29 July 2007

Does this make my wallet look big?

I see these widgets on blogs about young girls and the rise of mothers' for modesty. Modesty is a virtue to be heralded and taught, I so agree. It is the finest display of humility and moderation. It is also becoming as rare as a one-piece girls swimsuit.

Our culture has integrated sexuality with pretty much everything. Movies, fashion, food, cars, mainstream media, you name it. So, it was no surprise to me the difficulty I encountered in finding modest swimwear for my 10 year old. Why would I have a problem putting an article of clothing on my daughter that is designed to look sexy? You may say that this is no big deal, and I'm a prude. Well, I am a prude (only Mr. Coffee knows differently) and yes, this is a big deal.

Having two young daughters, I decorate their room and buy their clothes. The floor of their room is often scattered with their toys and dolls. (I'm doubtful my frequently assaulted feet will ever recover). Appropriate purchases are made with my own standard of modesty.

No makeup for my 10 year old.
One piece swimsuits only.
No tube tops.
No hot pants.
No t-shirts that say, "I Take Candy from Strangers", "Property of the Boys Locker Room" or "Wanna Get Lucky with this Ducky?".

Unbelievable, really. (and no, I'm not making those up, I'm a tyrant for sure)

Armed with that retailer-coveted purchasing power, manufacturers should listen to what parents would have to say. Parents who've spent a good amount of moolah on stuff over the last 10 years. Parents like me who care about how my child is seen and influenced.

Let me tell you some cold hard facts.

According to the Internet Filter Software Review, in 2007:

Every second 28, 258 internet users are viewing pornography.

Daily Gnutella (peer to peer network file sharing site) "child pornography" requests: 116,000

Sexual solicitations of youth made in chat rooms: 89%

The Internet Filter Software Review site is well documented, I'm not trying to be an alarmist here, but make a point. So how do you get the retailers to sit up and take notice of this perverted interest in young girls (and boys for that matter)?

If you are annoyed, disappointed, or angry with a product, how do you deal with it? How do you fight retailers against thong underwear for a school aged child? How do you stop toy manufacturers from producing baby dolls with their butt crack/thong hanging out of their baby low-rise jeans? (you know which ones I mean, they start with B and end with B r a t z).

There are a few avenues you can take:

The power of the pen!
Phone calls can be ignored, but a well-written letter on a bright colored piece of paper would be more likely to get attention. Write several letters to all involved. The internet is a mecca of information when it comes to getting email and snail mail addresses. I always say, it's not what you know, it's how fast you can Google. If you can't find an address, email me. My friend Emmaline can find it for you.

Be an example.

I'd say this is a no-brainer but it deserves a large spotlight. I was just talking to another blogger and together we were cringing over the commonly heard parenting phrase, "Do what I say, not as I do". Great kids, I'm teaching you hypocrisy! I suggest instead, what better way to teach modesty by being an example of my own standard. I know. Diabolical isn't it?

Stop buying the items in question.
This is really simple and the most effective. Nothing appeals to retailers more than the bottom line. Just don't buy. When the bottom line disappears from black, (not just grey or pink, but I'm talking a nice neon red), I'll bank that retailers would get the picture.

Protect your wallet, be an example, and whip out your best letters. It can be done. Now go forth and be modest.


McBunni said...

As you may know, I am not one to get easily offended....I was at JC...um Nickels...last year and a T-shirt had a UPS-ish guy with a box and across the bottom it said, "Nice package."

This was for a teenager!!! Hel-lo!!!!!! I can't believe mothers buy this crap for their girls and wonder why they're sexually active so young.

....and furthermore....I think you have to present and ID to buy thong underware. No thongs for anyone 18 or under!

McBunni said...

P.S. I was first.

Millie said...


Awesome post, Emma. Just awesome. I couldn't agree more with "be an example" - it all starts at home.


Gwynne said...

What a worthwhile message, Emma! Great post and I wish more people would "get" it. My biggest challenge as a step-mother of two teenaged daughters is the peer pressure they get (and granted, help perpetuate) from, well, their peers whose Moms apparently don't share my belief that modesty is a very basic virtue to hang onto at all costs. Stay the course, Emma! You are a great role model. :-)

Danielle said...

Amen to that! Family members have been harping on me to buy my daughter those 'belly shirts' ever since she was 10 and I have hotly refused. I am thankful that my daughter still loves her baggy shirts and walking short length shorts... I mean after all...if I can't wear a belly shirt..neither can my daughter ;)

Mrs. Organic said...

(Here from Millie's place)

What some mothers are doing is in effect 'pimping' their daughters. It isn't cute to doll up a 5, 10 or 14 year old unless we're talking American Girl kind of dolling up.
I can't stand the Brat z dolls - seriously, cleavage on a make-up head? Giving girls these types of images and toys only serves to sexualize them and possibly broadcast the wrong messages to the wrong people.
Mums have got to stop being naive and protect their children with the mantle of modesty.

~Jennifer said...

Great post! I am stunned that parents actually do buy these articles of clothing and dolls for their daughters. My own daughter has received gifts from family members who will remain nameless, and they go in the garbage. I've even informed the nameless parties of such and they continue to give crap to my kids. They think my children are sheltered and I guess they see it as their duty to unshelter them. Well guess what. It's my job as a parent to shelter my children and anyone who threatens to remove that shelter from my kids will get a punch in the nose.

The Lazy Iguana said...

You are fighting an uphill battle. It seems that many parents do not want their child to be "left out" and so they buy them Skank - the new fragrance from Paris Hilton or one of those t-shirts you mentioned.

At the vacation resort I noticed that women's and girls swimsuit choice is limited by size. The only one piece suits I saw on any female under the age of 60 were on fatties. Skinny women and girls as young as 5 or 6 were all sporting skimpy two piece jobs. Why a 6 year old needs to be in a French Cut anything is a mystery to me - but they are not my kids so I do not worry about it.

Those "Bratz" line of crap need to be renamed "Slutz" or "Whorez" or something. And parents would STILL buy them. Really.

But maybe the problem with me is that this trend did not start sooner. Why if little girls in the 70s had been brought up like this there would be a LOT more slutz out there my age today. There are a fair number out there now, but more is always better.

Clare said...

Great post as always Emma and good for you for putting that message out there.

Heffalump said...

I don't have daughters. I have five sons, but you can bet that I will be paying attention to what the girls they date when they are older are wearing, and I won't be afraid to speak up and to put my foot down. I am appalled at the kinds of clothes I see first graders wearing at the school here.
By the way, I tagged you for a thoughtful/creative blogger award.

Stalker Cyberstalker said...

I'm with you on this modesty thing. I would NOT have a 10 y.o. dressing like some I've seen, either.

Sister Pottymouth said...

Wonderfully put! I'm shocked by the things I've seen some little girls wearing. (Then again, I'm shocked by some of the things that women are wearing.)

Erin-Go-Braghless said...

When I am invited to a pool party (hey, in Tx, during the summer, they're ALL pool parties) I politely turn friends down, explaining that my only bathing suit has a hole in the knee...

Tori :) said...

Awesome! Awesome!! Awesome post!!! I was just thinking about writing a post about the same subject. I will link to you for sure. Great post.

Herr Krokodil said...


I'll never forget the time one of my girls came home with a tramp stamp. Lucky for her it was temporary, but she was just playing a joke on me.

mcewen said...

Newbie visiting from A Daily Dose of Mischief to check out you and your blog - sound advice.
Best wishes

Ba Doozie said...

You would think the biggest opponents to this sort of marketing would be the feminists? where the heck are they? they want to be taken seriously and not just be sexual objects well they need to start worrying about the younger generation as well

Dan said...

Every second 28, 258 internet users are viewing pornography.

Yes but when our power went out last night that number probably went down to about 104 for a couple of hours.

Seriously, though, I think this is a wonderful post with some wonderful ideas. I can't believe they have girl's t-shirts that say those things on them!! Ugh!

Dapoppins said...

You always say things so well. I will be consulting you on my next shopping trip...

Goldy said...


Sorry... I just stumbled on this post while hunting for porn :)

I agree with your list by the way (especially makeup) except for the swimsuit... a 2 piece bathing suit for a 10 year old isn't so much about being sexy (at least I hope not)...


I have 4 girls. Before we withdrew them from public school, they had classmates in second grade wearing shorts that said "Bootylicious!" across the back and mini skirts to school. Third grade girls were already obsessed with name brand labels and chose skanky Abercrombie and Fitch as their favorite. I've tried telling moms at church not to buy clothes at the soft porn catalogue peddler, Abercrombie, but they think I'm radical. I guess it doesn't bother them that they make cherry printed thong panties for 7 year olds.

This is where I buy swimsuits for my girls. And Land's End usually have knee length shorts that aren't hopelessly dorky.

Mama Bear said...

Amen! :o)

Luisa Perkins said...

Millie sent me here. Right on! Glad I'm not the only one keeping the dreck away from my kids.

JLR said...

Bravo, ems, bravo!

Brillig said...

I'm with you on all of this. 100%. Excellent post.

Lisa said...

I found this post from Millie's.

I love this! Thank you for speaking up about it. I have two girls, 14 & 10. Both have no problem wearing modest clothing. No tankini's and no short shorts. They still like to shop at places like AE & Limited Too, and believe it or not, these places do sell longer length shorts. It's the prom dress shopping I am not looking forward to. :(

R said...

Great post. Yes, this makes me mad too.

And I never wear a bikini. I have too many stretch marks. Even if I didn't have them I would still wear a one piece.

I hate Bratz.

I abhor them.

Delia said...

It always makes me mad when I go shopping with/for my girls. The sad part is, there are tons of parents out there buying these things for their kids. If they weren't buying them, then the clothing manufacturers wouldn't be continuing to make them. There used to be certain stores that you could count on to NOT carry these "styles" but now they're everywhere!

Jeff said...

We saw a 12 yearold-ish boy wearing a tee-shirt that said "I'd sleep with me" the other day. What are some parents thinking?

Pam in Colorado said...

First of all, I love your blog photo. Secondly, you preach it!!! I completely agree.

My son (16) now warns his friends who are coming over that I will discuss their "heart issue" in regard to the messages on their shirts. They either could care less of what I say, or they appreciate that I care, because they keep coming over, and some even choose different shirts.

Whether it be clothing, language, attitude... it needs to be addressed, and in the case of clothing - redressed.

Jamie Dawn said...

Amen, sister!
Young girls trying to look sexy is just sick. Those t-shirts with suggestive sayings are everywhere, even is Walmart. It is awful.

Hello from sunny CA. I'm on vacation until Aug 8th. I hope you are enjoying your summer!!

Deborah said...

Hi there! I found your blog through a google alert for modesty.

I wrote a post awhile back on the whole Moms for Modesty thing, and put up a few photos of the Libby Lu birthday parties at the mall (little gals dressed very inappropriately). I can't tell you how many "hits" my blog has received from people searching for "sexy young girls" and such. YUCK!

One man even "thanked" me for having the photos up for him to gawk at (of course I deleted his comment, and followed his IP address to the Netherlands -- not a huge surprise!)

The more we acknowledge how CRAZY it is to dress our little gals as grown sex objects, the more (maybe?) the rest of society will realize there is a problem.

Thanks for your post!

Carla said...

Came over from Twas Brillig. I 100% agree with everything you said. We have neighbor girls that look like street walkers and then hand a bag over to me when they are done with them. ACK!
I did read of a number of high school girls that are starting a letter writing campaign to Target. Sell some clothes they can wear without looking like Britney Spears!
Enjoyed your blog.

Charlotta-love said...

I found you from the Perfect Post award and decided to catch up on a few of your posts. Thank you for this post. It encourages me to be a better example of modesty to my friends and family.

Blackeyedsue said...

Emma, I haven't been blogging for a while but I am SO glad I hopped around today. I wanted to give you a standing ovation for this post!!! I am so glad that I am not alone in my desire for my daughters to be modest. I cringe everytime I go to the grocery store and see little girls being treated like they are more than little girls.

Can I link you?!?!?!?!

Alyssa said...

I totally and completely agree... that's why I have a ministry to girls and their moms. http://beautybydesignonline.com check it out! I think you'd appreciate my point of view.

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