These are T-shirt slogans I saw in the new JC Penney catalog for kids’ clothes.
Spare me the DRAMA
I’m out of bed.
What more do you want?
Leave me alone.
I’m in a bad mood.
Buy it now
Tell Dad Later
is there a
Give me five
Then there are the plethora of pants with words on the rear end. Nothing says “LOOK AT MY UNDERAGE DAUGHTER’S ASS” like writing across her rear end. (Full disclosure: Little Girl does have one single pair of pants with “Cinderella” written across the tush, but my mother didn’t notice it when she bought the set – she bought it for the jacket. Little Girl does not wear said pants very much, except when we go to dance class and she basically is wearing them in and out of the studio over her leotard.)
I have to wonder sometimes if they’ve got pedophiles working on kids’ clothes. Some of them are really trashy. You can’t imagine the thrill I had when I saw that prairie skirts had made a comeback!
UPDATE: Mona Charen writes on the same topic here, except that she has examples that are worse than mine. Here’s a sampling of her article:
“For teenagers who chafe at clothing rules for midriffs and cleavage,” the [Washington] Post explains, “‘attitude’ shirts offer a chance to show some skin, without showing skin.”
Great. Let’s hear it for women’s liberation. Our 13-year-olds are free to look and act like sluts.
The tentativeness of the adults in this narrative is just amazing. These suggestive messages are in a “gray area.” They must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Really? Here are some of the examples offered in the Post story: “Two boys for every girl,” “Pimps,” “Got (slang expression for breasts)?” “Flirting my way to the top,” “I am too hot to handle” and “I know what boys want.”
In some instances, school officials demanded that the shirts be turned inside out or exchanged for a school T-shirt. But not in every case. Amazing. Of course, there are occasions, explained Fairfax County, Va., community relations coordinator Paul Regnier, when principals phone a kid’s parents about an offensive shirt only to be told that the parents saw no problem.
I agree with Charen, this is a big problem with grown-ups more than with children. Our children only know what is right by what we teach them to be right. If a girl’s parents teach her that it’s just fine to wear a shirt that implies she puts out, then she’s not going to understand what the big deal is about her wearing it to school. And, later, she’s not going to understand why it’s a big deal for her to actually put out. Yes, attitudes make a difference in how you act. And what you are exposed to makes a difference in what you decide is right and wrong. Really.