Short. Frayed. Tight. Unnecessary. Daisy dukes.
As in, if she bent over, some-cheek-or-undies-might-pop-out short shorts.
I’ve overlooked a lot of things that parents put on their little ones. High heels, high boots, and too much bling, just to name a few. But I draw the line at short shorts and pants with words like “Juicy” on the butt!
Maybe your parents were more liberal, but I wasn’t allowed a tall, skinny high heel until I was 16 years old. And I won’t DARE try and wear pants with words on my butt, because no matter how old I get, my mom very eloquently told me she’ll still kick my ass.
So where’s all this madness coming from?
I recently read a wonderful book called Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein. She brings up a lot of issues, but basically says that little girls pick up the need to be pretty as young as two and three. Little girls are always told they’re “cute,” “adorable,” and “pretty.” In fact, it’s the number one thing little girls hear on average. This just gives the social cues that looks are important, not other things such as intelligence or wit.
Intelligence doesn’t seem to be a running theme in a lot of little girls’ fairy tales either. Snow White? Saved by a prince. Sleeping Beauty? Saved by a prince. How about Belle from Beauty in the Beast? She gets held hostage by a beast to protect her father, is held against her will, and somehow changes the beast and falls in love with him! So wait a minute, we’re telling our young females that it’s okay for a guy to be mean and controlling because you can change him? Riiiiight.
And that’s just a few examples. Sure, we’ve made some tiny leaps since last generation, but it seems to be getting covered up with “Juicy” butt pants.
It doesn’t help that the media keeps making girls look sexy younger and younger. Did you hear when a store called Kids N Teen had thongs and crotchless underwear for children ages 7-13? Thongs and padded underwire are appearing for girls at the tween market group and younger. Even places like Sears and Target seem to be stocking up on these nightmares.
It’s one thing if a teen sneaks into Victoria’s Secret and buys a thong, but it’s another when a parent buys their child booty shorts and thigh high boots. Something is definitely wrong here! What would make a parent buy these items for a mere child?
Could it be Monster Media? Advertising is everywhere. The average U.S. American sees references to more than one hundred advertisements a day (and that’s a conservative estimate! Sources like Consumer Reports and others declare the number to be upwards of 300!). Billions of dollars are spent on marketing and advertisement. And almost like cigarette companies, the clothing companies seem to be getting the same idea: start’em young. If you start them young, it’ll stick, and perhaps perpetuate this crazy cycle.
I’m not saying all parents with young girls are dressing them like they’re going clubbing. To the parents out there saying no to Juicy butt pants, I commend you and implore you to keep up the good work. I’ll just leave you all with a few parting words. Something everyone should know if they don’t already. This one affected me personally when a child.
The word “Bossy.” While rudimentary and not well refined, that young girl is displaying traits of leadership and taking charge. Sure it might be borderline dictator-like, depending on your little sweet pea, but there are ways to correct the behavior. Just writing the child off as “Bossy” is a social cue for her to go the opposite direction and be meek, or to show that being polite and social is better than getting what she wants.
Using the word bossy is actually gender discriminatory (or used mostly on females). There was a study done with adults commenting on the traits of little boys and girls during school recess. What was called bossy in girls was called “strong” and “leading” in young boys. Interesting thought, isn’t it?
There are so many ways that we treat little boys and girls differently. And while there is a push for it to change, those daisy dukes aren’t convincing me.