Bikini’s and Tushies: Her View of Skimpy Suits for Kids
27 Sep, 2012
Each week, Leslie, Jen and I like to duke it out. No, not really. But we do like to pick a topic relevant (if not requested) from our viewers and offer our views on it. Sometimes, our opinions are as different as night and day, other times we find common ground. Jen posed a question with an interesting article last week; are we sexualizing our girls with scantily clad clothes? Eliza Elizabeth Hurly recently came under fire because her line of swim suits seemed to sexualize girls. (Read article here)
The question is this: Are we sexualizing our girls with skimpy outfits or is it just cute?
I’ll never forget the first bikini mom let me buy.
It was blue and had fantastic white polka dots. Most importantly, it was in two pieces which was a big deal! I mean come on – I was able to show off my stomach!
I was thrilled!
I know a couple girls laughed because they thought I was being “risqué.” I think their parents probably laughed, too. It comes with being a teen; girls are mean and parents can be nasty.
But here’s the thing ~ I really, really loved that bikini.
To some it was just a simple, inexpensive, blue swimsuit from the ½ price store that showed too much skin. But to me, it was a fashion statement. I loved the way I felt each time I put it on. I was a confident young teen ready to tackle the world.
Will I buy my girls a two piece bathing suit? Eh? It’s not really a concern in my mind. I simply buy them what’s on sale and what fits. Whatever they wear, whether it’s a bathing suit or a pair of shoes, I teach my girls to be confident in their choices. I want them to feel classy and beautiful even if they are in sweatpants.
It’s all about attitude.
I will also teach my girls to respect what others are wearing. Just because a girl chooses to wear a tight shirt or (gasp!) a two piece bathing suit, doesn’t mean they are in the “risqué” category. That’s a stereotype that simply doesn’t need to happen.
Whatever you wear, wear it with confidence! That’s what I try to tell my girls today and everyday!
Here are a few quotes I found about clothes that made me smile:
“People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile.” ~Lee Mildon
“I don’t see how an article of clothing can be indecent. A person, yes.” ~Robert A. Heinlein
“Just around the corner in every woman’s mind – is a lovely dress, a wonderful suit, or entire costume which will make an enchanting new creature of her.” ~Wilhela Cushman
“A dress makes no sense unless it inspires men to want to take it off you.” ~Françoise Sagan
“Never wear anything that panics the cat.” ~P.J. O’Rourke
Elijah, keep your hands on the cart, I said exasperated as I wheeled the cart around the corner to look for more socks. Elijah was then tugging on my jeans, as he lisped in his three-year-old sweetness, “Mommy you look pretty in this!” as he handed me a giant, fire engine red, lacy bra.
Slightly blushing, I put it back and mentally noted not to leave my bedroom door open anymore when I was changing and then thought it was uncanny he had the same taste as his daddy. Moving on….
My son is now six (next week is the big birthday week). And there is something to be said about how men are wired. Even though he is a mere boy, his eyes are wired to zone in on a woman’s body, which leads us to a slogan around our house, “Ping Pong off The Thong”. Elijah and Daddy recite this (quietly) when they see ample women falling out of their shirts or skirts that seem to be too short. And in the summer time, its a constant song around house.
With that said, I want to help protect my son’s integrity and teach him to avoid the temptations that eye candy brings. On the flip side, I want my daughters to grow up, empowered by who they are on the inside, not by what they are wearing or what they are showing off. And as I raise them, we start modesty early. Very early! Don’t get me wrong, I love ruffled tops and bottoms on toddlers, it is adorable; but its not for us.
Just look at Brittany Spears? Okay Okay, that was a little extreme but I think it gives you an idea of what our the majority of our nation thinks of girls, clothes and sexuality.
Riggleman girls do not wear bikini’s. Period. They are more than just a pretty face or belly for that matter.
These are the suits in question. (You can see more here.)
I’m not really a fan.
As most of these opinions do, this one comes down to how I was raised.
We were not bikini girls in our family. My mom wasn’t a fan.
I just think that girls have SO much pressure from images all around them. But Elizabeth Hurley knows a lot about those sexy messages. She’s been in them:
As a young mom, I have more questions than answers on this issue.
First, do Liz (above) and others who pose in bikinis have more or less confidence? Do they need or crave the attention given to them by having these pictures? Do they need men to give them compliments in order to feel sexy? What if they gained 30 or 40 pounds? Could they still be happy?
Would wearing a bikini teach a young girl that her body is more important than her attitude?
I want my daughter to be YOUNG as long as she can. I’d like to keep her in ruffles and one pieces and such as long as I can. She has the whole rest of her life to be choosing whether she wants to show off her tummy.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent it is that my idea of what kind of parent I am going to be might change as reality sets in. Ten years from now a lot will have changed. My guess is that the ‘kini will be something she gets to do when she turns 13. . . or 15… or some older age.
I don’t know the best way to raise a confident, happy young lady.
Right now, I’m trying to discuss images with her. We often say ‘Cover that up, silly lady’. It is a phrase that started when she was a baby clinging to my shirt and revealing a little too much. I’d say ‘Cover that up, Mommy’. Now she says it when she sees people on TV wearing less than they should.
I’m also trying to encourage her to find her own style — even now when she chooses to wear high heals, a tiara while she’s a ‘instruction worker’ (aka construction worker)
I’d love to hear any advice from any of you about how to raise a child who is happy in her own skin and doesn’t worry about being on a diet or what ‘everyone at school’ is doing. Is it even possible?