Charge of the Tramp Brigade

27 04 2008

If anyone has a good recipe for stunting kids’ growth, I’d like to hear it. And don’t suggest feeding them Wonder Bread and Count Chocula for breakfast. Didn’t work. They still woke up a quarter inch taller than they were the night before. I’d be ok with finding something that also curtails their cognitive development, but what I’m really looking for is something to slow down the physical growth of Neener and Roo. Why, you wonder? Well, if you were to hazard a guess, you may come up with the easy answer: I want them to stay my babies forever. But that’s not true. I’m actually looking forward to the day when they are grown up enough to acknowledge my infinite wisdom. Or at least competently wipe their own bums. Then, there’s the more obvious reason: Growing kids are expensive kids. Reduce the growing, reduce the expense, plain and simple. And certainly, I am very aware that keeping my daughters decently clothed costs a pretty penny. Ok, more like a comfortable-but-cute penny in our case. But notice that I said decently clothed. See, there’s the catch. There’s the real reason I want my kids to stop growing, to stay little girls, to stay size 6X forever. In my last few forays into the fashionable worlds of Zellers, Winners and Valu-Village, I was struck by a disturbing reality: The trampy clothes start at size 7.

Yes, the trampy clothes. Stuff that would have been too trampy for me when I was 17 are now the staples of clothing for the under 12 set. There’s a slutty glut of micro-mini skirts (yeah, great for Roo, who has a hard enough time keeping her skirt down as it is), grossly revealing ultra-low rise pants (perfect for Neener’s chronic crack problem to which even high-rise jogging pants succumb) and the hoochiest little swimwear you ever did see ( I almost threw up when I saw the sparkly, size 7, Stuff by Hillary Duff bikini with the padded bra top. Thanks Hill, but I don’t let my five year olds Stuff.) But perhaps the most offensive, most pervasive of all are the T-shirts. It is damn near impossible to find a girl’s t-shirt that does not have some snotty or suggestive slogan splattered across the front. Those are the two flavours of Tee, snotty and suggestive. On the snotty rack, there’s stuff like ‘Nuthin’ but attitude’ and ‘Too cute to care‘ and ‘100% Princess…and don’t you forget it!’ Meanwhile, over on the suggestive rack, there’s ‘Hottie‘ and ‘Super Flirt’  and ‘Don’t even think about it!’ Or, quite possibly the worst, one with a picture of a coy looking Curious George (yes, even cartoon monkeys have come hither faces in the land of tight n’ trampy t-shirts) and the curly, coyly fonted phrase ‘Are You Curious?’ written across the chest. Are you curious? Are you serious? Is it just me with my paranoid mother mind in the gutter, thinking that these things amount to little more than billboards for perverts? Did using my reproductive organs for actual reproduction turn me into a big prude? And would anyone let their 5 year old son go around in a t-shirt that read ‘Boylicious?‘ I doubt it.

I could go off on a rant about the sexualization of young girls, and our pop culture’s sick insistence on dressing grown women like little girls, and little girls like prostitutes, and one of these days, I probably will. But not today. Today I’ll spare you the tirade, and content myself with trying to figure out who to blame for this crap. Obviously, there’s Hillary Duff. Her name is on a kid’s bikini with built-in fake boobies, for Christ’s sake! But Hillary is squeaky clean compared to the even trampier strain of starlets – Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Brittney, before she had babies and went bonkers – who are successfully peddling the underwear-free tramp brigade lifestyle to young girls who don’t know any better, and to old men who do. We could also pin it on Bratz dolls, the dolls with ‘A Passion for Fashion!’ Or, more accurately, the dolls with a passion for thong underwear (which at least they wear – for now), hooker make-up, and getting G.I Joe thrown in jail for sexual interference with a minor. I’ve taken a solemn vow that if any Bratz merchandise ever comes into my daughters’ possession, I will do what any sensible, conscientious mother would do: Take it out back, soak it in hairspray and light it on fire while squealing “There Yasmin, now you’re, like, totally hot!”   And naturally, I’d love to blame it on Disney, but I’m not sure I can. At least, not on the Princesses. They may be vacuous, desperate, ninnies but they have not sunk into slutty. But Tinkerbell, on the other hand…hmmm…that pixie skirt of hers is awfully short.

But really, it doesn’t matter who’s to blame for this onslaught of slutty clothes aimed at young girls, this tramp brigade charging straight at my daughters. All that matters to me is how I’m going to deal with it. Right now, my plan is to stunt my daughters’ growth so we can delay wading into the dirty waters of girls’ size 7 and up clothing. I need something that will keep them little and innocent and in sass-and-skank-free t-shirts for just for a little while longer. So far, my best lead on such a substance is a guy on ebay selling viles of Gary Coleman’s blood. (Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Blister?) And then, when Neener and Roo turn 17, if they want to go buy trampy t-shirts, or a sparkly bikini with built-in boobs, they can be my guests. After twelve years of eating Wonder Bread and Count Chocula laced with Gary Coleman’s blood, they’ll probably need all the padding they can get.  

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8 responses

27 04 2008
nanny patterson

Why is the world in such a hurry for their little children to grow up. It used to be that the Victorians dressed their little girls as mini adults so they wouldn’t behave in a childish manner. and we think we have come so far today!HA! If you have to ,dress them in neutral clothing, encourage them to get dirty and remind them that now’s the time to be little and be crazy.
Nanny

27 04 2008
Lisa

Michaels (the craft store) has nice, plain-coloured t-shirts, and they’re even inexpensive. Another option is Lands’ End. Cute. Stylish. But not slutty. Just not cheap. My sis-in-law is battling the same thing. Her girls are 9 and almost 8, tall and skinny. But somehow she manages to eek out appropriate wardrobes from Value Village.
The other option is a convent …Or the burqua ?

I am thankful that I have boys. Not as much cute stuff, lots of trucks and dinos, and still lots of stupid slogans. But not especially sexualized. And Nathan won’t be in size 7 until he’s 10 anyway. 4’s are falling down and need to be rolled up to begin with!

27 04 2008
domesticblister

Funny, we were just talking about how the cheaper the place, the sluttier the girls clothes get. Walmart and Zellers are the worst for it. I’ve managed to dig out some good stuff at Valu-village, but it is usually at the higher end of what they sell. But it’s better quality and my girls won’t look like street walkers. If I can get a $40 kid’s dress for $10,rather than a $15 mini skirt for $5, I’ll take it. A convent is certainly an option, especially since they both think nuns are really cool, thanks to The Sound of Music!

28 04 2008
Anika

Yikes, is that what I have to look forward to? And I’ve been getting annoyed with the stupid phrases on baby things: “Whatever”, “Little Monster”, and the baby T-shirt with all the slutty clothes printed all over it… makes me want to move back to Cape Breton and live in a hole in the side of our hill, eating edible indigenous species and homeschooling, lest the kids come in contact with anyone from the alien world around us.

28 04 2008
domesticblister

We are considering the very same thing…hey,I’ve got a plan I’ll teach English and you teach art i na little homeschool in a hill, and we’ll all nibble Sour Sally and blueberry salads together wearing t-shirts that say ‘Beam me up Scotty, there’s no intelligent life down here.’ (I actually had that t-shirt.)

28 04 2008
lastcrazyhorn

I’ll tell you what my mom and I did in response to the t-shirts like that. We just bought t-shirts in the boys section. Usually got them cheaper too.

29 04 2008
trish

Land’s end is great, and the overstocks are better, that’s why my little 12 year old won’t wear it now, not slutty enough, maybe I can pass the land’s end hand me downs to you, where they will get loads of wear, unfortunately Gap kids quite often has the things you are looking for, with little writing, too bad we can’t have a line of shirts that says, save the earth, i recycle etc, oh yeah that would stop us shopping too……..

31 08 2008
Shop ‘Til You Drop. Or Cry. Or Howl. « Domestic Blister

[…] say that, despite the best efforts of many manufacturers of trampy little girls’ clothing (yeah, I’m talking to you, Stuff by Hillary Duff!), none of the back-to-school duds my daughters will be sporting next week even remotely resemble […]

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