Stay with me here. My daughter started school this week (3rd grade) and was bummed that crop top were allowed to be worn at her school, and that got me thinking. I remembered when "spaghetti strap" dresses weren't allowed at my 8th grade dance and that my mom's friend made a little bolero jacket I could wear over mine so I could still wear the dress. Now, there are other restrictions on non-fem clothing, like no hats on in the school or pants hanging below your butt and showing underwear. To a point, I get this. Kids like to push boundaries so heaven only know what they'd show up in without some restrictions. Showing up in a Bjork style swan dress or as a Batman villain could be damn distracting. Time and place for everything.
Buuut... the fem clothing restrictions trouble me, because they are based on "sexual" looks being distracting. Think about it. Why are crop tops "inappropriate"? Is it because the look seems too "adult"? I'd call bullshit on that, because every little "girl" swimsuit has a bikini style bottom. WHY? I hate bikini cut swimsuits, full stop, for any age. Maybe not for diving or swimming athletes. But for leisure? Hell no. Since public hair is a no-show, why does the default fem swimsuit require it to be worn? And why are we starting girls, at infancy, wearing them? Because they will grow and hit puberty and it is fucked that a pre-teen kid would feel the need to rid themselves of public are for a trip to the summer pool. Does it seem like I'm over-reacting? I really don't think so. What a bag of mixed messages to give to girls. Oh, honey, showing your belly is inappropriate, but please wear this swimsuit or leotard to show the sides of you hips. That's totally fine. Wtf y'all?
Of course all this simply points to the fact that we live in a toxic masculine society. Girls are given signs to look sexy, but in the right way. And as they grow, they will get attention and adoration for sexy style, but if it tempts boys too much, better beware, because it will be seen as *her* fault.
As a mom, this all sucks. Because my kid has killer style, so she wants the bikini lines and crop tops and I want her to embrace her style, but I also have to warn her, as she gets older, that she needs to be aware of inappropriate language, touches, implications and innuendoes. Ugh, I have to go have some kava now and work on art. But if you talk to any mothers today, be kind to them. They are doing more and thinking about more than you could ever guess. It's tiring! So throw some sunshine their way!