With July 4th parties this week, some parents might hear themselves saying to their teenagers what they never thought they’d say when they were teenagers themselves, and that’s a reproach about what their child is wearing.
Is it always justified to give your opinion on your child’s dress sense, or lack thereof? Well, as you can imagine, Katherine has some opinions on the matter, so here’s an excerpt from her eBook, ‘When Good Kids Dress Makes You Stress‘.
“The issue of sexually provocative dressing is not always that easy. Sometimes, a style that looks whorish to an adult carries no explicit sexual meaning to a preteen. She’s just trying to look like Madonna, or like everyone else at school. In our multicultural society, different ethnic groups have different attitudes toward proper dress. Some first generation parents are horrified that American teenage girls shave their legs or bare their arms, assuming that these are indications of sexual promiscuity. Even sections of the country have different values. The bleached-blond hairstyle that seems sporty, outdoorsy in a Southern California beach community may be thought cheap, or worse, in a Northeastern small town.
Perhaps you feel, as many parents do, that provocative dressing in itself isn’t necessarily bad. Or perhaps you are the kind of parent who believes firmly that it is. Because provocative clothing may not be intended as a come-on, but can be taken for one, I find myself in the middle on this issue. I want my kids to have the fun of experimenting with their image, I want them to feel comfortable with their peers, but I also think it’s wise for all of us to keep a gently wary eye on the outfits that sail out of our houses.”