We have a big disagreement going on at my house right now. My granddaughter attends a Wednesday night youth church group and they have been discussing "God, Love, Sex." She is a 12 year old ,seventh grader. I don't have anything at all against these discussions and actually welcome all the support that I can get as a grandmother raising a young girl in this day and age. She came home this past Wednesday night all in a tither about the way that the youth pastor classified the way that the girls in the group (some of them) were dressing slutty. Now this has opened up a whole discussion at our house as to what constitutes the term 'dressing slutty'.
I say she should embrace modesty. I have always felt that way. Little girls need to remain covered up. But I have been told that I am 'old-fashioned' and she doesn't want to look stupid. I am trying to teach her that a modest person does not dress to call attention to herself. But of course she wants to look cute and to be pretty.
One of my rules is that under every low cut shirt must be a cami. It can be plain or can have a bit of lace to give her that 'feel pretty' look. But I don't want my 12 year old grand daughter showing anything of her chest to anyone. They are not yet aware of how they need to stand, to bend, to lean over to prevent looking straight down their top and a cami provides that extra coverage. So we have purchased a variety of camis to fill out her wardrobe.
Thelatest fashion look is short, shorts and short dresses. Deep breath here, granny. My rule is that no short, shorts may be worn outside of our home. And only short dresses with tights or leggings. Thank goodness those are in-style right now. I was even looking at a video tonight of a young girl talking fashion and it is currently fashionable to wear tights under shorts. Not my idea of attractive, but hey I am all for whatever is covering her up more. And paired with a pair of short boots......who would have thunk! So as for length of dresses and skirts: Here is the rule that I am adopting; it must be at least finger-tip long when her arms are straight down to her side. And if that is as long as it gets, then she has to wear tights. Dresses or skirts that are knee length or longer will be okay without tights or leggings.
Bra straps that show are another fashion statement that I just don't get. But I am not really going to fight about this one. When I was growing up, we would have died if our bra strap showed. But now they find particularly pretty bra straps specifically so they can show.
I am putting my foot down to anything on the front of a tee shirt that is in anyway sexual or suggestive in meaning. I don't even like the ones that insinuate they are in charge....My Parents Think they are are in Charge, but I really am! Nope, no one here going to wear one of those. Just disrespectful as far as I am concerned.
And since I have never raised a daughter, I have had to educate myself on a lot of different things. For instance, I was reading recently that the jelly bracelets that lined little girls arms in the 1980's and were simply a fashion statement are now making a sexual statement. WHAT??? It is a different world out there and parents and grandparents have to educate yourselves on these matters. If you question something, do your research.
Wearing make-up is another issue of discussion with us. When I was growing up, no girl below the age of 16 would ever, ever wear make-up of any kind. I used to sneak it out of the house at age 15 and put it on in the bathroom at school and then remember to remove all traces of it before I got home. I am allowing her to wear light colored eye shadows (pale tans and pinks) a touch of mascara and lip gloss. That is all she needs! I am teaching her how to apply it with a light hand and letting her true beauty shine through. And she is okay with this. She even mentions those girls who put on the heavy eyeliner and blush as not being very pretty. SCORE one for granny.
Bottom line is that I want the very best for my grand daughter. I want her to feel good about herself. I want her to feel beautiful without feeling 'slutty'. I value the fact that the youth pastor discussed this with the girls, but I want her to listen and to make her own decisions on what is best for her. The way she dresses does not mean that she is not a good girl. It does not mean that men or boys will look at her as a sex object. That is their problem, not hers. I am going to continue to insist on a certain level of modesty. She will look appealing and classy and won't fit into that classification of 'slutty', whatever that may mean. Now if we could just get all the older ladies of the church to help set an example. I will leave that for another time.