August 28

My little Pookie has turned seven and will be starting 2nd grade (!) this fall. I have begun to notice (ok, to be fair, I noticed the trend starting when she was in kindergarten) of adults allowing their little girls to dress in a manner that, well, I think is far too sexual for children.

Do I condemn the parents? The children? No, on both accounts.

The fault should lie completely with the manufacturers of such clothing.

What on earth does a 5 year old need high heels for?? Or worse yet, a bikini!

Five year olds need to be running and playing and learning about their world! You can’t do that in high heels when you only learned to walk 4 years earlier.

Have you seen how clumsy children are? Heck, they are clumsy right up through high school. They are all elbows and knees, sometimes skinned up, sometimes not.

You may think I’m the one with the problem. That I shouldn’t be thinking that these things sexualize little girls. That I’m the perverted one.

I counter with this: That is my JOB. To worry about potential threats to the overall health and well-being of my child. I should be the one to worry that we as a culture have a serious problem and I should be the one to speak up and say something. And if I don’t worry, who will? And if I don’t say something, who will? That sexual predator won’t worry. In fact, he won’t mind at all that little girls are showing as much (or more) skin than their parents are or that their parents think it’s cute.

And if I don’t take a stand, who will? So, no, my daughters will not be wearing bikinis, or high heels, or booty shorts any time soon.

When they start asking for such things, that’s when I will sit them down and have an honest discussion with them regarding why they want them and explain (with age appropriate language) why they can or cannot have whatever.

I’ve already had to start. Pookie has naturally curly hair, the kind that all of us 80’s girls wished for. But now, the trend is straight hair. She has pined for straight hair and begged me to straighten her hair. I relented once. I straightened out all of those gorgeous curls. She looked in the mirror and grew shiny eyed and whispered how beautiful she looked. And my heart broke. And we promptly had a discussion about real beauty and how is lies within our hearts and our minds, not in the color or texture of our hair, and not in the color of our eyes or our skin. She listened very closely. Took one more look in the mirror and decided she wanted her curls back. One wet head later, curls galore and she ran out to play with her friends.

Children listen. They understand far more than we give them credit for. Take a stand and allow your little girls time to be children. Let’s not force them to grow up any faster than necessary.