Monday, February 7, 2011

Trashy Clothes for Little Girls

My mother and I went shopping the other day, looking for a blouse as a gift for a little girl  in the 7-14 range. We went into a major department store and found the children's department. We saw loads of cute clothes at first, pretty tops and fluffy dresses, until we realized that we were looking at the clothes for four, five, and six year olds. Finally, we found the section with the size we were looking for.

It was shocking. There were clothes for seven and eight year olds that  a self-respecting hooker would not wear. The colors used were grays, blacks, hot pinks and neon blues. The tops were low cut and covered with cheap glitter and sequins. The slacks were all tight and the skirts exceedingly short. The dresses were garish red or black velvet with ugly gauze-like trim as well as the ever present sequins. Worst of all, there were miniature padded bras and thongs for small girls. I started to feel sick.

With the news full of stories of little girls being raped and abducted, of young teens getting pregnant, of scandal after scandal and horror story after horror story, why would people design clothes which sexualize children? I must say, the boys' clothes were normal, just miniature men's clothes, nothing weird. What then is the obvious obsession with making little girls look like whores? At the very age when girls are beginning to blossom socially and grow into their femininity, why would anyone create garments that are intended to make girls see themselves as sex symbols? What is more, such clothes force others, including little boys, to see girls as toys to be used and abused. What parent would spend money to turn their seven year old into a junior slut? There is something very sick going on and only we consumers can stop it by refusing to buy into what has become a social disease. Share


Jacobitess said...

Sounds like the place where I used to work in the summertime. I remember a lady coming in and asking if there were any decent clothing for young girls. I promptly redirected her to an far more expensive, but also more tasteful store.

Trying to find something of worth on those racks was always well nigh impossible, but it pleased me that most parents and even the workers were disgusted with the messages sent out by such ugly clothing. Such social trends as this could make me turn to conspiracy theories.

The North Coast said...

This is a good post. I'm not a mother, but I was once a little girl, and I have been seeing over-sexualized clothing for little girls and wondering, what kind of parent would tart her young daughter up like this?

Boycotting this type of clothing will be much more effective if you also speak up while your doing it. Get together with other mothers, and when you see it, write to the store selling it, and to the manufacturer, stating exactly why you are not buying, and get other disgusted mothers to do the same. Large companies are extremely sensitive to criticism from just about anyone, and if a well-organized group of people put up a loud howl, they'll change. Remember, it only took a small group of 50 people to get Proctor and Gamble to take a certain trademark off their products that these people said was an evil religious symbol. When stores and manufacturers get it driven home to them that they are killing their sales by offering products that offend people, they'll change.

MamaEuny said...

That's why I sew. That being said, you can rarely find any decent patterns in the main pattern companies. Most of those are for slutty little girl garments, just like the stores sell in ready-to-wear. You have to search under classic or heirloom to find garments patterns that are modest. Even First Holy Communion dresses in RTW are sleeveless or off the shoulder, let alone having cut-out backs or worse, halter-top bodices. I pretty much gave up finding nice patterns in my girls' size ranges, and then I discovered vintage patterns on ebay, etsy, and others. Even if you don't sew, you can find a vintage pattern and pay a professional seamstress to make it for your child.

Nonni said...

I've noticed this in the stores. I've also noticed that the trend starts even YOUNGER. Pre-school age clothing sizes are sometimes trashy and often just ugly for little girls. And, this is at mainstream stores such as Macy's! For example:

Starts at little girls size 4. Truly frightening culture we live in.

Theresa Bruno said...

This is why I'm glad I have a boy. Little boy clothes are sensible and tasteful.

I'm pregnant now and I'm not sure what I'll do if I have a little girl. I guess I'll have to take up sewing.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly why I have a blog promoting modesty in dress!! It's so vital, especially in these times, when little girls who are 6 and 7 want to look like 27-year-olds! (I would NOT want to dress that way when I am 27!)

God's blessings,

tubbs said...

Last Saturday, while channel surfing, I came across MTV. It was airing "Jersey Shore" at prime-time kiddy hour (10:00 am)
I have been quietly seething since then. Now this post! Maybe I should wait a day or two to post my comments. (wouldn't do any good to vent anyway / preaching to the choir).
One thing I will say now: the phenomena is just another sign of the destruction of the middle class. The highest aspiration the ignorant classes can have for a daughter is brood sow. Just look at some of the trashy names baby girls are give these days.

Leonard Greco said...

It is quite disturbing, i have a little niece who i enjoy giving gifts to. The clothing she favors is at best some oddball concept of "princess', at worst "hooker" as you colorfully stated.
I end up shopping at the rather dour LL Bean, rather safe then sorry :)

Mrs D. said...

I agree entirely, this is why I was asked to start making modest decent clothes for little girls, and began my own (modest) business (in the uk) to help those mums who can't, or don't have time to sew. I'm not making a big business of it as I have to home-educate my son at the same time, but I really enjoy making pretty things for girls, since the Good Lord saw fit to not give me one of my own!

Brian Miles said...

Thoughtful as always, Elena, and yes this is truly a disgusting reality. As to why, I believe there are two forces at work. The first seems to be a sort of perverse trickledown effect from a culture completely awash in pornography. This stuff has become like dye in the water which stains everything around it. In men it breeds objectification, and a preference for the bizarre over what is truly beautiful:

And many women in turn watch this effect (both in the lives of their men, and in how the pornographic woman glamorized in our culture), and no doubt feel pressured to accommodate themselves.

But in addition to these culturally manipulative and moribund forces, I think there is also the special malice that the Devil bears toward women. This is only a theological opinion, but in a very real way Lucifer, the Star of the Morning Star--who was once the fairest of all his angelic brethren--was supplanted by Eve. He had once been placed at the pinnacle of the created order, but after his rebellion and subsequent fall, it was Eve who became the crowning jewel of creation. And my feeling is that Satan envied her; that as he stood confronted and confounded by a beauty he had lost and could never regain, he developed a special hatred toward Eve in particular and women in general, and consequently has sought malicious ways to satisfy that hatred ever since. Sure it has taken different forms over the ages, but today we see it working itself out under the auspices of women's health, women's liberation, and now seedy clothes for little girls. Whatever he can do to strike back at Eve not only foments his desire for vengeance, but also wounds the Sacred Heart of the One for whom Eve remains a priceless treasure.

Colleen Hammond said...

When I first wrote my book, the styles for the 7-14 age were just starting to lean toward hooker-chic. Now that the 7-14 have been taken-over, they're moving to younger ages. Give it time...the skank-style will filter down into the Toddler stuff soon. Actually, I've already seen leopard bikinis in Toddler sizes.

Lily said...

I have a 5 year old sister, and i love giving her presents and since she loves clothes quite a lot, that’s usually what I buy her. But i would never consider getting her anything of that trashy, ugly fashion, (I’m sure i once saw a pink playboy tracksuit for girls of four or five) Well at least I found some really beautiful dressing in Monsoon all girly, sometimes with loads of taffeta, glitter and gorgeous embroidery if only all young girls wore more clothes like that, oh and i wish girls could wear more white dresses with lace in the Edwardian/Victorian style, at least the girls would look their age and pretty too.