just slow down

so, this summer, we've begun planning for kindergarten. officially making the BIG step from toddler to little girl. the thing i struggled with the most? shopping for clothes. now, i remember, 32 years ago in my life, being quite the lil fashionista. i had matching shoes, earrings, hair accessories... the works. but i don't for a second ever remember my clothes looking like a grown up. or a grown up tramp, for plaid-mini skirts and knee-highs sakes!

what in god's creation is going on with the clothing industry these days? is it not bad enough that we've become such a technological society with pedophiles lurking around every website... we now need to succumb our young girls to clothes that look like they belong on a set of the soprano's in an evening visit to ba-da-bing? come on. i have 7 outfits for my daughter. 7. she will wear t-shirts, jeans, and dresses. and she will be conservative. and respectful of her body. until she is old enough to provide for herself and move out.

this little feat of shopping for clothes has opened my eyes as a parent of a girl. society has become sickened. i can't tell you how often i open facebook, and oh look, there's another boob shot of a 13 year old girl. or look, there's a diatribe of who loves who and hate all over the internet. nauseates me. as a parent, it is our job to teach self respect. self discipline. self motivation. empathy. respect for others. braveness. encouragement. it is MY job as a parent to my daughter to empower her to love herself enough that she doesn't seek the love via other channels.

my five year old is very concerned with fashion. and as i learned last night, also, already commenting on body image issues. watching a ballet video on youtube... "momma, i'll never be that skinny." my response? i stood up and said, "look at momma. is anything wrong with momma's body?" she responded, "no momma. you are beautiful just the way you are and you always will be." and reminded her.. "and so are you." daily i am ingraining in my daughter... it's what is on the inside that truly matters most. i tell her, at five.. if your heart is not full, and warm, and beautiful... it doesn't matter a minute what the outside looks like. hopefully, she gets this message.

and when she's about to enter the 7th grade, she'll still want to shop at the GAP and where khakis with argyle sweaters. because her heart will still be so full, her outside will still continue to radiate an uncommon beauty. a selfless soul, full of empathy, self-respect, and female empowerment.



Marlene said...

Shelley, I TOTALLY agree!!!!! Having raised three daughters the subject of modesty came up early on. Thankfully, Larissa, Marina and Melissa have all owned it for themselves. But it is often like swimming against the tide. Our youngest, who is a dancer, on several occasions approached her dance teachers and requested that consideration would be made that she did not feel comfortable dancing in a costume that showed her navel or was "sexy". Some teachers were acomodating and others went ahead and designed costumes that Melissa did not feel comfortable dancing in......so she pulled herself out of the routine. She did what she felt comfortable with. This did not come from me. When they were young, we layed a foundation of self respect and modesty and she owned it...they all owned it. But again...it is like swimming up stream.... For some odd reason parents think it is "cute" when their little girls dress sexy. I think it is wrong and degrading. I agree with you.....Just slow down!!!!!!!! Blessings, Marlene

Anonymous said...

SO totally agree. AS a teacher I saw too many girls in sixth grade wear revealing clothing. IT is a distraction, believe me in school. Too many schools don't enforce dress codes they do have, mainly because the MEN won't step up and confront the parents. We have had some parents yell at us they won't buy two sets of clothes, .....EXCUSE ME. Then don't buy the sexy, revealing ones! We need to be more protective of our youth and as parents and the adults put down limits, rules and bring them up with a sense of self worth and respect. Right on Shelley!

Jennifer Matott (Sigmagirl) said...

Well said! I'm glad I don't have girls! I have shopped for my niece though at Justice for birthdays and let me tell you it's tough picking something that isn't trashy! I end up going to the Gap too! I love it in there. The clothes are not revealing but adorable and pretty. I also love Target. They have such cute little girl stuff, but the teen section is all TRASH! Why is that? I hate seeing young girls defining themselves by what they look like. Using their body to get ANY kind of attention. I do remember that from when I was a kid. Why did I think that I was only judged by my body and hair? Why do I continue to have such hangups? Media! Popstars, movie stars, and the fashion industry feed the insecurity!So it is such a wonderful thing that you do for your daughter. She may not act like she hears you but she does! BUT wait for the battles to begin when she becomes a teen... it's just a right of passage. You stay strong!!! HUGS!

Gina said...

I couldn't agree more! Luckily, (so far) my daughter is quite mindful of how she dresses. She REFUSES to wear those short shorts...hates them. She has even commented to me upon seeing girls in the mall, that she has underwear longer than their shorts!! Whatever it is we did with her, I guess it was the right thing.

Good luck Mom & good luck to Kindergarten Kennedy!