Every time I see a young girl with shorts too short and a shirt too low, I want to wrap them in a blanket and say, “Take the pants and T-shirt your mom bought you out of your backpack and put them on.”
I understand all young women go through the stage when they realize the power of their changing bodies can have. But I swear, it is worse now than ever. To those parents and grandparents raising young women, I tip my hat to you.
Recently, I was at a Beyoncé concert and I noticed that the shorter the shorts, the younger the girl. It was disturbing. A part of me wanted to blame Beyoncé and all the other over-sexualized pop stars out there (I am speaking to you, Rihanna, Miley, Katy, etc). But as much as I feel these pop singers aren’t always the best influence for young women, I don’t think it’s their fault those wearing *denim diapers feel their value lies in their skin and how much of it is exposed.
Everyone wants to blame the media when they see young girls trying to grow up too quickly. But we shouldn’t be relying solely on the media to get through to children. Our sons, daughters, nieces and nephews need dialogue that is not coming from the latest song or steamiest advertising campaign.
We can’t expect celebrities to censor themselves because our children might get the wrong message. For example, Beyoncé explains in the clip below that she is unapologetic for her latest, sexier album as she’s grown up and wants to share this side of her (why this other side of her is half naked is grounds for another article).
It is our responsibility to send the right message.
Full disclaimer: I am in my late 20s so I have not had the pleasure of parenting a child. But I do remember the talks my parents used to give me growing up, and those talks helped me understand as I got older that it’s cool if pop stars want to prance around like sex on a stick, but that didn’t necessarily mean I had to.
Today, as I walk through malls or go to the movies, I am seeing mini-Rihanna and mini-Mileys everywhere and I can’t help but wonder if everyone has forgotten to have these conversations. Or is it harder to get through to teenagers because of the constant distractions of Facebook, Twitter and the plethora of handheld devices?
As a newlywed who is realizing I might one day have to have these conversations with my own daughter, I have to admit – I am nervous.
*denim diaper is a term to describe denim shorts that are so cropped they resemble diapers more than clothing.