It’s pretty hard to find clothes that aren’t somehow provocative for teenage (and even pre-teen) girls these days with clothes ranging from super short or skin-tight to barely-there shirts. And although I decried the comeback of leggings, I’m at least glad girls are putting something on under their micro-miniskirts.
And the sexy clothes are now being marketed to younger and younger girls, with one study coming out recently saying nearly one-third of clothing designed for girls ages 6–14 is sexualized.
As I’m typing this I know I sound like I own 12 cats and yell crazy things at children who run in fear from my house. I also know that immodest clothing for girls has been around since women first started flashing bare ankles with reckless abandon.
But now with two daughters of my own, modesty suddenly seems like a wonderful concept that I never fully appreciated before.
The only trouble is I’m a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to enforcing modest apparel. As a teen, I wore tank tops, short skirts and spaghetti-strapped dresses — many of which were put on after I left the house. When I went to BYU, I had to make abrupt and (at the time) heart-wrenching changes to my wardrobe.
So my husband and I have been discussing the best ways to guide our daughters toward modest clothing choices. Basically what we decided is that we want to teach our daughters to be modest, not force them to cover up. We want our daughters to actually make the choice to be modest and see the value in it rather than imposing strict standards on them. That being said, we also don’t plan to buy immodest clothing for them and will likely establish some family modesty rules at some point down the road.
What has worked in your home to enforce or teach modesty? Do you think today’s fashions for girls are getting sexier, and what should parents do about it?
Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, Stewart discusses it all while her 4-year-old daughter crams Mr. Potato Head pieces in her little sister’s nose.