If you ask the Liberals, they will say teen girls being scantily dressed in school is appropriate. Even when wearing skin tight yoga pants and too-short shorts to public school, libs claim parents or teachers who object to girls who want to show what their momma gave them, were “shamed” when asked to wear clothing styles according to their school policy.
Shamed for what—showing way too much skin at an age where they shouldn’t be? Good for those teachers who make these students follow the rules!
Just like it was when we were teens, your children may feel pressure from their friends, non-friend peers, and the media — to follow the current trends and wear fashionable clothes.
Some girls feel confident if they receive attention for the way they dress. Sure, it’s nice to be noticed. Often girls even dress to impress other girls, maybe even more than guys. But for many young teenage girls, it’s even more important to fit in. Many young women feel it is social suicide to try to stick out in the crowd or wear something no one else is wearing. So if all the girls are dressing in short skirts and low-cut shirts, they better do it as well, they think. Sometimes the styles may be more provocative than a girl feels comfortable wearing, but due to peer pressure, she will wear it anyway.
Trends in fashion that do not fit every body size and shape can cause girls to struggle with self-esteem. Popular shops catering to only certain sizes make girls feel “less-than” because they do not have what is considered to be the ideal teen body. Magazines geared toward teens can be some of the most prominent culprits when it comes to promoting a particular look based on a particular body type.
According to the Child Development Department at the University of Denver, teen magazines tell girls how their bodies should be rather than meeting them where they are. For example, if your teen daughter wants to fit in with the popular cheerleaders, she may opt to ditch her old style of dress for something closer to their ideas of what constitutes fashionable clothing, or what’s being shown in popular teen magazines.
When your teen sees her favorite TV star or a perfect-looking model wearing the latest trends, this puts pressure on her to imitate the media-made ideal. Anything less than dressing like the magazine, or other media source, pictures look like may seem like a dud to your teen when it comes to what she wears.
“When we put on an item of clothing it is common for the wearer to adopt the characteristics associated with that garment,” Dr. Karen Pine, professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire and fashion psychologist, told Forbes. “A lot of clothing has symbolic meaning for us, whether it’s ‘professional work attire’ or ‘relaxing weekend wear,’ so when we put it on we prime the brain to behave in ways consistent with that meaning.”
Dr. Leonard Sax MD, writing in Psychology Today, points out that more and more research shows a connection between what women (and girls) wear and their tendency to self-objectify. In other words, girls in tight or revealing clothing at school are so worried about how they look, they may have trouble concentrating in class and doing their work.
Of course, the standard rationale that many school districts give for banning skimpy clothing for girls is that it’s distracting to the boys. And, let’s be honest, it can be. But this new research turns that whole argument on its ear and calls into question whether motives such as self-entitlement and freedom from misogynistic norms are valid reasons to change school dress codes, which many are already doing.
We do need to teach our kids that what we wear and how we behave — either physically, verbally or through our expression of personal style — does affect other people. And while we shouldn’t feel punished for it, it should matter to us.
This goes for adults, too, and it’s why merely telling our kids what they can and can’t wear isn’t enough. It goes way deeper into issues of human dignity and respect — for others and ourselves.