Sunday, February 27, 2005

Dress for Sex-cess

Let me describe three events, and see if you notice the common element:

Friday night, I took Daughter to a dance class, and was getting her ready when I saw a disco ball out of the corner of my eye. Turning, I saw that I had been confused; it wasn’t a disco ball, meant to turn endlessly to the throbbing beat of “It’s Raining Men”, it was a seven year-old girl with a full face of makeup and a bottle of glitter decanted on her hair. I overheard her her mother tell another mother she had taken her daughter for a make-over at the mall, to which I can only say thank God -- that whole “Small girl” thing she had been working was so 2004.

Saturday, Daughter and I went to an event for children and while waiting for the lights to go down, I happened to look behind me and see a tiny prostitute. I looked again. Foolish me, it was just a small girl with metallic beads and glitter in her hair, a fake fur chubby and a layer of lip gloss so thick it needed a Zamboni to smooth it out. Finally, we met friends for dinner and I noticed a girl of no more than eight tottering out of the restaurant. I say “tottering” not because she’d been slamming back Sex on the Beaches, but because she was wearing platform shoes, which went so nicely with the leotard top and flounced cheerleader mini-skirt.

If I promise to go back to obsessing over my own foibles in the next installment, may I please have a word with these mothers? The mothers who think that six to ten year-old girls should look as if they are working their way through grade school on their knees? I know some of their arguments, so I am going to answer them in print, which is better than in person, because I don’t scream in print.

Argument #1- You just don’t know, Quinn, all the girls are dressing this way.
Man, I wish you had been my mother. I tried that line of reasoning in the late seventies over high-heeled Candies, and got nowhere. For your information, very few girls are dressing like that. You may have a fairly skewed vision of the word, because girls in tight pants tend to congregate with girls in short skirts, so your daughter’s friends will tend to look just as trashy and common as she does. In reality, no more than 20% of the girl population is wearing those clothes; another 40% are driving their mothers to drink because they want a pink t-shirt with the word “Hot” picked out in rhinestones, just like your daughter wore last week. For future reference, the only girls in my sixth-grade class who actually got the high-heeled Candies both ended up in rehab by high school graduation. That’s probably a coincidence, though.

Argument #2-She has a cute little body; it’s not sexy, you’re just making it sexual.
Ah, the “Eye of the Beholder” argument. I’d find more meat on that one if I didn’t understand something of evolutionary biology. Fashions flourish because they draw the eye to parts of the body that have to be healthy and bounteous for fertility, which adults subconsciously find appealing. For example, hip-hugging pants draw attention to the swell of the sexually mature female hip, an indication to a male that we are ready to breed. Lipstick and lip gloss mimic the flushed and swollen look of arousal. Cropped shirts again note the difference between the smaller waist and larger breasts and hips, again indicating fertility. Please explain to me how putting this clothing on your little kid isn’t creepy. Here is a hint; if they don’t have a secondary sexual characteristic, don’t put something on to flaunt it. Your daughters have their whole lives to decide how much skin to offer the parking attendants who make those weird hissing noises when they walk down the sidewalk.

Argument #3- Shut up. I didn’t ask your opinion.
But you did. If you put a bumper sticker on your car that says Guns Don’t Kill People, But Really Sharp Bullets Do, that’s a statement. If you wear a t-shirt that says I Brake for Spotted Owls; I Also Date Them, that’s a statement. Your seven-year-old daughter has highlights in her hair, a standing mani-pedi appointment and a need for thong underwear? Statement.

Is it just me, or is there a pretty good chance the mother of Princess Slutina is wearing some variation of the same outfit? It sometimes seems the mother cannot understand they are not twenty-four year-old twin sisters, working as DJ’s and hoping to dance in a 50 Cent video. I speak to those mothers right now, using the only weapon that I have that they might hear. If you continue to not only let your small daughter dress this way, but encourage it, you are leaving her no choice in adolescent rebellion but to become a complete truck-stop crack whore. Or Amish. Either way, you know you aren’t going to want to trade clothes with her.


Blogger Kara said...

Where I live the mothers are not dressed like the little girls. They are living thru their daughters by dressing them this way. Both are equally as bad.
That's the difference between LA and Minneapolis :)

10:03 AM  

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