Friday, October 7, 2011

Pretty little girls in teeny, tiny dresses

I am a mom. To three boys.  No girls.  As an exclusive 'boy mom', I am sure that I see things a little differently than mixed-gender or girl only parents.  I am deeply aware that, for better or for worse, I am the model of what it means to be female, for a little while at least.  I lay the groundwork for ideas and standards they will carry into marriage and what they will look for (or not look for) in a wife.

I am not a girly-girl.  Not anymore at least.  Being girly and cute takes time and money and thought, which I have precious little of these days.  I can name many friends and acquaintances that are still girly and very stylish in their 40s and 50s (and beyond), and it almost always makes me smile to see them.  How they pull it off, I can't even imagine.  If I had time to think about it, I would probably envy them--but I don't, and that's probably for the best.  In the meantime, I do what I can with what I've got.  I do have a neon pink laundry room, if that counts for anything (probably not).

I want my boys to value girls and treat them like something precious.  Not just for how they look, which I realize is important, but for who those girls are.  Do they care about others?  Are they selfish?  Are they giving and kind, or do they complain about anyone and everything?  And this one is a biggie:

Are they modest?

This is a tough one for many people to define.  It is kind of like obscenity or pornography--I may not be able to specifically define it, but I know it when I see or hear it.  And sadly, I'm not seeing a lot of it these days.  And Facebook isn't helping, especially when I go trolling around on my teenager's news feed.  This is homecoming week at the local high school, and apparently there are all manner of occasions to dress up in pretty clothes.  Now, don't get me wrong, these girls (and guys) sure do look nice, and lots of couples are all color coordinated for their pictures.  (How in the world do those parents afford the whole package--dress, mani-pedi, hair stylist, etc.--is beyond me). What really concerns me is how little material the girls are actually wearing.

This year the dress style for girls seems to be short--very short--and off one shoulder or both.  They look pretty--all sparkly and shiny.  But I look at the couples all hugged up, knowing that they will driving away from whoever's house that they took that picture in with no adult supervision, and I wonder what those parents are thinking.  Do they not realize how teenage boys (OK, boys of all ages past 11) think?  Don't they know that boy is going to struggle all night long with wanting to touch that pretty exposed shoulder, and is probably thinking how easy it would be to yank that dress down that is barely covering anything anyway?  Even if they are 'just friends', why would you want to place your child in that situation?

I realize this sounds extreme and prudish.  I know that, and I'm OK with it.  I don't need the whole 'your kids are so sheltered--that is just how kids are nowadays' speech.  I just want to give my boys a fighting chance to keep their hearts and minds and bodies pure for that one person one day.  I want them to think their wives are the most beautiful people in the world, even if one day they are scarred and wrinkled and worn out.

So, parents of girls, if you could model and teach and encourage modesty, you sure would make my job a little easier.  I am trying to do my part to give you sons-in-law that you can be proud of.

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