Recently Pastor Michael Best forwarded me an article entitled “Parents, Don’t Dress Your Girls Like Tramps.” It was not in a Christian publication; rather it was on CNN.com, and it was very thought provoking.
It reminded me again of the important responsibility we have as mothers to teach our girls from their earliest days the biblical principle of dressing modestly:
1 Timothy 2:9: Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.
Fashions and styles change often and fast, but God’s standards for his women never change. Respectably and modestly—those are words that should govern our shopping trips and it is our responsibility to teach what they mean to our daughters. It’s totally possible to be cool and still be modest.
Did you know that in 2007, the American Psychological Association's Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls issued a report linking early sexualization with three of the most common mental-health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression. Early sexualization begins with dressing little girls to look like grown, sexy women. What ever made us think that this would do them no harm?
The author of this article said something that really resonated with me:
The way I see it, my son can go to therapy later if my strict rules have scarred him. But I have peace knowing he'll be able to afford therapy as an adult because I didn't allow him to wear or do whatever he wanted as a kid.
In some ways, we need some “tiger moms” who will stand against the culture, even when it makes you temporarily unpopular with your daughters. Of course, before we lecture our girls, we have to examine our own wardrobes to make certain we role-model respectable apparel that is modest. Then we must help our young girls establish their standards of dress so that they don’t even consider some of the trashy fashions that are all-too-acceptable in our society.
If you’d like to read the entire article—and I recommend it—you’ll find it at http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/04/19/granderson.children.dress/index.html
Director of Women's Ministry