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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Mothers of Tweens Unite

By Maureen Hardegree

I like to think I’m a reasonable person, and most people will tell you I’m pretty level-headed except perhaps when it comes to neighbors’ dogs pooping in my yard (If you’re interested in that rant; it’s in the WNP blog archives). But a couple of days ago, I took my soon-to-be sixth-grade daughter shopping for shorts. She grew several inches this year, so last year’s shorts didn’t fit. She didn’t want Bermudas or anything that looked like something I or her grandmother would wear. I didn’t take offense. She has capris that do fit, and she informed me they weren’t shorts. Apparently, when you’re close to twelve, you must explain the obvious to your mother because, as we all know, mothers become brainless wonders who understand nothing until their daughters become mothers. But I digress.

In the car we agreed that a mid-thigh length short was acceptable. I thought we might actually have a frustration free shopping excursion. After all, we weren’t looking for bathing suits. The problem, you ask? The shorts in the Juniors’ departments throughout the mall were either Bermuda length or far, far shorter. I’m sorry, but shorts that start three inches BELOW my daughter’s navel and require a Brazilian wax aren’t what MOTHERS of Tweens (who pay for those shorts, might I remind you) are looking for. And if the extremely low waist band wasn’t enough to give me a brain hemorrhage, the way these denim shorts barely came past her butt cheeks certainly were. I don’t want my daughter to look sexy. I even said it out loud, so loud that the salesclerk and several other shoppers looked at me as my daughter and I returned the shorts to the display rack.

I don’t understand the disconnect. Why don’t clothing manufacturers and buyers for department stores understand that many children today go through puberty at earlier ages than their parents did? These Tweens cannot fit into children’s clothes, but the Juniors’ departments’ clothes are often much too sexy for girls aged eleven to fourteen. Some of what I saw I wouldn’t even want my daughter to wear at twenty-one! I want her to look fashionable, but I refuse to buy supershort shorts. Do you hear me? Give me modesty, or give me a sewing machine! I don’t want to resort to sewing my daughter’s shorts, but I have a sewing machine and I know how to use it.

My on-the-spot solution for the day—athletic clothing. The shorts were an agreeable mid-thigh length. They covered all parts that should be covered. They were comfortable. And she liked them even if they weren’t on the cutting edge of fashion. So mothers of Tweens unite. Refuse to buy “bootylicious” shorts for your daughters this summer. Let your voices be heard.


At 1:05 PM, Blogger Berta said...

Ah, Maureen, I feel your shorts pain. Christina left for the beach Friday with her grandparents, a new brown bikini, and two pairs of shorts. One of them was totally Daisy Duke, but it wasn't too short or too low-cut, because I bought it at WalMart. The same place that puts sequins and glitter on just about everything also occasionally has decent-looking clothing. I drew the line at the push up bra. Twelve year olds have no business pushing up anything!

At 1:17 PM, Blogger Bernita said...

Good for you.
I don't understand this invitation -to -child- molester clothing.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Missy T said...

I so agree! We recently settled on a shorts outfit by Addidas. It was a little more expensive, but covered all the vitals. Plus, the shorts won't get her kicked out of church camp. :)

And my daughter is only 9 (in a size 10-12). I can't imagine what I have to look forward to!

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Charity said...

You know, I'm not real thrilled with some of the TODDLER clothing that's out there right now. Way too sexy for the very small set in my opinion. And yeah, I vote with my dollars too.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

My sister (who has a 9-year-old daughter) and I have had this conversation so many times. What the heck are the designers thinking?!

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Marianne Arkins said...

The children's department is no better. My daughter has always been tall for her age and, at four y.o. I was dressing her from the "girls" dept (sizes 6 - 14).

I refuse to buy my now 7 y.o. daughter a T-shirt that says "hottie" on it. I refuse to have her butt cheeks hanging out the back of her shorts and I despise crop tops. And why, oh why, are 90% of the swim suits bikinis? I don't think I'm being that picky.

Thankfully, my MIL and mom both sew. Guess where my money's gone?

Oddly, I hear this same complaint from most of the mothers I know (or meet in the clothings stores), so who is buying that stuff?

Good post.

Good luck.


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