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The Hootchie Factor- Teaching My Daughters Self Respect

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2008 at 4:44 am

My 9 year old daughter got up for school this morning and was busily getting ready in the bathroom. I was throwing in a load of laundry and tho I couldnt see her we conversed loudly through the house.

“We are having an election day party today at recess mom!”

“Really? That sounds like fun!”

“Yeah, Cheyenne and Maddy are wearing their party dresses so Im going to wear mine.”

Party dress?
When she said this I thought of the gorgeous red velvet dress we bought her for a pageant last year. It hangs in her closet only to be worn on special occasions. I don’t usually allow her to wear a $300 dress to school but today is special, right? What the hell.

I went to the coffee pot and poured a cup, still hearing her running commentary from the bathroom and when I heard her behind me I turned around.

Picture one of those scary movies where the unsuspecting innocent bystander turns around to find a monster, serial Killer or similarly hideous site. I had to struggle to recover enough to keep my wrist from going slack and coffee from running out of my cup onto my fuzzy red socks.

Who was this child before me? It certainly wasnt my sweet, Miley Cyrus singing daughter. This girl had on a mini skirt and a shirt that barely covered her midriff. Her high top cherry Bubble Yum sneakers pulled on over red tights.

I was speechless.
“What in the hell have you got on?”

“I found it in a box in my closet. I used to love this skirt.”

“Back when it fit you?”

“It fits!” she said defiantly while tugging on it.

I said nothing. Just pointed in the direction of her room and she knew what that meant.

“Ill miss the bus!”

“Ill drive you.”

She stomped out of the room to return in a pair of jeans and a high school musical tee.

Aw, thats better.
Crises diverted.
Or is it?

She complained that now she will be the odd woman out as they all planned their party outfits carefully.”Everyone in my class wears clothes like this mom!”

How can we teach our daughters self respect and a positive body image without seeming like a raving feminist? I want her to love being a girl and enjoy her femininity while retaining a sense of self respect. How can we do this?

We talked some on the way to school about why I made her change.
“Is only clothes mom, not who I am.”

I explained to her that first impressions are important.
“Its not just clothes, honey. People look at you and make decisions about you in the first few minuets they see you.” There is a place to wear shorts and a place to wear dresses. There is a place to wear bathing suits and business suits.

I asked her; “What do you want people at school to know about you?
She thought about this for a while.

That I care about people. That I’m nice to others and want to help. That I love my family.
That Im a good person.

She opened the door and looked at me. I looked back and she smiled at me.
We saw Cheyenne and Maddy get off the bus SANS hootchie party dresses.

“I think I learned something before I ever got to school didn’t I?”
I winked at her.
“cool.” she said.

Yeah, cool.

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  1. My seven year old doesn’t have much of a better image, despite the fact I’m always in jeans and a t-shirt around her. She loves Hannah Montanna but already thinks that ‘pretty’ is equal to short skirts and tops that show as much skin as possible.
    I don’t get it at all – but we talk – every time.

  2. Oh my! My husband is thankful to avoid this, having 3 boys.
    I love how your conversation played out! Your daughter is lucky to have such a great mom.

  3. VERY well done! You have a sweet, smart daughter. But hey, that’s what will happen when you have an amazing mom. 🙂

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