16 YO/Dressing Style/Help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 06-20-2012, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am trying to make peace with myself, or come to a place that I don't feel is wrong regarding my 16 year old step-daughter's style of dress.  She is with us full time, very minimal contact with Mom, and I have been in her life since she was 18 months old. 

 

DSS wears bikinis, tank tops, v neck shirts etc etc.  She is large chested, with a tiny little body, so most of (really all of) what she wears accents her chest.  I am uncomfortable with this. 

 

We don't put a lot of limits on what she wears.  She is 16 and it just isn't part of our relationship dynamic.  She is a good teenager, and shows common sense in most areas of her life.

 

I can't seem to get beyond the non-stop boob parade and can't find a way to talk about it with her that doesn't imply that she is somehow wrong.

 

I don't believe that she should dress differently because dressing that way is asking for unwanted attention. 

 

I don't believe she should have to dress differently than her peers because she is well endowed. 

 

I really feel like all of my reasons come across as slut shaming and I want to figure out a way to change that. 

 

To be clear, I am not looking to change her, but am looking for a way to change my way of thinking.  My DH is in general on the same page as me, where he is vaguely uncomfortable with her dress style, but can't seem to move beyond it, without trying to change her. 

 

Anyone?  Help? 

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#2 of 13 Old 06-20-2012, 08:32 PM
 
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Honestly, I don't know what you can do. She's very close to being an adult, and likely isn't going to be influenced by talks regarding dressing w/any of her parents. I'd let it go,I'm thinking (my DD is only 11 - so who knows how I will feel 5 years from now).

I'm guessing she likes the way she looks, as well as any attention she receives as a result. Otherwise she would wear a different style of clothing. Either she'll outgrow it or tame it down a bit as she gets older, or she won't. Her choice -- and I guess you have to accept it, yk?

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#3 of 13 Old 06-20-2012, 09:35 PM
 
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Well, I want to give you kudos for realizing that this is your problem and not hers. I'm not sure how to help though. Has she switched to this manner of dress recently? If so, you might just get used to it over time. Continued exposure seems to do the trick whenever I have irrational negative feelings about something. After a while, it just stops bugging me.

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#4 of 13 Old 06-20-2012, 10:12 PM
 
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yeah -- it sounds like you are trying to figure out how to let go of your negative feelings about her choices, rather than asking for ways to control her. Good for you!

 

It might help to pick the best feeling thought that you can muster on the subject. For example, she's comfortable with her body. That's really a good thing. Liking the bodies we are living in is really very positive.

 

If she takes care of herself -- makes healthy food choices, stays active, etc., it's another thought that you can pivot too.

 

So many young women in our culture have poor body images, or do such unhealthy things to look a certain way, if she likes her body and treats it well, then that is something to be happy about.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#5 of 13 Old 06-20-2012, 10:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

If she takes care of herself -- makes healthy food choices, stays active, etc., it's another thought that you can pivot too.

So many young women in our culture have poor body images, or do such unhealthy things to look a certain way, if she likes her body and treats it well, then that is something to be happy about.

Great point.

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#6 of 13 Old 06-21-2012, 07:01 AM
 
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I also want to give you kudos for realizing that it's your issue and to say that I understand. I have a 16 y.o. DD and she wears a lot of fairly revealing tank tops and midriff-baring tops. I don't really like it either but I've never insisted that she or her brother dress in a certain way, other than very infrequently for special occasions (Grandma's birthday, that sort of thing). In those cases, I've just indicated that they should be dressed "appropriately". They know that means fairly conservatively. I have also mentioned "appropriate dress" in terms of being taken seriously in business, since my own professional life has been spent in fairly conservative workplaces. 

 

I wish I had some good advice. Personally, my attitude is that I want them to make their own choices. I know that I'm not going to agree or be comfortable with every choice they make. If my disagreement or discomfort occurs with choices about dress or hairstyle, well, I can live with that a lot easier than if I problems with more important choices like education, jobs, and "extra-curricular activities".  

 

In other words, for me - dress and appearance - not a hill to die on. 

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#7 of 13 Old 06-21-2012, 07:46 AM
 
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My preteen dresses pretty casual but the subject of the way girls dress is interesting.  I think there is a difference between a girl dressing "sexy" because she thinks she has to and because she is proud of her body.  I don't think that because a girl has a bigger chest she should feel ashamed and hide it.  I mean, I'm not saying wear see thru tops or something lol but why should she wear baggy mens shirts or something cause of her chest?  Guys can control themselves and girls and women should be able to wear what they want.  I used to dress sexy back in the day and when I became a mom dressed frumpy.  I have recently started dressing sexy-ish again lol...meaning not thongs showing or anything lol...but like dresses that are age-appropriate but show my curves.  I am a woman, not a man and I dont think I should be ashamed of my body.  I dont think its perfect by any means but I also dont want to give my dd the message that curves are something to hide.  I think you are awesome for thinking this through and not just telling her to change her clothes cause that would make her feel shamed.  Maybe you could suggest a shopping/lunch trip?  Dont bring up her choice of clothes at all..just make it a fun day...even if all she buys are her usual clothing items, it is a good way to bond.

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#8 of 13 Old 06-21-2012, 10:29 AM
 
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There are things you just can't help about your body type and really, what ISN'T going to highlight a large chested girl with a tiny body? My own DD 15 is a stick and an A cup but she's got these long fantastic legs and there is no escaping them. Her attire is actually very "little girlish" but even the full, frilly skirts well past "finger-tip" length still look too short on those legs and highlight her figure in ways we'd rather not! What are her options? Grandmas knee length business skirts? Long dresses which she hates because the fabric limits her active lifestyle? Even pants don't mask the fact that she has great legs. DD isn't trying to be sexy. She's trying to be comfortable and wear clothing she feels good in. Sometimes DH and I just have to practice a little deep breathing as really, our reaction is more about our sorrow in her growing up than DD really being inappropriate. 

 

DD's close friend is like your DD... very chesty. Her mom has shared the difficulties of finding clothing that is flattering without being sexy and it's hard! Large chested girls just look pudgy in big t-shirts but fitted shirts certainly show off their assets. You can't really win. 


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#9 of 13 Old 06-21-2012, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much! Perspective is such an awesome thing!

I really am in awe of DSD 's confidence in herself, and am going to work on focusing on that, instead of my own hang ups.


joy.gif

Again, thank you!
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#10 of 13 Old 06-25-2012, 12:54 AM
 
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Hi,

 

Different perspective. I think that dressing in a way that could be described as a "non-stop boob parade" sometimes CAN lead to getting more unwanted attention.

 

This is not slut-shaming, nor is it saying that the most conservatively dressed woman will never get street hassle. However, as a "well endowed" woman, from a young age I noticed the difference in treatment and the amount of street-hassle I got based on how I was dressed.

 

So, the conversations I had w/ my DD  (now 16) on these topics, especially when she was very young (13) was put in a context of saying "It may get you attention that you might not feel comfortable handling".  She first really noticed it herself when she was around 14 and wearing quite a short miniskirt on her way to meet me at a coffee shop. Just guys really and obviously checking her out, which didn't happen usually.

 

Now, my DD does not dress like a nun. She now sometimes wears low tops and she looks gorgeous, and then guys eyes tend to kind of glue there (which sometimes annoys her, "can't they be more discreet"). But, she also knows there are times when she doesn't want that sort thing.

 

So, I would suggest talking to you DSD about it. Tell her about your love and trust for her to make good decisions. Mention your own experience w/ street hassle and also what many in your society  would consider "appropriate" vs. "inappropriate" amount of boob to show in different circumstances (e.g. BBQ party w/ friends vs.  first interview for a part-time job).

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mio2323 View Post

 

I can't seem to get beyond the non-stop boob parade and can't find a way to talk about it with her that doesn't imply that she is somehow wrong.

 

I don't believe that she should dress differently because dressing that way is asking for unwanted attention. 

 

I don't believe she should have to dress differently than her peers because she is well endowed. 

 

I really feel like all of my reasons come across as slut shaming and I want to figure out a way to change that. 

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#11 of 13 Old 07-03-2012, 02:53 PM
 
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Like the others I want to give you kudos for being so self-aware around this.

 

I was that girl.  I still am: slim body and very large (by comparison) boobs.  It's actually really difficult to NOT look sexy with that combination, no matter how hard you try.   She's probably just wearing what she feels comfortable in.  I didn't wear tank tops or bikinis for YEARS because I was so self-conscious about my boobs, I wish I had had her confidence.  I was so jealous of girls with smaller boobs who didn't look like they were advertising SHAG ME NOW just by wearing a v necked shirt..

 

Anyway.  Just wanted to say I relate to your DD, and I think you're doing a great job of handling it.  Kind of hope mine gets a nice polite B or C cup, haha.

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#12 of 13 Old 07-06-2012, 06:46 AM
 
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Do you think part of the way you and your dh feel uncomfortable is that your dsd looks so much more adult now and coming to terms with her being more grown up rather than the clothing styles themselves?

 

Maybe have a conversation with your dsd about what she likes about clothing styles and what options there are that she would like and would flatter her body type.  It's not a moral judgement to explore what would look best on her individual body shape. Different shapes just look better in different types of clothes. She has breasts and she is always going to have them but she isn't just breasts.   She might need to figure out how to balance her upper and lower body to balance her whole appearance.  Look at some fashion magazines or websites together and discuss items that would work for your individual body types.  http://www.sheknows.com/beauty-and-style/articles/826747/dressing-for-your-body-type http://www.fashionihub.com/fashion-for-large-busted-women/ http://www.shopyourshape.com/body-shapes.html

 

Is she happy with the fit of clothes off the rack or would she be interested in trying something made for her or getting things altered?


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#13 of 13 Old 07-06-2012, 07:14 AM
 
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Personally I would just check in with her and ask if she's comfortable. As others have mentioned it can be difficult to find clothing to fit a large chest and a skinny body. I'd make sure she knows that you can buy a bigger top and tailor in the waist, or try spending some extra time in stores that cater to more adult women (who tend to have more chest) looking for something that doesn't look old ladyish. I'd just check in with her and make sure she knows that you are there to help her find what fits and is comfortable with her. As a teen something like tailoring a button down shirt in wouldn't have occurred to me. I don't see anything wrong with admitting to her that the reason the topic came up is because her style of dress makes you uncomfortable, but owning the issue as your own. I think you were plenty clear in this thread that the issue is with you and not your daughter so I think you can lovingly let her know the same thing. 


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