Mothers are dressing in an oversexualized fashion… so how can they present a double standard..
Saturday, April 14, 2012
..to their daughters? A good point brought up in Style Goes Strong's, by Gerit Quealy .
For Prom, Schools Say 'No' to the Dress, Dress Codes Deem Some Styles Too Sexy; Wielding a 3-Inch Ruler by Elizabeth Holmes for the WSJ also discussed this sensitive topic.
The issue is that young women are aspiring to look like their TV influences (The Kardashians, The Real Housewives of ..., and red carpet events). They are emotionally driven by hormones and making style choices that used to define Working Girl attire. The overtly sexual styles are out there not just for Prom Night but truly
for the everyday and in stores everywhere. "It's a vicious cycle when "it's a sexually driven culture so invested in how females look", says Susan Barash, author of You're Grounded Forever but First Let's Go Shopping: The Challenges Mothers Face with Their Daughters and Ten Timely Solutions. Susan Shapiro Barash, who has two teen daughters
of her own, cited some sobering studies she's conducted:
Over 70% of mother's don't feel they've sent enough limits with their daughters. And over 70% of mothers don't feel they are teaching their daughter's the right values."
Oh dear. Better sit them all down and give them a good viewing or two of Miss Representation to start with!
But really, what can you do about the prom dress?!
"You have to pick your battles," Barash says. Set an example through your own style. She also suggests explaining that you want her to be safe in the dress she's wearing. "Hopefully you can reach a compromise, where the dress is sexy enough for her and 'safe' enough for you."
I happened hear from SGS friend Barbara Hannah Grufferman, author of The Best of Everything Over 50 on another topic — she mentioned she'd just returned from a prom dress shopping excursion with her eldest daughter.
So I asked her about the over sexed aspect of prom dresses:
Oh for sure!!! But [her daughter] isn't that 'type', thank goodness. She has quite the va-va voom figure, but is a bit uncomfortable with it, so she tends toward more classic clothes that are well fitting and tailored, but not tight and overly sexy.
The dress she chose is truly lovely, from BCBG. Long, and a lovely pinkish/rosy color, like a peony, I think. She and her friends are not about looking sexy, but are into looking pretty and modern.
Generally speaking, she and her friends are 'modern feminists' in that they are proud of their beauty and blossoming sexuality but see no reason to look overly sexualized."
"So maybe that's the tack to take —stress modern feminism and being in control of your own beauty and sexuality. Rather than letting society dictate how you should look."
I have another thought-- why not take to heart the ideas I present in "Steal This Style: Moms and Daughters Swap Wardrobe Secrets" where I present the appropriately hip and young (for your daughter) or youthful and ageless (for mothers in mid forties and up) looks that are classic yet totally modern?