Wednesday, April 25, 2012
First item of business: there was an earthquake on Monday! We survived. I could do without any more earthquakes, thank you.
My father sent me an interesting article about it that you can read here. I am thrilled to learn that I am living near a major fault line, upon which a nuclear power plant is located! Note to self, make broader checklist of things required in next house, including low possibility of being nuked.
We have lived here for five weeks and I have managed to not pump my own gas so far. How long do you think I can keep this up?
I have been shopping for clothes for the Princess, and as usually happens every single time I have to find clothes for her, I have worked myself into a fine tizzy.
When I shop for clothes for the boys, the color palette is usually a bit limited--red, blue, orange and brown is the generally accepted range of colors for boys--but the clothes themselves are modest and cover their bodies. Short sleeves hit right above the elbow, their shorts usually hit at or around the knee. In terms of sun protection, only their forearms and their shins are exposed. There are no plunging necklines or items designed to draw attention to their crotch.
When shopping for girls, however, the opposite is true. Shorts do not hit at the knee; rather, shorts barely cover a girl's bottom. Shirts have a variety of design; strappy tank tops, cap or flutter sleeves, wide necklines, and cheap, thin, see through materials. And I'm talking your average toddler clothing, not fighting with your tween about how sexy she looks.
Black pleather trench coats with ratty fur collars (recently available at a major retailer) are more appropriate for a prostitute than a two year old.
Why is a bikini bathing suit okay for two year old? Why does my son's swim trunks and rash guard cover him from his knees to his elbows, but my daughter's one piece swimsuit covers the curve of her bottom to just above her nipples? Even buying her a "girls" rash guard and swim trunks covers the top of her upper arms, not to her elbows, and her "boy short" swim trunks just cover her cheeks, not to her knees.
Why is there clothing for toddlers with writing on the seat? Words like "sweet" or "juicy" or "audacious" written across the derriere are fine for a nineteen year old woman who wants to draw men's eyes to her derriere to ponder the mysteries contained therein, but it is wholly inappropriate for my two year old. Emblazoning words across an article of clothing means that you are attempting to draw attention to that spot, and my two year old's bottom is not a place to which I want men paying attention.
There is a big difference in the subliminal message sent between boys clothing and girls clothing. For boys, clothing is for warmth and comfort; it protects them from the sun, provides pockets for carrying interesting stuff, and displays the occasional fashionable allegiance to a particular toy.
For girls, the subliminal message is that your body is for looking at. From the earliest age, girls clothing exposes more of their bodies than boys clothing. Their legs in their shorter shorts, their arms in their shorter cap sleeves, their shoulders and chest in their strappy tank tops, their bellies in their two piece swim suits---their bodies are on display.
From the earliest age, my daughter is being conditioned in a very subtle manner by society that it is okay for her to be judged on her body and her looks, that her body is a thing for others to look at, that her body is for the enjoyment of others. I am not advocating burkas, but I do wish that girls clothing covered as much of their bodies as boys clothing does.
Of course, there are a few places that offer more modest clothing. On the whole, actually, I would say Target has a fair amount of age-appropriate and reasonably modest clothing--but still--pick up a pair of girls shorts and hold them against a pair of the same size boys shorts, or a shirt, and see how much more fabric is allotted to the boys clothing. If you can't see the label on the shorts from Target pictured below, the red pair is a boys size 3T shorts, and the flowered pair is a girls size 3T shorts.
I feel like I am trying to give my daughter the message that she can do anything she wants to do, and the message that the rest of the world is giving her is that whatever she does, she will do it with her fanny hanging out of her shorts.
My daughter wears a lot of her brother's hand me downs.