I try to stay off my soap box, I mean that really preachy soap box, but about once a year I just can’t take it anymore.
Last year, you may remember my rant from little bit’s completely inappropriate ballet recital outfit.
Most of you probably missed the previous year’s rant about the Family Circle “advice” column that set me off (because I had about 10 readers at the time!).
But this Sunday I lost it. I was simply trying to outfit little bit with a new pair of shoes. Becoming frustrated at the Stride Rite prices, I decided to visit a few children’s clothing stores that also offered a limited selection of shoes. Among my stops were the not-particularly-reputationally-racy Gymboree and Carter’s. GYMBOREE and CARTER’S! Wanted to make sure you didn’t miss that these are stores that don’t carry teen clothing. Or adult clothing. Or stripper clothing. Supposedly.
Ahem, I’ll rein it in a little.
Since it is April in Houston (or is supposed to be anyways, tell that to the 50s we’ve had this week), I thought I ought to pick up a pair of shorts. Little bit picked up an adorable pair of purpled striped knit shorts at Gymboree which I said she could have because they looked about right from a length perspective. Then I looked at the tag. They were a SIZE 12! The shorts that would probably been about the right length for a 4 year old wearing a 5T were a SIZE 12!
I can see you nodding your head because that is exactly what happened when I posted this information to Facebook.
I got an unreal amount of comments to this post: “Is there anywhere that sells preschool shorts that are not micro mini?!?! If not, she may never know what it’s like to wear shorts!”
Here were some of the comments in response:
* We just try to find capri pants – no recommendations here.
* Yes, capris and cut offs. Not sure who designs shorts that short, but we won’t be buying them.
* I started sewing again for just this problem. My girls mostly wear skirts with attached shorts because they are longer.
* We shop second hand for older styles but it’s getting harder every year.
* Just wait, mine is 9, I break into hives when we go clothes shopping.
* The shorts for tweens and teens are so short that there is literally no inseam and if they girls do anything other than stand up they show everything. It’s indecent what’s marketed to young girls.
* We have the same experience. In a restaurant the other day I was embarrassed and appalled to see a 14 year old wearing shorts with her butt cheeks hanging out.
* We put leggings with sundresses because the dresses are too short on their own too.
* We buy boys shorts.
* Prosti-tot wear. I cut and hem winter jeans.
EVERY SINGLE MOM HAD THE SAME REACTION!
HOW ARE THESE PLACES STILL IN BUSINESS?
I am stabbing my keyboard viciously as I even type this. What the hell? I am sorry, but what the hell?
This is not an issue for one category of people. This is an issue for you.
Are you a Feminist? This continued degradation and sexualization of young girls should outrage you! It defies any progress that has been made and reduces young women to objects.
Are you a Christian? The slippery slope is ever more steep and dangerous. When four year olds can’t find clothes to cover up more than their rear then we are in trouble. Pray all you want, but we also need to be taking some action and finding alternatives.
Are you a father, grandfather, or brother? You know how men look at women. You know what it does to see every shred of skin pranced in front of you. Do you want everyone who passes your daughter, granddaughter, or sister to be thinking those things?
What on Earth? So here is a very simple recommendation, short of taking up sewing which I know I’m not going to do so I’m not going to recommend it to you: STOP SHOPPING AT THESE STORES. Any store that believes micro mini is the appropriate length of short for a four year old or a fourteen year old doesn’t deserve our business. And maybe if enough places see an impact, and hear an outcry, we can affect change.
Everyone laughs at this idea. Like one person can’t affect change. But you know what? Even if no one else follows this recommendation, I will not personally be supporting them with my hard earned money.
Shop somewhere you see encouraging appropriate attire. Some of the recommendations by commenters I personally went and checked out and agree that several of them have solid options:
1. The Children’s Place - they are incredibly reasonable, and the girl on their cover page as I was typing this was in shorts that nearly hit her knees! (They do have shorter shorts, but they have a lot of “skimmer” shorts.)
2. Land’s End - again, they have shorter shorts available, but they also have Bermuda shorts and cute skorts that are longer. (Y’all they also have some really cute, but modest, swimsuits and shorts for women!)
3. Hanna Andersson – pricier, but a pretty broad selection of longer shorts and summer skirts that are age appropriate.
And one last thing. I said age appropriate in that last little blurb, but y’all, the length I am seeing is inappropriate at any age. Women have got to set an example for our girls by dressing with some dignity and self-confidence and realize we have more to offer the world than our chest or rear. It’s gone too far.