I spent the weekend with 22 middle and high school students, mostly girls, who were competing at a choir competition in NYC. Part of the weekend’s festivities involved an awards ceremony followed by a dinner and dancing cruise. As we were getting ready for the evening activities, I thought back to similar events on the choir trips I attended in high school. We’d all put on jeans and a nice top, or if we were in a warm location, a cute sundress with flip-flops and maybe a little extra make-up. I had no idea how much things changed in the past few years.
The girls on this boat cruise did not look like they were on a middle/high school choir trip. Now let me disclaimer - none of the girls from our group dressed or behaved like this. I was very proud that all the girls from our group were dressed modestly but still cute. I cannot say as much about the other girls. I saw everything from tight shirts with bras peeking out to skirts that barely covered whatever was underneath. I saw sky-high heels, see-through dresses, and more makeup than a televangelist. It was a cold, windy night and the rain was pouring, yet many girls didn’t even bring a sweater or jacket to cover their bare shoulders. I could understand that if we were in California or Hawaii, but for a trip to NYC in April, I would expect a little more common sense.
When I was in high school there were always a few girls who wore skimpy dresses with overdone hair and make up, but at this event it was the majority of the girls. When did it become a normal thing for middle and high school girls to dress this provocatively?
I read an article this morning that seemed very timely in light of the cruise on Saturday night. The author talks about how girls are dressing provocatively at a younger and younger age, and in most cases it comes back to one thing:
It’s easy to blast companies for introducing the sexy wear, but our ire really should be directed at the parents who think low rise jeans for a second grader is cute. They are the ones who are spending the money to fuel this budding trend. They are the ones who are suppose to decide what’s appropriate for their young children to wear, not executives looking to brew up controversy or turn a profit.
Check out the full article here:
I’m not saying that parents should dress their kids only in denim floor length jumpers. That can cause a whole other set of problems. What I am saying is that those 8 year-olds with fake tans, eye liner and tight sweatpants with “juicy” on the butt are more likely to end up like the boat cruise girls than the 8 year-olds who dress like the actual little girls they are.
I’m not a parent yet, so I can’t say firsthand how hard it is to encourage girls to stay little girls for as long as they can. And I’m sure it’s getting more and more difficult to do so. But as a girl whose parents helped her to not grow up too fast, I know that it’s totally worth the effort.