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Traditional Values?

 |  Parenting, Personal

Some days I wonder if I would have been better off if I’d been born 40 years ago. A lot of my “beliefs” and values are not too different to that of those old people. You know the type — they sit in their front gardens shouting about how when they were a lad, things were much different (except that obviously it’d take more than 40 years to turn me into a “lad”).

Anyway, there are many reasons why I think I’m a bit traditional, but the most recent reminder came to me while I was food shopping today. We’d just paid for Karl’s fortnight-supply of fish cakes when I almost ran my trolley into a kid… she couldn’t have been older than about 7 or 8. However, instead of being dressed down in pink and pigtails, she was tarted up in heels and a cropped top that was verging on paedophilia to even glance at.

This kind of dress is as offensive to me as thongs and mini skirts marketed at 4 year olds. At what point did it become appropriate to dress our children like prostitutes and street whores?

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

40 comments so far

  1. Hev said:

    I know it, Jem. That is only one of the many reasons that this 27 year old woman is going to be childless. I can not stand the way children are being raised these days. Just the other day, I heard one teenager tell his mother to F*ck off. I couldn’t believe that. I know what would have happened to me if I had told my mother that. *wink* And some parents wonder why their teenagers get raped and such. Though I don’t think that it should happen to anybody, but pay attention to how they are dressed.

  2. Rhys said:

    I don’t think it’s an old way of thinking, just a mature way of thinking (if that makes sense). It is appalling what passes as children’s “fashion” these days. It was easy for me, I was a bloke. Immitation Liverpool FC top and jeans all the way :)

  3. Nan said:

    At no point did it become appropriate to dress our children like prostitutes and street whores. Each time a kid is seen like that it creates a uproar in the media about it. A child should be allowed to play around with grown up’s stuff as we are what we expect them to turn out to be. I believe a child always looks up to us as adults – sometimes I just think that we as adults forget that.

  4. Amelie said:

    This kind of dress is as offensive to me as thongs and mini skirts marketed at 4 year olds. Agreed. At what point did it become appropriate to dress our children like prostitutes and street whores? I’d like to know the answer to that as well.

  5. Louise said:

    My ideals are the same mind you, I wish sometiems feminism never happened so I could have a life like they did in the 1930s, where you grow up are well mannered, get married off. Plus they seemed alot happier back then as well, hard times but better people. We (british public) have kind of lost all those morals when we suddenly became influenced by America. I miss the old values. Kids actually were kids then.

  6. Aaron said:

    I don’t share many traditional values, but that’s seriously messed up. Like, it’s cute when small children try on their parents clothes for fun in their homes. But to whore up your 7 year old child’s wardrobe is just… gross!

  7. Amanda said:

    @Louise – it’s not so much feminism that caused this. The proper feminists, the ones who started the sexual revolution would never have encouraged clothing/behaviour that made them, or their daughters more desirable to others. It was about taking charge of their OWN sexuality…not twisting it to appear ‘hot’ for others. Hence, they went au naturel, and we get Brazilian waxes. In short…once again, you’re totally and utterly right Jem.

  8. Stephanie said:

    There’s nothing wrong with having traditional values. A society’s values will change over time. Over here I haven’t seen very many little kids dressed in mini-skirts and revealing stuff. But in high school, almost everyone seems to be showing at least some bust, or just tons of leg or in stiletto heels.

  9. Mari said:

    You know you’re old when you start saying “I remember when…” I agree. But I can sort of understand where this new culture is coming from. Kids have always wanted to dress like adults, so marketing companies figure why not let them? Honestly, I remember when kids wore big goofy clothes with something like Sesame Street or Mickey Mouse on them. Now a look in the clothes section of Toys-R-Us appalls me. The people that decided kids clothes would now be a paedophile’s dream effectively killed the idea of Dress-Up.

  10. Julie said:

    I agree with you. I hate when 12-year-olds dress sexily. And my boyfriend’s shirts are so comfortable. Why don’t they wear their brother’s shirts or something?

  11. Skye said:

    That reminds me of one time when I was in the talent show in high school. This mom had brought her younger daughter to see her older daughter perform. The younger daughter was “practicing” the same moves her older sister did later on, some dance moves I wouldn’t be caught dead doing. She was in a cropped top and couldn’t have been over 8. And you know what? The mom was clapping her on!

  12. Belinda said:

    I would say at least teens and up. If they started earning money in a part-time job or something, they can buy their own clothes but as long as they’re totally dependent on their parents, parents have control over what they wear.

  13. Banshee said:

    One word: BRATZ. While I’m not blaming the TV show as such, I know it’s had the same effect on the daughter of a friend of mine. She dresses like Bratz, and she talks like Bratz. And every time that I see her I feel like giving her money to afford the rest of her outfit. Gross.

  14. Michael said:

    I feel the same way. I also hate it when overweight people walk around in tube tops and microskirts with their gigantic rolls of flab hanging over. And what is it with every 11 year old bleaching the shit out of their hair? I guess I share an old person’s views, just without the homophobia and racism.

  15. Ashley said:

    I don’t think Bratz are the problem. I think the Bratz dolls were created based on the clothes that were being created, not the other way around. I know plenty of girls who like Bratz dolls but don’t dress like tramps. It’s disgusting to be blunt. Clothes these days are designed with tall, toothpick sized girls in mind. I hate going to look for a pair of shorts and all I can find is either old granny-looking ones or ones so short that my bum would hang out. Sorry, but I am not built like a toothpick and do not plan to dress like I am. :P

  16. Carina said:

    My friends are always shocked when I tell them I have never told my mother to shut up. I’m 14 and I don’t show cleavage, wear short shorts or heels. I don’t have a problem with short shorts or heels, I just don’t like wearing them. I didn’t grow up that way. I try to set an example for my sixth-grader cousin. Whenever she’s around, I dress ‘nice’ (meaning I change out of my pajamas). I wear jeans and a nice sweater. I wear sneakers or flip flops. It seems to be working. I miss the nineties. Comfortable cotton leggings (none of this spandex stuff I keep finding) and an oversized t-shirt or sweater was considered fashionable.

  17. Zala said:

    It’s obvious that children are raised differently, but I’m not sure that’s so wrong … not in all cases, however. And about the clothes … some like them, some dislike them … I personally don’t think that a 4 year old kid can look like a whore. And if you get raped, it’s not your fault, it never should be … not even if you are walking the streets naked.

  18. Chans said:

    The way they dress (or their parents dress them rather) and the language they use is just shocking. I remember when I was sitting in a cab while we picked up a 6 year old from school and she told the (female) driver to ‘get a move on, bitch’ and not in a jokingly manner. Zala it’s not only wrong from an ‘inappropriate’ point of view to dress a kid in heels and such it’s also very bad for their bodies. They are still growing and the heels will make them walk in such a weird way they might even get damaged from it! But I do agree with your last comment about rape never being one’s own fault..

  19. Audrey said:

    I think this trend towards younger and younger sexuality started in the hippy era (call me crazy), but then changed into a merchandising gimmick during the 80s (Madonna, Janet Jackson, countless others…), and has been perpetuated ever since. The people who were born in those generations are more (too?) free about what their children wear and often times how they act. I totally agree with a lot of what has been said in comments and with you Jem – it is sad and has gotten way out of hand.

  20. Amber said:

    I believe my sister to be one of those whom you speak of. Not that my parents would let her dress in a way that is unsuitable, but her behaviour is borderline worrying. She likes to dance to PCD so much that MTV is banned in our household.

  21. Annie said:

    Tradition has changed. I just think the mind-set of people have changed, I mean, if this were the year of the older generation I doubt young girls or even the older ones would be allowed to dress like they do now, as their parents would have been blunt to brand it whore-ish. I don’t completely blame the parents as the fashion industry has changed, drastically. Going back to the original subject, tradition is the reason for a lot of beliefs and way of thinking but now-a-days I think influence plays a big part in mentality.

  22. Han said:

    ahhh I thought I was the only old fashioned one! I can’t stand kids that are 12 being fashion conscious! When I was their age! (ahh I feel old!) I wore leggings and big shirts ffs! (Though mainly cos I was fat!) Its the corrporations though – they target them because they have parents giving them loads of money! Although one thing that makes me sound old is piercings – yes I ‘m covered from head to foot in them but I think they should be done no younger than 14, children with ears pierced to me makes them look older.

  23. Zala said:

    “Zala it’s not only wrong from an ‘inappropriate’ point of view to dress a kid in heels and such it’s also very bad for their bodies. They are still growing and the heels will make them walk in such a weird way they might even get damaged from it!” I didn’t suggest that is OK to dress a 4 year old kid in high hills, I’m sorry if it came out that way. I just said that kids can’t look like whores no matter how they are dressed. :)

  24. Cristina said:

    I see it all the time working at Old Navy. I’ll never forget the time a little girl who looked no more than 8 or 9 asked me where the string bikini’s were. I told her we only carry them in women’s, not girls. Then later on she asks if we carry a size smaller than XXS (extra extra small) in women’s since the string bikini’s are still too big. Chances are you shouldn’t be wearing them if you need something smaller than an XXS! It also doesn’t help that we have places like Abercrombie & Fitch who sell thongs to pre-teens that say “Eye Candy” or “Wink Wink” on them. Thank God parents took a stand on that one!

  25. Naco said:

    Kids don’t look and/or act like kids anymore. 10 year olds are having sex, which is just … disgusting to say the least. As people have stated before, I think it does have to do with those Bratz dolls. I remember hearing something about when a pregnant Barbie was released and she didn’t have a wedding ring people were irate about it and they were taken off the shelves. I am not saying kids can’t have fun, I loved dressing in heals when I was younger but I wouldn’t go out in them. Some kids clothes are in fact cute (hell I’d wear most of them if I could fit in them), but some of the stuff …. is a bit much. Time changes unfortunately and so do people’s views, and the ways that kids are raised as well.

  26. Annie said:

    I know exactly how you feel. Everywhere I go, I see trampy little girls and girls my age (14/15), walking around in tube tops, micro mini skirts, thongs, high heels, push up bras, etc. and it’s disgusting. I barely show any skin when I’m in public because I just don’t think it’s right to walk around showing off your body to everyone, and everyone at school thinks I slit my wrists because of this. (because apparently wearing long sleeves all the time means I must be hiding something) I always try to make my niece dress properly, and even in front of her mom, I tell her her shorts are too shirt, she shouldn’t be wearing a top that goes down to the middle of her back, and everything, and nothing comes from it =/ It’s gross. I hate fashion anymore. It’s so hard to find appropriate clothes that don’t shout “RAPE ME” =/

  27. Helen said:

    I was on the Green outside my house walking the dog on Friday afternoon when I saw this girl who looked to me to be about eight years old. I know people are having children later in life these days but the people she was with had to have been her grandparents. This girl certainly wasn’t fat, but she was a little chubby (so I suppose she could have been younger than eight). Anyway, she was wearing a clingy purple dress that came to just above her knees, but it has a really, really low scoop neck and… I was lost for words, I really was. For the love of God, kid, put them away! I’m just relived that my niece’s fashion idol is Fifi (and the Flowertots). Whatever happened to cotton legging, t-shirts and shell suit jackets? *sigh* we are officially old farts.

  28. Chrissy said:

    ‘Cause parents today are brain dead and must want their children to be victimized by child molesters? That’s the only thing I can think of.

  29. Vera said:

    Well I’m rather traditional myself… though I try to keep in mind that everyone is allowed to act/think whatever they want to (well almost). Still whoever dressed the girl – or allowed the girl to dress – like that is a bit too “open minded”.

  30. * Chanel. said:

    In many ways I have an old soul as well. But it’s funny how the men I attract are always younger than me and those are the type that I prefer. These women nowadays are so caught up in having the TELEVISION to raise their children, they forgot all about good proper family structure. Disney and Nick channels display shows that pretty much help your child learn from right and wrong, which gives those lazy ass bitches a chance to sit their child in front of the TV for 8 hours a day. It’s disgusting.

  31. Renate said:

    When I was 7, my most beloved item of clothing was a pink My Little Pony jogging suit (track suit?). I felt awesome when wearing it. The way things are turning out now is scary as hell, if you ask me.

  32. MarMARmar said:

    I’m not sure you have to have particularly traditional values to have a problem with this one… I don’t (have the values) and I do (have a problem with it). Its ridiculous. …Thongs? For 4 year olds? Hvae you actually SEEN this? Because thast scary. Very very scary.

  33. Arien said:

    I will not let my 4 year old wear a skirt higher then 2 inches above her knee and she won’t wear said skirt at age 14 either. She lives under my roof, she wears the clothes I tell her she is permitted to wear. I don’t care if she gets a job at age 16 and buys her own clothes… As long as I can do something about it I will. Yes, there are tons of fashion companies out there that are creating miniature versions of adult street walking clothing out there but there are also plenty of companies that still make the “normal” Pooh Bear and Mickey and Teletubbies clothes too. It’s the parents fault. Not the fashion industry or television. It’s the parent’s responsibility to teach their children the difference between right or wrong, proper or inproper, high or low. It’s their responsibility to teach good, strong, moral values. And, I’d like to mention because I saw a comment above stating as much… No one deserves rape no matter how slutty they dress. No one is “asking for it”!

  34. Six said:

    At what point did it become appropriate to dress our children like prostitutes and street whores? When… 1. marketing studies revealed that white males—aged 16-35—watched more TV, purchased more music/clothing, and went to more movies than other groups of people, thus, making them the “target audience”. 2. these same marketing studies revealed that the target audience responded more to sexual content featuring young, nude/semi-nude females. 3. companies decided that their main responsibility was to their shareholders, and not their audiences. Add the above ingredients, then, stir in 24-hour-a-day advertising (pretty much everywhere you go) to convince consumers that they need to spend money on your crap to achieve happiness/success/sexual fulfillment/sexual potency/power, etc., and that’s how all our children wind up looking like whores. Sort of…

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