Shrink-wrapped No More

As my daughter grows up, I see she is growing out in some places, too.
It’s enough to keep her daddy up at night. The shrink-wrapped look young girls like these days doesn’t help that either. Just go to any store selling clothing for girls twelve to nineteen and you’re going to find it hard to clothe a girl modestly.
The shorts are manufactured by Daisy Duke herself, and the tops are so fitted the girl had better take a good breath before she puts any of them on cause it might be her last till she takes it off.
I began to notice a couple of years ago that shopping with my daughter had become predicable.
She’d try something on, I’d say it was too tight, and she’d argue that it’s what everyone at school was wearing. More often than not I’d be talked into buying something I was not completely comfortable with. Yet, unless I was willing to sew it myself, there were not so many alternatives out there. At least none my daughter was willing to be seen in public wearing.
Knowing this problem would not go away, my husband ordered a book called, Her Hand In Marriage: Biblical Courtship in the Modern World. Now, this is not a book I would have picked up to read, primarily due to the cover art. It shows a girl back in pre-electricity time wearing a completely frumpy dress. I know, you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. Still, they maybe should have taken a longer moment, and thought that one through.
It’s a really short book, so I read through it one afternoon. I didn’t read it word for word, as it quickly became apparent that the author was hitting his points home again and again.
These points being, that it is the father’s job, biblically speaking, to insure his daughter’s virginity until marriage. That sons grow up and get married while daughters grow up and are given in marriage. (We tend to skip quickly through the ritual of the father giving the bride away in our ceremonies today. But in reality, again biblically speaking and according to this author, the father is giving his word that he is giving his virgin daughter in marriage.)
The author also brings home the message again, and again, that the Bible speaks often of attractiveness in women as being a good thing, but a woman should never strive to be publicly seductive. The author also makes the point that if a girl strives for a seductive look she is going to attract the attention of the wrong type of young men.
Bingo. There it was. I don’t honestly know what the last few chapters of the book say. Maybe I’ll read it sometime, but I had what I needed to have a great talk with my daughter.
It went great. Much better than I expected. I talked to her about how what she wears speaks louder than anything she might say one day about her personal dating boundaries. She may say No with her mouth, but her clothing might be yelling YES!. We also talked about how boys are very visual beings, and how a “No” coming out of her mouth probably won’t always be heard over the “Yes” he sees standing in front of him clad in a tight shirt and short shorts. Not to mention how that could make for a difficult situation on a date. (Another thing that keeps her dad up at night, and she’s not even dating yet.)
We talked about how the Bible speaks of attractiveness in women positively, but how a woman must be careful to not be dressed seductively in public. So in summary: Attractive: good, seductive: bad. That meant we had some closet cleaning to do, and some shopping to do, too. She was all for that part. Yep, that part made her smile.
I actually thought maybe that next shopping trip would be different.
It was. We hit several stores and although it was a challenge, we found several cute shirts that would not make her look poured into them. She actually began to see how she looked even better in her clothes.
Step aside Stacy and Clinton! We were developing our own “What Not To Wear” episode.
I told her that a little mystery goes a long way, and that its really not necessary to put all the goods on display. I saw a near complete change in her attitude that I can only credit the Holy Spirit with prompting. It was the first shopping trip where we didn’t have one single argument.
So, if you find yourself in my shoes with a daughter who feels trapped into buying the shrink-wrapped fashions, there is hope. First, your daughter must value what the Bible says on the subject or else none of this will work. Second, in typical Stacy and Clinton style, we established some fashion do’s and don’ts. We didn’t throw everything in her closet away. On the days she wears her skinny jeans, she’ll pair them with a tank top with a loose top over it. On the days she wears a skirt or Bermuda shorts (Forget it, Daisy!), she can wear one of her more fitted tops.
The end result is that my daughter has regained control of her wardrobe, and of the message she is sending the world through it.
Hopefully these changes will help her when she is thirty-five, and her dad finally says she can date.
In reality, the day we send her out on her first date will be here before we know it. It is my hope that she will still be matching what she says with what she is wearing, that her outside matches her heart inside, and that one day when her daddy does walk her down the aisle, and gives her in marriage, we will still be proud of the young woman she is.

3 thoughts on “Shrink-wrapped No More

  1. Raising kids seems harder now than when I was growing up. It is enough to keep parents up at night! My kids are younger but I know this stage is coming up soon. I will be tucking this talk away for when my daughter is older!!

  2. Well put, and well done! I also loved the note on “thirty-five”… I remember how that discussion went on, with a smile, for years – always with the “right age” well in the future 🙂

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!!!! it changed my view on sooooo many things! I encourage ALL parents to read it!thanks again for another well written blog stace!btw..finish the last chapters! ;P

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