Inspiration in Conservative Dress: Are Heels Too Sexy for Younger Girls?

Inspiration in Conservative Dress is a reoccurring series of posts of various modest and feminine outfits to inspire other women to dress modestly and resist society’s pressure to dress provocatively and subscribe to “hook up” culture. Through conservative dress, A Lady of Reason sends a message of resistance to the “sexual revolution” and radical liberal feminism, and the upholding of feminine virtue. Arguably, this could also extend to the support for social conservatism in general. How we dress signals who we are in society. I also want to state that this idea is not mine originally, but done on another religious blog called The Catholic Lady. I was inspired by hers to make a secular version for A Lady of Reason. 

It’s a heated topic on both sides, liberal and conservative: the sexualization of young girls. Both agree that over sexualizing young girls is detrimental to their self image and confidence, and also promotes destructive behavior such as acting out sexually too soon and running into harm. As a woman who advocates for the virtue of modesty in dress and behavior for women and girls, and condemns hook up culture, I also agree that teaching young girls to view themselves in solely sexual terms is unhealthy and detrimental. However, I believe the movement to prevent such occurrences has reached the stage of hysteria and moral panic, ironically doing what they claim to stop: sexualizing young girls and women. A prime example of what I mean is a raging debate around heels for girls and young teens. Some feel that heels are inherently sexual and over sexualizes them, while others see it as part of a harmless way to just express femininity and be girly. My personal stance is that it all depends on the shoe in question, and the context its worn.

A cute pair of little girls’ kitten heels are in no way sexual! Whoever thinks they are I believe, is sexualizing that child and being hypocritical in their aim not to. Who hasn’t dressed up in cute little heels as a child? Small, wide heels on little girls are adorable! Related imageSome arguments range from the fact that heels on adults are often viewed in a more sexualized way and women can wear them to “send off signals”, to a feminist message that it makes little girls care more about their looks than abilities, or they can’t play as ruggedly in them like boys. They claim little girls ought to be more rough and tumble than ladylike. Other concerns are about health in that wearing them constantly is not healthy for properly developing feet, and indeed, adults can have issues if they wear heels too often.

To address the first concern, I argue that unless it’s some sort of 6 inch stiletto with a pump, it’s not sexual and does not look like you’re a prostitute or any other questionable woman. Tiny wedges on little girls cannot be compared to that image and shouldn’t be! Even wedges and smaller regular heels for tweens and teens are perfectly tasteful for special occasions or school if it’s not too fancy or impractical. Sexualizing what was once innocent, like little girls in cute feminine shoes, or a cute wedge for summer only contributes to the toxic over sexualization of our culture in general. In our toxic hook up culture, nothing is ever “innocent” anymore! A hug from a male relative is dangerous, a

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Okay… these are impractical, dangerous and inappropriate for any age…

boy-girl friendship is sexualized, a note from a teacher is a come-on etc… Sexualizing moderately heeled shoes is just another thing in the list of innocent things turned sinister. While some, and I emphasize only some women might wear heels to send off indecent signals or be in questionable professions, the vast majority including myself and many other modest and upright women do wear heels tastefully to work, parties and other events in society. The key is moderation and knowing what is appropriate for when. I myself as a grown woman do not appreciate the  implication that adult women wearing heels is a sexual act in arguing that little girls shouldn’t wear them because of that. I’m sure other women do not appreciate being sexualized in that manner any more than you would want your daughter to be by others! Wearing heels as women can be simply an innocent expression of our femininity as women.

The other major concern concerns the feminist agenda. What is wrong with teaching our daughters more lady like habits and activities? While little girls should be allowed to play more roughly at younger ages, I feel as a girl grows older, they should be taught more lady like elegance and grace in their activities. While at 5, they can tumble in the mud with their brothers, at 15 I’d hope they would be more lady like! Heels are a way to teach little girls to enjoy more feminine things. While I do feel that heels should not be worn on very young girls all the time, for special dress up occasions they are a good way to teach them how to carry themselves like little ladies. As long as they can wear them safely and not trip and fall every step, it’s fine. The feminist argument that little girls shouldn’t be taught to conduct themselves more daintily on certain occasions, like parties and special events or learn to act more feminine in heels such as not running wild is mostly an attempt to masculinize them. Little girls have plenty of time where they can play outside and roughhouse alongside the boys in sneakers and overalls, even historically, but on special occasions, they were taught to act like ladies in dresses and cute shoes. Why can’t we strike that balance today? Freaking out over girls doing feminine things, like wearing light make up and cute heels crying “sexualization!” may also have the undertones of the radical feminist’s fears of traditional femininity and what womanhood used to be. For ages, little girls pretending to dress up like mommy, and envision herself as a grown up lady by trying on her mother’s shoes, clothing, and yes, makeup, was considered cute and an important part of any girl’s development towards embracing womanhood. Making it into something damaging and perverted only speaks to our sad state of affairs of how our culture handles sexuality. In this world of sexual hysteria and #metoo, where Girl Scouts are told not to hug their male relatives, women are infantilized into helpless victims, messages of vulgarity and promiscuity are labeled as empowerment, no wonder the innocence of a girl wishing to be a woman someday is also now perverted!

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When did this sentimental image of a little girl wanting to become a lady become perverted and damaging?

 

Hypersexualizing cute little kitten heels, or wedges, or mommy-daughter make up or nail sessions only serves to sexualize the little girls you claim to want to de-sexualize. Whatever happened to the innocence of a child wishing to be grownup? Most children are not thinking in sexual terms when they wear mommy’s dress, or try on mommy’s make up, or wear mommy’s shoes. They just want to be like mommy! If what they’re doing is inappropriate, maybe mommy needs rethink how appropriate those things are for her to wear and what kind of a role model she’s being for her daughter to imitate! Wanting to be grownup has been a part of everyone’s childhood since childhood was a thing. Why don’t we stop sexualizing childhood by sexualizing adulthood? Monkey see, monkey do…

It’s On Us: To Stop Sexualizing Childhood, We Must Stop Sexualizing Adulthood

The sexualization of childhood, especially girls has been a heated topic on both sides of the political spectrum. Many decry and argue that young girls especially are too sexualized with provocative outfits, shoes, makeup, songs etc… They claim that girls are growing up too fast, with younger and younger girls wanting to be adults or older teens. They also feel that the solution is to suppress all of the above. They say that we must teach our girls to want to just be kids, and not be obsessed with sexual things like romances, hook ups, and sending off signals. I agree for the most part that conditioning girls to act sexual is detrimental to their development into healthy adults and we should address it. However, I think they aren’t getting to the real roots of the issue: it’s not just girls who are the victims of sexualization. It’s our entire culture!

Hook up culture, which I’ve condemned before is rampant. Sex is just a handshake, a social activity rather than a milestone. Personal responsibility and accountability is gone, it’s just do whatever you want consequence free. Have sex whenever and with whomever. Dress as provocatively as you want and not be held accountable for the attention you receive. Movies, TV, books, etc… are permeated with cheap messages about “flings” rather than serious relationships, promiscuity instead of modesty in action and dress, divorce and breakups and cheating instead of marriage, commitment and loyalty. Obviously, our children are also absorbing these damning messages from society.

However, locking them up in their rooms until they’re 18 and suppressing any exposure to the outside world only raises repressed kids who will go wild and crazy once let out of the dungeon! Parents who think they’re stopping it by locking their child up and not letting them have any freedom in what they do, how they dress, or what they see at 15 for example, will only have a 20 year old who will rebel and do all those things they weren’t allowed to before! For a parent whose goal it is to raise a healthy adult who will combat those messages, I would argue promiscuous behaviors and inappropriate attire at 20 is just as detrimental as at 15. The key I believe is not hiding these thing, but exposing them out in the open for what they are to your kids. My parents always talked openly and let me be exposed to such messages, and I was forewarned, and forearmed as they say. Also, as your kids get older, you may run the risk of suppressing their own natural sexuality as they go into their teen years if you try to erase any trace of sexuality from your home! Sexual repression and zero freedom in childhood and teenage hood lead to wild behavior in adulthood! Watch out, college 😉

Another issue is also one many may have not thought about: the implicit sexualization of adulthood. Children have wanted to imitate adults and be “grownup” since children existed! Haven’t you heard the phrase “monkey see, monkey do” in regards to kids? We adults are role models for our kids, including what our culture deems to be “grown up”. Yes, kids listen to peers and the media more than parents, but the ideas don’t come out of thin air. Someone had to come up with these hook up culture messages! How did our kids get the idea that being hypersexualized was “adult” at all? I think much of a child’s desire for more provocative things is simply an innocent expression of wanting to be more grownup, as children have done since the beginning of time. After all, a child’s job is to become an adult in this world. The people who suppress “adult” things from their children in an effort to de-sexualize them only reinforce the message sexual behaviors equal adulthood. When you say that dress, makeup, heels etc… are too “grownup” for your daughter, she internalizes the message that whatever inappropriate thing is there is something to want in order to be a grownup, rather than more important parts of being an adult.

The rhetoric of this de-sexualization of children movement strongly pairs the concepts of adulthood with sexuality and sex, thereby sexualizing adulthood. This only becomes ironically, the detrimental message that to be an adult, one must be hypersexualized as a person. Dress provocatively, act inappropriately. To these girls being raised that way, with the suppression of any free choice or exposure to things in order to protect them, they learn to equate being 18 with “I can finally be as sexy as I want!”. Yeah. *That’s healthy*… Suppressing their sexual desires and want to be sexual to be grownup rather than directly addressing it with them and really listening to why they want that kind of validation at all, does not change their feelings on the subject, only hides and suppresses them until age 18 when they will act vulgarly and promiscuously once mommy and daddy let go of the reins.

The sexualization of childhood is rooted in our culture’s sexualization of adulthood. The kids follow suit because they learn that’s what adults do to be adults: be sexy. Children want to become the adults they look up to one day. Equating adulthood with sexy things will make them learn to want to be sexual. So what’s a parent who wants to raise girls with modesty and decency to do? Here’s a thought: Stop equating inappropriate things you don’t want your daughters to do with being “grownup”. For example, if your daughter wants to wear sleazy makeup and that too tight up your butt mini dress, don’t tell her it’s “too grownup’ or not “age appropriate”, or “you aren’t wearing that until you’re 18!”. That just reinforces that such things are okay for adults, the people she so desperately wants to be and be validated by. I’d argue too tight up one’s butt hooker dresses are “age appropriate” for no one, especially mature adults!

Tell her instead about the unhealthy messages it sends, the unwanted and dangerous attention it might give her, and the morals and values you want her to embrace as an adult. Make it about her image, and how she presents herself to the world as a virtuous young woman. Ask her if acting and dressing provocatively is consistent with the values she will want in her womanhood and the reputation she gives off about who she is to others. This is what the movement to dress and act modestly should be about. It shouldn’t be about having licence to act however one wants at some arbitrary age. A cheap skank at 18 is as detrimental as being a cheap skank at 15. Why not raise our daughters to embrace modesty and fight against hook up culture in all stages of life, not just her childhood? I personally don’t like the term “age appropriate”. It only sends the message that things are inappropriate at arbitrary ages, instead of in more general terms. True, some fashions are more appropriate for adults and older teens, but it goes both ways! That cute little party dress for your 15 year old I think is not “age appropriate” for you at 50! Nor is a 5 year old’s pink tutu! It’s okay to acknowledge different fashions are for different age groups, but the term is used mostly as code for “too sexy”, reinforcing the message “sexiness equals adult”.

Who’s to say values like modesty and decency are “outgrown” too? At 18, yes, you can dress as provocatively as you want, but should you? Let’s admit it: dressing like a hooker is “age inappropriate” for everyone, not just kids! Can we try to dissuade our kids from dressing inappropriately by acknowledging no one should be wearing that stuff, adult or child? We need to stop implicitly telling our kids, through saying that you can only dress that way or do that thing after age 18, is that your morals and values are simply what mom and dad impose on you, and that modesty and decency in dress and action is for children, but not grownups. After 18, modesty, self respect and decency can be dumped out the window! That’s the message it sends to our daughters when we say provocative behavior is “too adult” or “age-inappropriate”. Why not just call it out for what it is: “inappropriate”, Period. No modifier required! Don’t forget too, how you behave and dress also conveys messages to your daughter. Do you wear revealing outfits? Make comments about dressing for guys? Joke about being “sexy”? Your daughters will pick up on it! As a woman who advocates for modesty and femininity for women and girls, I hope you would agree that the values we teach our children should be the values they intrinsically will embrace in adulthood, not just thrown off at 18. Modesty and decency are “age appropriate” from age 1-100!

I also take offense too at the sexualization of adulthood. When we say it’s too “adult”, or had “adult” themes, we really mean sexually inappropriate. When parents say they don’t want their kids to be too sexy lest they be too adult like waters down adulthood and characterizes all grownups as solely sexual beings. What about things like responsibility, maturity, and accountability? The true markers of adulthood? Sure, sexuality is best expressed in adulthood and not early childhood, but sexuality is not what makes someone an adult. Anyone with part A and part B can have sex and grab sexual attention. The reason why sexuality is best left for adults is that adults in theory, should be able to conduct themselves responsibly, like driving a car or drinking. Children and teens often do not posses the maturity to do so. That’s why sex is adult, because it should be done with maturity, not because adults have some blind entitlement to fling themselves on whoever they please! Hook up culture, unfortunately tells adults the latter message… Telling our children implicitly that promiscuous irresponsible sex is what it means to be a grown up is like telling them so is binge drinking! A glass of wine at dinner is not harmful for older kids, nor is an exploration of sexuality. Binge drinking and promiscuous hookups however, are inappropriate for both parties! I am insulted at the idea that all adults are is their sex organs! Adulthood is full of so much more than who you’re in bed with. It’s about who you are as a person. Your accountability, your morals, your maturity, your obligations in life. That’s what makes a real adult. That’s the sort of adulthood we must teach our kids to want. When we try to stop their sexualization by claiming it’s too adult, we reduce our fellow adults to the level of immature teenagers looking for a fling. Kids imitate what they think will make them grown up. What will we show them grownups are? As the left says, “It’s on us!”

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I think the doll in the corner is symbolic of her desire to grow into womanhood leaving girlhood behind. The woman she will want to become is the woman she sees you being right now…

Raising Daughters to Become Ladies

Raising a daughter to turn out on the right path is hard for any parent, especially fathers! Our daughters are bombarded constantly with messages of hook up culture, promiscuity, acting “easy”, as well as the more radical feminist messages of masculinization and man-hating. Young girls are pressured to dress and act provocatively, mistake rudeness and vulgarity for “empowerment” by the feminist movement, and act unladylike and become more masculine to get ahead in life. Gone are the days of our daughters wanting to be feminine and lady like. Now, the next generation of young women are being raised to protest in the women’s rallies, believe that vulgarity equals empowerment, believe that provocative dress and behavior will “liberate” them from male tyranny. More and more girls do not want a traditional marriage, instead asking for flings and hookups, or live in boyfriends. Children out of wedlock are rampant, and sex is a handshake, not a milestone in life. Less and less girls are choosing to save themselves for marriage and value their own virtue. The “good girl” next door is becoming obsolete, and the vulgar obscene “feminatzi” the norm. What’s a parent who wants to raise daughters to become ladies and value traditional femininity to do? Even the PC liberal crowd acknowledges that girls are receiving damning messages sure to lead them to the wrong path.

I think the key to raising your daughters right is giving her your messages from day one. Don’t wait until she is a teen to start discussing such things with her, like sexuality and body image, and your values on relationships and standards. By then it’s too late. Wider society and her peer group have already infused damaging messages about promiscuity and radical feminist views. Even schools have promoted the radical liberal PC and feminist agenda! Keeping an open dialogue from a very young age is a great way to form a life long bond of trust and respect with your daughter. Don’t be afraid to address more “adult” topics and harder topics early on, such as promiscuity and the fallout, for example. Kids can handle more than we give them credit for. Hiding the hard topics only ensures you have no say in what your daughter will think, as she is already exposed to them early on. Openly sharing your own values in a non forced way will do wonders! My parents always were open about anything and everything, and did not hold the truth back . We talked about drugs, drinking, promiscuity, assault, and so on from an early age, and I was forewarned and forearmed, as they say. Because of what they talked about with me, I was able to be aware even of how my fellow peers fell down bad paths, and the sheer stupidity of many of the PC liberal ideas! It’s sad, but parents now have to talk about issues that even their child’s schools brainwash them to believe!

Mothers can teach their daughters, and be the role model early on for feminine behavior and dress. Mothers who embrace modesty in their own wardrobe will have daughters who will follow suit. Mothers who always tell their daughters the virtues of modesty, and the risks of provocative dress will more likely be taken to heart from a young age. Showing your daughters the lady you want them to be through your own action and dress speaks far more volumes than just superficially preaching it ad nauseum. Being a lady of elegance and grace yourself sets the tone for everyone in the family. Modeling healthy relationships and how a lady behaves towards the other sex will breed daughters that do the same. The vulgar women who were at the women’s rally brought their daughters, and I’m sure they’re learning how not to become ladies! Talk to your daughters about the shortcomings of the radical feminist movement, with it’s vulgarity, obscenity, and hypocrisy. Teach them not to just be passive victim, infantilized “damsels in distress”, as the radical feminists want them to believe, but to be empowered women accountable for their own actions. Speak the cold hard truth about how provocative dress invites unwanted attention, don’t just say you can wear whatever consequence free! Talk about how sex should be a milestone in a young girl’s life, not a handshake, and the value of marriage. Embrace feminine dress and actions yourself, and show them the way to becoming a lady of standards. Show your daughters femininity is not weakness, and becoming like men is not the way to “get ahead”.

Fathers too, have a very pivotal role in influencing daughters. Many who do not have a father figure in life become troubled and often go down the path into promiscuity and resenting men. The daughter looks to the father in how a man should treat her, and what men should expect from her in return. The father is often the one who helps his daughter set standards for herself in action and dress, and has a unique perspective a a man, as he can view her through a man’s perspective. Fathers who also keep an open dialogue with their daughters have daughters that learn to trust and respect men, not resent them as the radical feminists would like. Men, don’t be afraid of coming off as “patriarchal” and “sexist” for guiding your daughters towards the path of virtue as the radical feminists would like. Fathers who do not speak up when their daughters are going down the path of radicalism, promiscuity, and vulgarity are complicit in raising a dysfunctional person. Fathers also should set their own example in their own actions, as to what sort of man you want her to be with when she grows up. Fathers who embrace their manhood and are the strong man, the rock of the family teach daughters not to settle for less. Men who honor their women, protect their women and respect women in their feminine role also combat the feminization of men, into spineless sheep afraid of their own shadow! The feminist movement and PC snowflakes want all men weakened, so they can “dominate” and be “empowered” over their weak, puny husbands! A father who also stands up for his manhood and masculine roles shows that it’s okay to have different roles in a relationship, and not everyone has to be “gender neutral”. An active father in the family shows daughters that accepting the companionship and protection of a man is not a problem, but an advantage, as many of the radical feminists like to preach that a woman doesn’t “need a man”, and having one around is a sign of weakness. Actively teaching your daughters your values from a young age helps combat the detrimental messages of hook up culture and radical feminism, and shapes them into ladies of elegance and grace and one of standards in the sort of man she expects and when men ought to expect of her own conduct. Two parents who embrace traditional virtues and roles will raise children who will follow suit.

The key point for both, is an open dialogue where promiscuity, radicalism, and vulgarity is debunked, and modest and feminine behavior in action and dress is promoted. Parents, keep fighting the fight to reclaim your daughters from the clutches of hook up culture and radical feminism! Raise ladies of standards, elegance and grace!

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