15 April 2009


Returning to the subject of true femininity and the unique strengths of women, I find myself having a "conversation" with a modern-day young woman I've named "Ms. S". I have a long laundry list of things I'd like to tell her, as well as a few things I'd like to smack her upside the head about.

First on the list: "Ms. S, would you please put some clothes on? I really don't want to see your lingerie, or your bosom falling out of your teensy-weensy little top. You have a mind and a heart and a talent that has nothing to do with your breasts or your rear end, yet you have reduced yourself to only those two things. How sad."

What infuriates me even more as a mother is how this overtly sexual behavior is being pushed on little girls. Even clothing for six year-old's is becoming revealing! And stop marketing High School Musical to my kindergartener!

"Ms. S, I am trying to raise daughters who know their own inner strengths, their talents, their value as human beings, and their significance as women. These things are not wrapped up in their bodies or their "sexiness", and seeing you parade around half undressed sets a very bad example. Not to mention the harm you are doing to yourself. You are more than sex! No man in the world will be motivated to treat you with respect if you don't respect yourself enough to be a lady."

So how do you counter the culture of sex in your house? How do you help teach your daughters about modesty and propriety? What concrete things can we do as mothers to help our girls hang on to their innocence for as long as possible?

For me, a few things are obvious. No High School Musical anything in my house. No Hannah Montana. No Bratz dolls. No toys of any kind that portray girls in skimpy clothing with snotty looks on their faces.

Also, my own manner of dress is crucial. I decided a long time ago to forgo the strappy tank tops and deep V-neck shirts. Short skirts are also deep-sixed. And bathing suits.... oh, don't get me started! I would gladly be the chairperson of the campaign to eliminate bikinis from the planet. I don't know a single woman who would venture out in public in her bra and panties, so somebody please tell me, what's the difference?? How does the fabric make it okay to walk around in front of people (other men!) like that?

My girls' swimsuits this year are skirted on the bottom, and sleeved on the top. Modesty and great sun protection in one pretty package, thank you. My bathing suit is the same.

I can't expect my girls to appreciate modesty and respect their bodies if I don't model those qualities for them, and the way a woman dresses plays a huge roll in teaching virtue. Attractive doesn't have to mean revealing. Modest doesn't have to mean boring and frumpy. I love cute clothes as much as any gal, but I won't trade virtue for fashion.

What are your thoughts?

Modestly yours,

(Part two of my conversation with Ms. S coming soon! So many more things to talk about!)


Jennie said...

I totally agree... I htink that it is pushed to early on our girls... my 7 year old knows what she can watch and what she can't and she also likes to dress modestly, so I am blessed that way.... I have a present for you over at my blog, so come on over....

Dirtdartwife said...

ahahahah! Remind me to never get into an argument with you... I'd lose.

I'm with you, got more than one girl. So I struggle with having to battle the constant barrage of crap marketing to them. I broke down and bought HSM 1 this week and watched it with my girls. Little did I know my middle one had already seen it!!!!! A YEAR AND A HALF AGO AT A FRIENDS HOUSE!!!!! (yes, I got upset) I didn't mind the movie, the music is cute, but we'd sit and point out all the immodest outfits.

I'm moving towards having my girls in dresses. I just can't keep up with the stuff they market because I'm not finding stuff that is appropriate and still affordable (or will last through more than one girl).

We boycott Hanna Montana, HSM is on the "watch list" (meaning we may have the movie but nothing else is allowed), NO Bratz (I actually have secretly, and piece by piece toss one my middle daughter got for her birthday last summer). I'm also moving to pitching Barbies as well. The girls are also severely limited in what they watch on TV. Swim suits are skirted bottoms with decent tops (one pieces are even better... heck, wetsuits would be fine with me).

and the biggest thing... we're going back to homeschooling. The crap they've picked up at school has blown my mind away. I also watch what I dress with because I've found that if I don't dress respectfully, neither will they.

You should check out http://www.chcweb.com/catalog/search.html?s=f9ilupif89bjd4qtr2ikl4nhg2
for their "All things Girl" books.

I look forward to your next installment!!!

Mom E said...

Excellent!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a 1year old and the clothes that are pushed for her are just as bad!! A 1 YEAR OLD!!!! I mean really a bikin for a 1 year old? Our society has really lost its moral compass. Good for you and all you do!

Sarah said...

Thanks, Jennifer. I very much appreciated this post. Teaching and upholding modesty is very important to me, especially with 4 girls ... I don't allow any of those toys either. It's sometimes hard to find modest clothing without spending a fortune, especially for my daughter who is in the older-girl sizes ... How I wish I could sew, and/or how I wish we lived in an era where long dresses and skirts were all the rage (I'm thinking Sense and Sensibility! =) Even my oldest wishes there were longer fashions out there, as she learns at home and at school that long dresses show respect! At her school, they wear uniforms that have to be at the knee or below. And on the two out-of-uniform days they've had so far, the girls had to wear modest skirts anyway and the boys couldn't wear jeans. (love this school!) I'm trying to lead by example, too, like you are ... Let's stick together on this, OK?! It's so, so important!

P.S. Have you read Dressing with Dignity by Colleen Hammond? It's a pretty interesting read ...

Sarah (JOT) said...

Great post! I told my girl that I would always be the check at the door. Also, I don't buy immodest clothing or allow it. SHe loves watching BBC Pride and Prejudice with me and loves the dresses in the production. I agree! I don't have to worry about her as she's a big fan of modesty.

Sharon said...

Kudos to you! As a mother of boys, we make sure they understand that women and girls are to be treated with respect. They hear things from their friends like "hot chick," and we've explained to them that it is extremely disrespectful to use terms like that. I hope we're successful in raising them to respect women!

Homeschoolmum4Christ said...

I totally agree!

My daughter and I wear only dresses, and they must be modest - God created us female, and female and feminine go together.

We are called to be Lords and Lasses, not prostitutes and pimps!


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