


I always complain to the store managers. My dd is 11, and very young in these things. She's no longer wanting to wear Hanna, she mostly likes Gap and Old Navy.

Once I found a size small thong in the wash. I don't wear them, and haven't worn anything in a small in 5 years. I asked her if they were a friend's (she still loves Osh Kosh undies) and she said "Oh gross mom, none of my friends are like that". I almost called the moms but finally figured out they were from when we were on vacation and I was washing my CD's at a friend's house. They were hers.

I have always said "I refuse to turn my child into a ho for fashion" and argue the "pimping of our daughters" in letters to stores that feature "knock me up now" clothing for the pre teen set. You can be pretty, happy, fun and well dressed without ho-ing it up at 7.

Ugh. You hit a nerve with me I guess! LOL!!
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