Jennifer Moses of the Wall Street Journal wrote an article trying to answer the question: “Why Do We Let Them Dress Like That?” From preteens attending dress-up parties to teens attending prom Moses asks “Why do so many of us not only permit our teenage daughters to dress like this—like prostitutes, if we’re being honest with ourselves—but pay for them to do it with our AmEx cards?”
To answer that question she asked some friends who are moms of this age group. The author was not impressed with the halfhearted answers she received. Instead Moses links the cause to a conflicted and confused past. Citing that hers was the first generation to grow up without harsh double standards, fear of unwanted pregnancy, and pressure to flaunt of this new-found sexual freedom. Moses cites regret as a common theme of the past for women in her generation. Of course not everyone lived like that, but regret is the norm. In her estimation this lifestyle they lived growing up has left them ill equipped to teach their children how to live otherwise. But even if parents wanted to go against the choices they made, many would not, and do not out of fear of being hypocritical.
Her conclusion is that by parents allowing, and encouraging, their kids to dress like trash they are encouraging their kids to live out the same regret-filled lifestyles they did. While I’m not sure I would go that far, I do see her point of view. I do not believe that most parents want their kids to make the same mistakes they did. But, I’m not sure many of them think about what they are doing now and the effect it will have later.
This reminds me of Luke 14 where Jesus talks about a builder sitting down and counting the cost of a building before it is built. It is essential to count the cost of what we do when we “build” our kids. I realize that there is are many more variables in raising kids compared to building even the most complex building. But the principle still holds true that considering the outcome of your actions is important. Dressing kids or not dressing kids a certain way will not guarantee you they will avoid the same mistakes you made. But forethought is important, even when it comes to buying your kid clothes.
What do you say? Is it no big deal, is the author right on, or a totally different opinion?
One Reply to “Why do parents let girls dress like that?”
Ramblings of a Buffoon indeed