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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    A child’s closet is no place for a pair of hooker boots

    I distinctly remember what was unfortunately fashionable in elementary school during the ’90s. The pastel overalls with the cooler-than-cool Disney T-shirts were definitely for the in-crowd. If you did not own at least one article of clothing with either Mickey Mouse’s or Minnie Mouse’s face emblazoned across the front, you were a goner. No one dared forget the light-up Skechers.

    Now, styles have changed to what I consider to be a much more concerning direction. During Halloween, store shelves blur the lines between women and girls. Costumes for the youngest trick-or-treaters are made to look just as racy as their older counterparts. However, this disturbing trend in costumes has also managed to surface in the actual toddler fashion industry. According to the Daily Mail Online, the luxury clothing brand Burberry recently revealed a new piece of its fall line, “a leather dress – for toddlers.” I would usually just classify this as a publicity stunt for Burberry’s wealthy clientele, but there are more examples of this provocative trend for younger girls in today’s society. EntertainmentWeekly.com reported how the popular television show “Toddlers & Tiaras” features a toddler pageant contestant competing in the well-known hooker costume Julia Roberts wore in “Pretty Woman.” Really? This is what we have come to?

    Dressing a little girl more provocatively at a younger age just confuses her psychologically. The concept of maturity and only being able to wear certain things as she grows up goes away. When a five-year-old gets a miniskirt and lipstick when she is still in kindergarten, what will she expect to wear in high school? I honestly do not want to know.

    What will happen to the little girl once she grows up? Will she understand the difference between what a girl wears going to a party versus a job interview? Girls have enough trouble today with body image. Less clothing at a younger age puts girls in much more compromising situations with both girls and boys. I remember when boys and girls viewed each other with indifference and made friendships based on similarities in Lego construction and Play-Doh techniques. If a girl is showing up to school dressed in a short skirt and midriff-baring top, how can neutrality continue where neutrality should? What will that do to the future for that girl in social interactions between herself and other peers?

    Going to a mall is getting more awkward because I see younger girls dressed more and more provocatively, even with their parents nearby. I have to wonder how this situation affects the relationship between the parents and the child. Most of my friends in high school that dressed provocatively did so because they were growing up. They stopped wearing Winnie the Pooh because in a few months they would be moving out of their parents’ house and going to college. However, this process must be dramatically altered when the girl dressing inappropriately is younger than a high school student. A younger girl is going to go through her notorious ‘rebellious’ phase for a far longer period of time with the parents still trying to figure out how to handle her until high school graduation. There are no more stages like child, tween, teen or adult. Now growing up is being accelerated even when the child herself most certainly isn’t ready.

    — Megan Hurley is a journalism sophomore. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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