A reader described to me a problem she was having with her teenage daughter now
that summer was here. To paraphrase:
“What do I do? I can’t shop for clothes with her. Everywhere we go, the clothes
look like something a streetwalker would wear!”
A recent comedy routine I heard summed it up. Is your daughter a ‘Ho?
Seriously, it is a big problem. Even JC Penny’s summer line for 10- 12 year olds features
the tween slut look! If you are going to be fashionable you’re going to look like
So what’s the deal? Why does your perfect teenage angel want to follow this trend?
It isn’t actually about sex at all; it is about status. Teenagers are in a
developmental stage where they are transitioning out of their family and into
the greater culture. Their peers are the in-between or transitional objects
necessary to do this. Being loved and accepted by one’s parents at this point
doesn’t matter; it’s being loved and accepted by one’s peers that matters. This is why that designer label nearly naked thong is so earth shatteringly important to a teenage girl. If she has the right cloths and makeup, plays dumb enough and dates the popular boys, then she attains the status and approval rating of the designer label. Humans form
pecking orders and this is what in our culture propels a girl to the top.
So what can you as a parent do about it? At this point not too much. The work has
to start when they are younger. First, the most important thing is never allow
your child to watch any TV show that is permeated with COMMERCIALS. A marketing person once told me that the sole purpose of any TV show was just to keep your interest enough to get you to sit through the commercial break. You can’t sell products to the best of a person; you can only sell to the worst. People buy things out of fear, desire,
greed, jealousy, low self esteem, and whatever the 7 deadly sins are. If you
are happy and content with yourself and your life, your needs are practical and
For every TV show your child has sat through, they repeatedly received the message
that they are not good enough, they are unhealthy, they are unfulfilled, they can’t entertain themselves, they are unsafe, and they are unloved. This is the subliminal under the marketing.
All public figures are actors. In real life they are not like the part they play on
the screen or in their public roles. From presidents to reality TV shows, what
we see is the acting persona. It is not who they are as people. Kids do not
realize that they are role modeling after fictional characters.
The second most important influence we as parents can have on our children is
through picking their role models. When your children are young get them
involved with groups and activities where the role models and teachers are sane
and well balanced people. An activity run by an unbalanced adult is worse than
none at all. I can’t tell you how many anorexic dance and gymnastic teachers,
alcoholic football coaches, and sexual predator ski instructors I have met. The
kids they served followed suit. Humans learn through role modeling.
Perhaps you have just realized that the common American default culture is toxic. She
won’t listen, but you can try explaining to your 17 year old, “you
wouldn’t walk around naked, why is next to naked any better?” Girls feel
extremely awkward about their bodies at this age, they don’t fully realize how
guys are seeing them. This misunderstanding leads to a lot of teenage sex, both
voluntary and involuntary.
A final word: DO NOT PAY FOR ANYTHING YOU
FEEL IS INAPPROPRIATE. Your kids are not your friends, they are your kids. They do not need to like you!!! Don’t be afraid to piss them off. If they must have it, LET THEM PAY FOR IT!
Let them do their own laundry too.
Slutty cloths are expensive and often made poorly. If teens have to cough up the money
to keep up with the fads it might at least make them get a job. That in itself
will have a positive influence on them and help them to move out of total peer
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
The Granny Doctor wants to add: The world today is filled with both healthy men who
like to look at attractive teens in skimpy outfits, and sick predators who hunt
for innocent lambs. If teenage girls understood the potential danger behind the
stares that followed them in their skimpy outfits, they would be afraid the
same as if they were walking through the African jungle dressed in meat
Every young woman should be taught to take defend herself, both psychologically and
physically. If they were, they would probably make very different fashion
decisions out of sheer smarts.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché adds: Try the Land’s End catalog and Laura Ashley catalog for
conservative or I prefer the adventurer look. Google: “safari style clothing women”, I liked what came up. But browse the web with your daughter for a fun catalog that meets both your expectations.