Wednesday, April 25, 2012

earthquake; girls clothing is wrong wrong wrong

First item of business: there was an earthquake on Monday!  We survived.  I could do without any more earthquakes, thank you.

My father sent me an interesting article about it that you can read here. I am thrilled to learn that I am living near a major fault line, upon which a nuclear power plant is located!  Note to self, make broader checklist of things required in next house, including low possibility of being nuked.

We have lived here for five weeks and I have managed to not pump my own gas so far.  How long do you think I can keep this up?

I have been shopping for clothes for the Princess, and as usually happens every single time I have to find clothes for her, I have worked myself into a fine tizzy.

When I shop for clothes for the boys, the color palette is usually a bit limited--red, blue, orange and brown is the generally accepted range of colors for boys--but the clothes themselves are modest and cover their bodies.  Short sleeves hit right above the elbow, their shorts usually hit at or around the knee.  In terms of sun protection, only their forearms and their shins are exposed.  There are no plunging necklines or items designed to draw attention to their crotch.

When shopping for girls, however, the opposite is true.   Shorts do not hit at the knee; rather, shorts barely  cover a girl's bottom.  Shirts have a variety of design; strappy tank tops, cap or flutter sleeves, wide necklines, and cheap, thin, see through materials. And I'm talking your average toddler clothing, not fighting with your tween about how sexy she looks.

Black pleather trench coats with ratty fur collars (recently available at a major retailer) are more appropriate for a prostitute than a two year old.

Why is a bikini bathing suit okay for two year old?  Why does my son's swim trunks and rash guard cover him from his knees to his elbows, but my daughter's one piece swimsuit covers the curve of her bottom to just above her nipples? Even buying her a "girls" rash guard and swim trunks covers the top of her upper arms, not to her elbows, and her "boy short" swim trunks just cover her cheeks, not to her knees.

Why is there clothing for toddlers with writing on the seat? Words like "sweet" or "juicy" or "audacious" written across the derriere are fine for a nineteen year old woman who wants to draw men's eyes to her derriere to ponder the mysteries contained therein, but it is wholly inappropriate for my two year old.  Emblazoning words across an article of clothing means that you are attempting to draw attention to that spot, and my two year old's bottom is not a place to which I want men paying attention.

There is a big difference in the subliminal message sent between boys clothing and girls clothing.  For boys, clothing is for warmth and comfort; it protects them from the sun, provides pockets for carrying interesting stuff, and displays the occasional fashionable allegiance to a particular toy.

For girls, the subliminal message is that your body is for looking at.  From the earliest age, girls clothing exposes more of their bodies than boys clothing.  Their legs in their shorter shorts, their arms in their shorter cap sleeves, their shoulders and chest in their strappy tank tops, their bellies in their two piece swim suits---their bodies are on display.

From the earliest age, my daughter is being conditioned in a very subtle manner by society that it is okay for her to be judged on her body and her looks, that her body is a thing for others to look at, that her body is for the enjoyment of others. I am not advocating burkas, but I do wish that girls clothing covered as much of their bodies as boys clothing does.

Of course, there are a few places that offer more modest clothing.  On the whole, actually, I would say Target has a fair amount of age-appropriate and reasonably modest clothing--but still--pick up a pair of girls shorts and hold them against a pair of the same size boys shorts, or a shirt, and see how much more fabric is allotted to the boys clothing.  If you can't see the label on the shorts from Target pictured below, the red pair is a boys size 3T shorts, and the flowered pair is a girls size 3T shorts.

I feel like I am trying to give my daughter the message that she can do anything she wants to do, and the message that the rest of the world is giving her is that whatever she does, she will do it with her fanny hanging out of her shorts.

My daughter wears a lot of her brother's hand me downs.


  1. Exactly!! I have an 8 yr. old son and a 5 yr. old daughter, and I continue to be appalled at what the "fashion Gods" think is appropriate for my daughter. I don't understand skimpy shirts, booty shorts, or clothes that would be revealing for a 38 yr. old mother but are available in 4T! And don't even get me started on the dang glitter on every.single.thing. The best part is when you go into a store (Children's Place comes to mind) and the boys' side of the store is cute, preppy shorts and button downs, and the girls' side is full of skimpy, crappy clothes for a whore. It's like the store has a split personality!

    Oh, and I hate to tell you, but when you cross the aisle out of the Toddler clothes into the 5-16, it only gets worse!!!!

  2. You are spot on, Lisa!! I don't have children, but I pack Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child every year, and when I try to find clothes to put in the girls boxes, something that doesn't say, "I'm a hooker" - it's almost impossible. So sad. I'm glad to know that there are still some mothers with sense out there though - keep up the good work! And long live the hand-me-downs! ;-)

  3. Me and my sisters bought almost all of our clothes from the clearance racks at Old Navy and Target and only sometimes would a shirt fit in a weird way that showed too much chest. Bikinis are just comfortable. Totally agree with you about having words written on the ass. She could wear capri leggings instead of short shorts if you want more leg covered.

  4. I could not agree with you more. This is perfectly stated!!

  5. I have 2 boys, and am always jealous of the colors and prints in girls clothing, so maybe I should be quiet,..... but if I was buying modest clothes for girls I love the stuff at land's end. It's probably not as affordable as Target, but it's not bad and they have a great outlet section online. I also buy my niece clothes at Gymboree, but I don't usually go with shorts, so I haven't noticed the hoochieness. And if I buy a skirt or dress I always buy coordinating leggings for underneath- girls should be on the monkey bars as much as they want to be!

  6. I totally agree. My 15 month old is a big girl and although size charts may indicate a 2t, I find myself purchasing her t-shirts in a 4t because there is no way a toddler's clothes should be cut to fit so tight.

  7. I think part of it is just that shorter shorts are out of fashion with boys now. I don't buy my daughter skimpy shorts, but they are definitely shorter than my son's. I still wouldn't call them revealing though. Of course, she's only 13 months old, and I've seen some of the clothes for older girls and OH HELL NO.

    This is really interesting. I honestly haven't even though about sexualization of my kids at this point, and your post is making me think about it again.

  8. What tips me over the edge is girl clothing with details made to simulate a bustline, like the little gather right in the middle of the chest. Why is that there, on a size 4 shirt? WHY?

    The shorts are driving me crazy right now. They don't even meet the school's dress code, and the school's dress code is pretty loose. I would like some shorts for a 6-year-old girl that go to mid-thigh. Mid-thigh is all I'm asking! But no: the inseam is 1/2 inch.

  9. I say it's making me think about it again because I've thought about it philosophicaly, but not in reference to my kids. I hope that makes sense.

  10. Yeah, I basically don't put Katie in shorts or skirts because they're all so short they seem uncomfortable. I've never thought before about how much less fabric there is in girls' clothing because I'm too busy being enraged at 1. the dippy stuff written all over it and 2. the fact that boys clothes are covered in balls and tools and girls clothes are covered in FOOD like cupcakes and popsicles. How weird is that? GIRLS LIKE SPORTS TOO. Anyway, I don't buy any of that crap, and I don't buy stuff that says "Chicks Dig Me" or whatever weirdo stuff they put on baby boys onesies now a days, and I don't buy camo, and I generally do not buy knitwear, and let me tell you, that severely limits what you can put on a kid. I do like the girls stuff at Lands End though.

  11. I look for clothes for my nieces and I highly recommend Lands End! I also look for Speedo bathing suits at Marshall's which seem to have more coverage. Sometimes there are some modest things at Kohl's if that is somewhere in your area, but they still have a lot of the awful clothes you mention.

  12. Preach it, sister. I'm shocked by what I spy over in the girls' sections of big box retailers; the itty bitty bikinis for the itty bitty girls really set me off in particular.

    With a mom like you, she'll be fine, but I do wonder at the message being sent at such a young age to our girls.

  13. That's too bad, I can't imagine why they would do that? Even as an adult I prefer longer shorts and no writing on my butt! ha

    Maybe they should stick to frogs and bears on the butts of little girl's pants.

  14. Lisa,
    I just started looking for a bathing suit for Kate. She is 7 months old. Everything was string bikinis! In a 12 month size! I was getting so pissed. Everything was so slutty. Finally I went to Kohls and found a brief cut bottom with a short sleeve rash guard. But it took four stores to find it. Why would I put a baby in a string bikini? So trashy. Maybe your next venture should be appropriate clothing for baby and toddler girls. I'll buy what you make!

  15. Amen!

    I'm all about dressing kids like kids!

    And I'm so with you on the swimwear. We have to hunt high and low to find swimwear for my 2.5 y.o. DD that both covers her up appropriately and provides adequate sun protection. Hanna Andersson has been my go to place for this - we love their one piece "swimmy rash guard" wetsuits for babies, and their long sleeved rash guards for girls, and find they fit the bill perfectly.

  16. AMEN again! I had a baby 2 yrs ago -12 yrs after my last baby! It was a little girl and I was shocked at then stuff being marketed to young moms. I guess class and general decency is a thing of the past. Now I'm no prude and I don't think it's wrong for a baby to be able to swim in just a swim diaper but lawdy, the hoochy mama style swimsuits I'm seeing are despicable!
    Like Bo Derek style. I had to make a polite request of my friends who threw me a wonderful shower to please put on the invite "Please, no animal skin print clothing, or skull and bones." skulls and bones are al the rage too. I understand the fun piratey theme, but folks skull and bones have always and will always represent death. Hardly appropriate wear for one who's just born! I feel the industry is just dumbing the next generation down and selling sex and death like there's no tomorrow because YOLO! They are actually selling the lie that there is no tomorrow. Sad. These children ARE the future. Lets let them enjoy their innocence and childhood today.


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