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Why you should be concerned about your daughter's skimpy outfits
Society is embracing dressing sexy for even young girls. Here's why you shouldn't follow the trend. - photo by Wendy Jessen
Have you noticed young girls' clothing lately? Do they dress age-appropriate, or do they look like they're eleven-going-on twenty-one?

With all the outcry to make females equal with males, there is a huge double standard here. We don't see young boys trying to dress "sexy," "hot" or in ways that are specifically geared toward attracting female attention. No; boys do not become sexual objects, but young girls -- our daughters, sisters, granddaughters and nieces -- do.

Girls are wearing skimpier outfits at a younger age. But, who can blame them? The TV shows, movies, music and even toys (hello, Barbie and Bratz dolls) aimed at our pre-teen and younger daughters are infiltrated with the message that you have to get boys to like you so you can date, be popular and grow up really fast. Often, this means dressing sexy -- the skimpier the better.

Not only that, but sexualizing our little girls is becoming more and more widely accepted. Take Halloween costumes for example. A senior staffer for Planned Parenthood recently stated, "The choice sexy costume, funny costume, scary costume should be your daughters. Even worse? She says that girls who don't dress sexy may be self-conscious or uncomfortable with their bodies ... In the end, even if you wish that [your daughters] costume were less sexualized, remember whats really important: how she feels about herself, and whether she recognizes the larger sexist forces at play.

Are you reading in stunned silence?! There are no words.

"Whats happened to Halloween for girls is indicative of how modesty has been relegated to a social ghetto, while smut has been commercialized and brought into the mainstream," states another article.

If we want more gender equality, perhaps we should start with the way we allow, or even teach, our girls to dress. We should teach them they are far more than sexual objects. A girl's worth is not measured by how attractive males think she is, or how tight, short or revealing her clothes are.

We don't (and definitely SHOULD NOT) stand for this. If you don't want your daughter being treated like a sexualized object (no, this does NOT excuse the behavior of boys when boys choose not to control themselves) then it is your responsibility to teach her how to dress appropriately and that she is so much more as a female. This doesn't mean girls need to dress frumpy and unattractive; they can still be cute and attractive without degrading themselves.

Teach the females in your life that they are:

  • capable.
  • intelligent.
  • talented.
  • beautiful, both inside and out.
  • deserving of respect.
  • funny.
  • good friends.
  • kind-hearted.
  • compassionate.
  • dedicated.
  • athletic.
  • organized.
No matter what a girl's strength or weaknesses are, do not allow her to degrade herself by identifying herself as a sexual object. Her self-image and worth should be founded on solid traits that are part of who she is, not what she looks like. Girls are so much more than their clothing. Girls have the power within themselves to become whatever amazing kind of person they desire. Females are limitless and wonderful with so much more to offer the world than a sexualized counterfeit of themselves.
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