Debates currently rage over girls’ fashions; should girls be allowed to wear low-cut shirts? At what age should girls wear low-cut shirts? What constitutes a ‘low-cut’ shirt? Here are some back-to-school shopping considerations about girls’ fashions.
First and foremost, when considering girls’ fashion and indeed any parenting issue, is balance. Keep it in perspective. The human body is not something to be ashamed of; girls need to understand that their bodies are lovely and not objects of shame. Parents and school systems must be careful not to communicate a sense of shame to girls, at any age.
Next, the fact that ‘boys will look at you if you wear low-cut clothing’ is a non sequitor. Boys look at girls no matter what they wear. That’s what they do. Alas there are grown men who look with lust upon young girls. The status of a girl’s dress or undress does not create or excuse pedophile behavior. A girl should never, I repeat never, be made to feel that she is somehow responsible for pedophile behavior. Pedophilia is about power, control and vulnerability. Girls do not bring lascivious looks and lustful behavior upon themselves. Lustful behavior must answer for itself without excuse.
Further, girls’ fashions are made with lowered necklines. Low cut shirts are more prevalent and fashionable. It’s unhealthy to force a girl to wear uncomfortable, restrictive clothing just to satisfy some stricture that she be completely ‘covered’. It’s psychologically unhealthy to force a girl to wear out-dated old-fashioned clothing, just to prove some notion of modesty. This kind of restrictive attitude is counter-productive to healthy development.
Having said that, I need to clarify that this does not mean that back to school shoppers need to find the most revealing, low-cut clothing on the market. I advocate as strongly on the side of moderation in clothing styles as I do in avoiding shame making restrictions on clothing. Just as a girl should not feel shame about her body, neither should she use her breasts as a calling card, with push-up and push-out bras and ridiculously plunging necklines. It’s up to parents to help a child, tween and teen girl find clothes that are comfortable and foster a positive body image.
Moderation. Common sense. There are plenty of clothing stores who carry styles that are sensible, comfortable and fashionable. Old Navy, The Children’s Place, Fashion Bug, some styles at Limited Too, Aeropostale and Target carry cute, common sense fashions for girls. Old Navy and Aeropostale carry sizes up to adulthood. For more on back-to-school, children, clothing, teens, parenting and emotional wellness, visit my linked blogs.