To: Girls' Clothing manufacturers
From: A concerned mother
My 15-year-old daughter is not a video vixen.
I just thought you should be made aware of this fact since most of the dresses you make in her size are too short or too tight for her to wear in my opinion. A few years ago when I was looking for a dress for her eighth grade graduation this unfortunate situation came to my attention. Now two years later while looking for a dress for her fall harvest dance, I find that the situation has not improved.
Now I don’t consider myself a prude. My prom dress was strapless, but it was long and formal. But maybe I am a bit old-fashioned in this day and age. I just can’t see my daughter in a dress where she has to fight to keep her breasts from popping out and keep tugging down to keep it from riding up.
That’s what I see too often at these dances and other functions--girls pulling up and down to keep their dresses on.
This dilemma is not just for teens.
Another mother told me she searched for weeks to find shorts for her then 6-year-old that weren’t too short or had inappropriate words like “juicy” written on the back. One friend has contemplated taking up sewing so that she can make clothes for her daughter. Another friend looking for dresses for her 5 and 7 year old daughters for a daddy-daughter dance said she had a hard time finding something appropriate.
I just want you to know I think there is a market out there that you can capitalize on. There are other mothers out there looking for dresses and other clothing that don’t make their daughters look like Puritans or nuns but at the same time leave something to the imagination. There are some mothers out there who want their child to remain children for as long as possible, although the world keeps trying to make them into mini-adults. They want their children to relish in the simplicity and innocence of childhood because they know they will have the rest of their lives to be grown up.
I cannot blame you for all of this. Someone buys the dresses that you produce or you wouldn’t make them. I think too many mothers are living vicariously through their daughters and wishing for their younger days. I see it on that horrible, disturbing television show “Toddlers and Tiaras” as mothers pressure their pre-schoolers to win beauty pageants and disgrace themselves. They parade their babies in sexy outfits in beauty pageants with their already flawless faces caked with makeup to make them look like grown little women.
This summer at a music festival I saw women my age and old enough to be my mother wearing outfits that Beyonce would be afraid to wear. One grandmother had a red number on with a neckline that plunged to her belly button and her breasts were sagging almost as far. I wondered how anyone let her get out the house or how she looked in the mirror and thought, “Girl, you looking good.” I see the pictures on Facebook, women who refuse to age gracefully but think that Daisy Duke shorts that almost look like bikini bottoms and super tight, cut up jeans are still for them.
But I want my daughter to know that it’s wonderful to dress up and wear beautiful clothes. How you present yourself to the world is important. But you don’t have to dress according to what the world says is desirable. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to show everybody her breasts and butt to be attractive. I want her to understand the wisdom of the scripture in Proverbs that says, “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. (Proverbs 11:22)”
I want her to know that she is a lady and she should dress like one. I want her to understand that her beauty should not come from her outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. “Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4)”
That inner beauty will never go out of fashion.
So dear clothing manufacturer, please keep this market in mind. I think you might be surprised by the demand.