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No more 'Little Hooker' clothing lines



The permission slip specifically noted “no thong bikinis” for the annual field day.  A friend asked me if we received the same letter at my son’s school in the same district which, amazingly, we didn’t.  A few other heads turned in the social skills class, prompting a mass cry of abject horror over who would dress their elementary school age daughter in a thong. What purpose did a thong serve a young girl? It wasn’t to smooth out unsightly panty lines from showing in a snug, sheer skirt or tight pair of pants.

As a child, I thought Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie embodied glamour. Both she and Cher wore midriff-baring, outrageous outfits. I pretended to be them, wearing conservative two-piece swimsuits paired with furry winter boots. In kindergarten, I was warned not to wear wooden clogs that, apparently, resulted in noise pollution and potentially dangerous, slippery falls in the hallway.  Confusion struck me at age 7 when, before picking up my dad at the train station, my mom made me wear clothing over my swimsuit. 

Sixth grade brought me run-ins with the clothing and cosmetics police. In that year, I not only was summoned to the principal’s office for wearing a modest pair of blue culottes, mistakenly determined to be shorts; but I also borrowed two cool baby blue and mint green eye shadows from my mom who promptly insisted I wash them off my “grown-up” eyelids.

It's revolting

However, I was horrified hearing about girls’ thong bikinis and further puzzled by the need for padded bikini tops that my mother-in-law shockingly spotted when out shopping. As my friend G exasperatingly says, “I’m tired of the ‘Little Hooker’ clothing lines for girls!” (Pair that with the “Little Thug/Pimp” lines and you have a disastrous combination of innocence and sleaze.

When I saw a young girl, under 10, whom I vaguely recognized, with a thong noticeably peeking above her skirt, I grew nauseous. It was revolting, not cute. Maybe I seem prudish, but how did any parent think this appropriate for a young girl? What sort of indecent attention could this elicit? Was this as unconscionable as the woman who gave her 8-year old daughter Botox injections to assist her in winning a beauty pageant?

I love dressing my daughter E in cute and trendy outfits, but she’s not a fashion model — she’s a child. Cheerleaders and gymnasts wear revealing uniforms, so there must be a reason behind them. Acrobats appear more fluid and streamlined when performing in tight spandex rather than dangerous baggy clothing. Halloween has evolved into an “excused absence” for girls of all ages to wear sexy clothing, school rules be damned.

Kids don’t always listen to our clothing suggestions. They have their own ideas about fashion. But do we need to be reminded to dress our children appropriately? Are we eventually going to be reminded that we need to make sure our children don’t “go commando” or neglect to wear shoes? I’ve been the “negligent” parent. In preschool, E stubbed her toe wearing open-toed sandals, and notes went home instructing parents about sensible shoes.

They can't handle it

I won’t even blame Miley Cyrus or [please insert current teenage It girl].The fashion industry tests the limits of decency with children’s fashions as well as parents who may be too permissive or clueless or afraid to lay down the law.  Maybe some are reliving their youth and sharing their personal adult fashion choices with their children. Maybe they want to spoil them because they didn’t have trendy, risqué fashions growing up or wish to compensate for lost time not spent with their kids. The fear is that if teen girls cannot manage the attention directed at their bodies, how will younger girls?

The truth is that kids usually cannot handle the attention or are confused by it. It’s just like telling your child she can drive or drink when she’s an adult. Dressing provocatively also applies. In “The Hotter Half,” I wrote about dressing more sexily, but I’m an adult.  Believe me; I could never rock a thong bikini publicly for several reasons: a less than perfect body, sheer modesty, and discomfort from thong placement.  Sometimes, I don’t enjoy any public attention I’ve ever received from wearing a low-cut or snug top, but I know how to manage it.

Let’s let kids be kids.  No more “Little Hooker” lines!

M.B. Sanok is a South Jersey mom and a blogger for JerseyMomsBlog, where this post originated

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