I am receiving positive comments regarding the “Don’t you tell us it’s just a shirt!” slides.
But what many parents are more worried about is the “slutty” trend of clothes targeted to girls at younger and younger age: mini skirts so mini that knickers are permanently on show and mini tops so mini that nothing is left to the imagination. High heels are on the rise too and we talk about 6-8 years old sizes!
I have read also many articles regarding parents complaining to chain stores for selling inappropriate clothes to young girls (a padded bra and tongue for 4 years old was a case in point) and in many instances the complaint seemed to work, at least when there was enough collective upraising regarding a particular “unsuitable” item.
Sadly, as we know, most of these clothes are still around.
The thing is: shops are selling this kind of attire as long as there is demand for them and at this stage we would expect the parents to be the buyer of course, so… this means that there are parents around who are buying into this trend, right? Instead of labelling these parents for being uncaring or irresponsible it would be better to consider that perhaps – due to their culture/background and upbringing – they simply haven’t thought about the issue in our terms.
Some parents may think that bringing up a daughter to be a gold digger or footballer wife is indeed a good thing. Messages and slogans that some parents perceive as disempowering, may well be perceived by another class of parents as empowering: indeed, the power of female sex appeal! It all depends on perspectives and if you live your life surrounded by a raunchy culture it becomes second nature to think and act in those terms. For this reason, I don’t agree with many comments accusing parents who buy this sort of clothes being irresponsible and not caring about their daughters: the way forward should be to avoid accusations and judgements, engaging in dialogue and reflection instead.
In my view, creating resources and thought-provoking material to awaken people’s consciousness of certain issues is one way to move forward. And another way is to be open-minded and ready to start a dialogue: next time you see someone buying into the slutty trend, try to put yourself in their shoes, thinking within their own frame of reference (not an easy thing I admit), instead of dismissing them as they were not capable of thinking. I have tried this myself with a mother and the conversation we started has made me realise that my preconceptions were far from accurate 😉
Another slide for reflection today, please pass it around!