Social Question

poisonedantidote's avatar

Why do so many parents seem to allow their female children to dress like they are on offer?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21544 points ) August 5th, 2011

I just got back from work. Today one of my co-workers was looking at a girl. She had a leather mini-skirt on, belly button showing, tight top, loads of makeup and jewelery, and was generally done up the same way girls in clubs are.

I estimated the girls age at 17 (legal in Spain), my other co-worker estimated her age at 19 or 20, and the co-worker who had his eye on her thought she was 18 or so.

My co-worker walked over to her and started a conversation, she had a smile on her face, and so did her parents. I then saw my co-worker say something, and everyones faces changed. It turns out the girl in question only just recently turned 13 years old.

I have no problem with girls dressing however they like, and even think it’s ok for kids to dress up a little from time to time.

However, had I have been the father, she would have not been dressed that particular way.

Are some parents just oblivious to what their kids look like some times? or just past caring? or perhaps some other reason?

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37 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

We have reached a point in society where personifying objects, and objectifying people is the norm. It’s broken on both ends.

boxer3's avatar

holy schmokes, 13. That’s a tough one to swallow.

poisonedantidote's avatar

This particular kid works in the modeling industry btw, not sure if that is relevant.

I can usually tell when someone is underage, or at least close enough to being under age that I know to ignore them.

EDIT: The waiter in question is 21.

josie's avatar

Like I have said many times before- There are no bad children. Only bad parents.

boxer3's avatar

@poisonedantidote , it’d say it relevant because generally in the modeling industry, I feel like that type of style, may be the desired, or a glorified image….. I feel like kids are far less innocent these days in the way they dress,and act, but even more so with what they know. anyway ultimately, The parent is supposed to be the role model and educator IMO… maybe that occurance with your co worker opened their eyes a bit.

poisonedantidote's avatar

No exaggeration, this is a very close approximaton of the skirt.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Well if she’s 17–21, the parents might not enforce whatever their ideas are about appropriate clothing. Secondly, some parents allow their children this revolutionary concept of choice over what they wear. Finally, if you see a prostitute when you see this person, that is your problem, not hers and not that of her parents. Oh, and double finally, I would never be offended that my child looked like a sex worker, I’d be offended if people would objectify them but people do that regadless of clothing. I should know, I get objectified daily and I don’t wear what you deem as ‘slutty.’

linguaphile's avatar

We have gone from this to this

sad sigh

I should add- it’s not the outfits- they’re actually not that much different. It’s the presentation of the outfits.

boxer3's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, that’s a good point as well, objectifying an individual is not ok.

jrpowell's avatar

I’m more inclined to blame the dudes that want to fuck the children then the children.

ucme's avatar

I’m inclined to agree with the fella above. It’s the onlookers who seem to be sexualising the appearance of young teens who dress that way. Girls love to play dress up, experiment, explore their identity. That’s number one, none of my business & number two, exactly as it should be.

redfeather's avatar

Maybe she was a traveler

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

This particular kid works in the modeling industry btw, not sure if that is relevant. I think what shocks so many is the inability to go off the naked facts. Biologically she is at the cusp of adulthood. Even though humans normally enter adulthood between 13 to 14 years on average, up until 21 or so, when full maturity is suppose to complete, they are still adults, just not mature adults. It is we humans that ignore nature, that is why when we see young adults do things that we rather they not do because we care to see them as less than they are. The modeling career is not relevant anymore than those kids in child pageants. Most would not say lipstick on a 6 year old is normal because she is a participant of child pageants.

I can usually tell when someone is underage, or at least close enough to being under age that I know to ignore them. As before mentioned, the nebulous underage, depending on where you are, it is slid up or down like dominoes on the table. I say people need to get off the fence and decide where childhood begins and adulthood begins, if not biological, but societal. You say if you know she is underage you seek to ignore her. The eye sees what is appealing even though one may know it is fake. When you are hungry for a snack and you see some apples and such in a basket on a table and they look delicious, does it look that much worse if someone tells you that they are wax fruit? If you admire a floral bouquet of roses but when you go to smell them, you find that they are made of silk, does the bouquet suddenly become ugly or less appealing? Just because the fruit is wax and you know it, doesn’t mean you are going to try to eat it.

Myself personally I would not be terribly shocked for the sake of being shocked. It to me is just another example of societal nebulousness. When you don’t anchor the line down the winds can blow and bend it into all sorts of shapes that are not straight. If you want to call her a child, nature be damned, then it is somewhat troubling. If you go off biology, then it would not be so troubling.

Joker94's avatar

Some parents I think are oblivious, and I’m quite sure some of them just don’t give a hoot. The standards for what’s considered “slutty” have changed, I guess. Some would claim it’s just the freedom of expression, which I’m all for, so long as girls at my school don’t start dressing like hookers.

martianspringtime's avatar

While I’m not really a fan of underage kids dressing like popstars, I’d never consider anything a person was wearing ‘an offer’ because there’s still a human being in those clothes.
I’ve seldom heard of anyone being shocked at the way parents ‘let their sons dress’ (unless they prefer feminine dress), but the presentation of young girls is usually seen as something that must be constantly moderated.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m in favor of letting children wear whatever they want.

MissAusten's avatar

As the parent of a 12 year old girl, this is something I think about a lot. I feel very fortunate that my daughter is not interested in fashion or makeup…yet.

For me, the problem with letting my daughter dress in a more mature fashion is that people will then treat her like a more mature individual. If you look 18, people will speak to you and approach you differently than if you look 12. It may not be fair or “right,” but I think every girl and her parents should be prepared for that kind of reaction before choosing to buy certain types of clothes. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for parents to set limits and explain those limits.

My cousin has a daughter who just turned 11. She is very tall for her age and also very well developed for her age. She spends almost an hour each morning straightening her hair and applying makeup. She wears trendy shorts that barely cover her butt and fitted shirts that tend to ride up in the back or show her belly. If you saw this girl walking around the mall, you would easily think she is 15 years old. Her and her parents can make their own decisions, but I would not be comfortable letting my daughter go around appearing to be that much older than her years.

As for why parents allow it, maybe they want their kids to have that “cool kid” status. Maybe they don’t like to argue about clothes, think it’s harmless, or get some kind of ego kick out of it. And I can’t even stress how happy I am to be the proud parent of a tomboy.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@redfeather Those boys sound disgusting. I’m sure their fathers sound disgusting.

redfeather's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen. The kids go to school till around 5th grade then the girls just learn how to clean and after a young couple gets engaged they go pick out their trailer together. And apparently it’s hard to find one without a bathroom in it. I’m trying to find a video of the really young girls, I was literally staring open-mouthed at the screen.

EDIT: okay, just look at this

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@redfeather My god, you know I get hooked on these shows. They’re like cancer. I can’t stop it.

redfeather's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I’ve got two episodes recorded and whispering my name….

Hibernate's avatar

I never understood this. But the only explanation I got after seeing a lot of girls in this situation was : the family must have a lot of issues. A good parent would not allow her to look that way at 13. Okay, for some special occasions like a carnival or a private party maybe but not in public. Kids want to be independent from the parents as early as they can but most do not know that independence comes with responsibilities and every action has consequences. When she’ll be in a tight spot she’ll remember a lot of things the parents said [or if the parents encouraged her to do this THEN things that others told her not to do].

Most cases like this just yell family drama. And it’s sad.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Hibernate Oh by a tight spot you are implying that if she is raped, it’s clearly due to her clothing and let’s blame the parents, not the rapists.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Interesting note of that clip about the Traveler teens, upon further investigation in spite of their provocative and racy dress, the Traveler’s young ladies are not allowed to drink alcohol until married, that makes very few getting drunk, and they would be looked down on if they did. They can’t approach boys for dates, or go on a date without a chaperone, guess that cut the teen pregnancy down to near zero. They seem to have a more wholesome life than most Yankee young women, Daisy Dukes, micro minis and bustier notwithstanding.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central That’s just more of the same women being controlled bullshit. Videos are silent on whether boys can get drunk and aren’t silent on whether boys can just grab girls so I’m sure teen pregnancy does happen. And it doesn’t really matter ‘cause all teens are married when they’re teens. Women are just walking pussies + wombs in this subculture.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir @Hypocrisy_Central That’s just more of the same women being controlled bullshit. That would be a different comment aside from how they are dressing which some would say ”Slutty” or like whores, and make a judgment off that. Just pointing out there are many Yankee women that dress up a lot more but get drunk regularly and pop out babies like candy from a Pez dispenser, so dress alone can’t be use to denote ”sluttiness”.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Well of course not, but I wasn’t saying they looked slutty or anything or that they were.

YARNLADY's avatar

My favorite saying about clothing is “When you see a department window display with diamonds, is does not mean you are being invited to steal them.”

Hibernate's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir no. It’s not the parents neither the clothes neither the rapist. It’s the mentality today. Assuming everything bad can happen in this situation who’s to blame?
– The rapist because he has a sickened mind?
– The parents because they supported the girl to dress like that even if she’s 13?
– The girl because she wanted to be noticed?

None is to blame because it’s nobody’s fault. The rapist can be a man who just had enough one day and after getting drunk does the “deed”. The girl could just “welcome” someone in her arms without knowing who they are but simply because they pay enough attention. The parents are impressed by the way she looks at such an young age.

This way never about who’s to blame but merely about parents allowing their daughters to play “Sally dress up”.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Hibernate The rapist is to blame. Alcohol and having enough are NOT an acceptable excuse. That is offensive to even imply.

The_Idler's avatar

Obviously, the only one responsible for the act is the perpetrator, but the fact of the occurrence has a much more complex causality.

The important fact being, of course, that parents can stop their 12 year old daughters from dressing with sex appeal, but they can’t stop paedophiles from existing.

So my pragmatic advice to parents would be: don’t rely on the paedophiles to prevent child molestation.

The_Idler's avatar

I mean, it’s great that we’ve absolved parents of all responsibility for their children, let the corporations and the media convince the children they need to dress with sex appeal, and let retail sell the products which allow our children do so…
now we just need to somehow stop paedophiles lusting after children, and the problem is solved!

So…
why might people have sexual interests in children,
and what can we practically do to minimise these effects?

Well, personally, I just wouldn’t know where to start.

MissAusten's avatar

Personally, I think the greatest danger isn’t from pedophiles or rapists. It’s from slightly older men/boys who treat girls as if they are the age they look. It’s from girls behaving older than they are, taking too many risks too soon, and maybe not knowing how the handle the kind of attention they will attract. If a girl looks like she’s a young woman, she isn’t going to attract the attention of someone who is attracted to children. She’s going to attract the attention of young men who like young women, and she may not be able to safely and appropriately respond to that kind of attention.

In my mind, that is the greater danger: girls looking older, then acting older, but being too young to deal with the consequences.

The_Idler's avatar

@MissAusten Completely agree.

Hibernate's avatar

Okay. She’s gonna attract older boys to look at her. Why does she want to do that? Not to mention that she doesn’t say her age, she keeps it hidden in case anything goes wrong. She indeed won’t be able to deal with what comes after but why does she want to be “empowered”?

I’m sure the question allows a wide area of talking but it’s about why parents are allowing their daughters to dress like that. I know it eventually leads to rape or other bad things but common… are these sort of parents having mental problems? On occasion it’s okay but when you let her dress like that ALL THE TIME then be sure things will follow up.

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