Monday, July 18, 2011

Modesty...A Thing of the Past?

I know that there is a chance that this post will cause some folks to roll their eyes or to argue against what I am about to say, but after the week I have experienced, I have got to get up on my soapbox here.

We have spent some time in the past few weeks at the beach, various swimming pools and a waterpark. I have seen more skin than I ever care to see. I wouldn't typically consider myself a prude, but maybe I am. I find it interesting that we look down on men when they falter with lust or have a wandering eye, but as women, don't we hold some responsibility for that too? I mean, if we aren't dressing to make men look, then why the plunging necklines and the mini skirts?

After a trip to the mall today I was floored. We don't spend a whole lot of time at the mall, but the boys had outgrown their shoes and Hope is about to potty train so we thought we would venture out for two new pairs of sneakers and some little girl undies.

Everywhere I looked as we walked through the mall I could see cleavage and butt cheeks. I found myself disheartened that this is what society has come to. This is what we value. A woman doesn't have to dress frumpy or out of style to be modest. I know many women who dress beautifully and very stylish without showing off what God gave them.

I know I am new at this raising a girl thing but I seriously flipped my lid today while underwear shopping for Hope. She is two. She is barely 20 pounds and I was having a hard time finding undies that were small enough. I ran into GAP in an effort to find something that would be just right as often I can find smaller things there for her. Much to my dismay, while I was able to find a pack of xxs underwear (for OVER 20 dollars) when I opened the package to hold a pair up I nearly lost my mind. The lack of coverage on those "bikinis" made for a two year old made me tear up.

My goal is to teach Hope about what is appropriate. I hope to teach her that she should do everything she does to honor God, even what she chooses to wear should please him. I want her to be able to be cute and express herself without selling out to this idea that more skin shown is better somehow. It is for this reason that, when I was pregnant with her, Howard picked out her first swim suit, that is a rashguard and little shorts. We hope to start now so that she knows that we expect appropriate. I have to wonder, why society has told us that one piece swimsuits are old fashioned. We have to start teaching them from the beginning and this is another uphill battle I am willing to fight because I think it is worth it. We set the example. We need to be more mindful of what we wear and what our true intentions are for wearing it. We had a horrible time trying to find her an appropriate swimsuit at 2 so I can only imagine how hard it will be at 12.

If I have to learn to sew so I can make her appropriate underwear, I will do it, but I'd rather not...anyone know where I can find tiny appropriate underwear for Hope? Help a mama out! :) And on second thought...maybe I AM a prude. :)


48 comments:

naomiorrell said...

Oh, your post warmed my heart. I have a 13 year old daughter, and just had a similar experience at the mall. (http://naomiorrell.wordpress.com/2011/06/11) We were looking for something a little nicer than jeans and a t-shirt for her to wear to her piano recital. It took us all night... and bathing suits? We finally ended up ordering something (expensive) online. You are right, it is an uphill battle, but definately one I feel very strongly about fighting!!!

Trisha Larson said...

FYI-

Just got a super cute 1 piece for my 12 year old on clearance at Old Navy this week for $5. It's out there, you just have to look for it.

Hugs,
Trisha

Michelle said...

Kristy - Target has the packages of underwear with princesses, hello kitty, etc on them that my daughter loves. They even have a pack with some disney shows like Cars and such that have girl colors on them. They start at
2T/3T I believe and run a bit small in my opinion.

Michelle said...

Btw, love the picture!

Amber said...

I love this post and whole heartdly agree!! When did the world decide that our "Little" girls needed to dress like street walkers?!! Even finding dresses/skirts to be a decent length is hard for my 5 year old!! I loved the part where you said..men always get the blame for wondering eyes and lusting...but who can blame them when women are dressed like a look at me bill board!! Modesty is something we strive for in our home and I love what you wrote and how you wrote! I must be a prude as well =)

Mica said...

hannaandersson.com Classic girls unders in organic cotton And I hear ya on the modesty front! What is wrong with people? Don't they look in the mirror!?!?!

wildwestwaldos said...

I just go to Target or Wal-mart... any place like that- even a Babies R Us. You should be able to find undies that have the Disney characters, or Dora- something cute and the cut is good- it's not a "bikini" it more of a brief- and they are cheap- like 6 bucks for 4 pair- something like that. :)

Monica said...

You are not a prude! Or I am also. ;-)

It is difficult to find appropriate clothing for girls anymore. I did learn to sew so that I could make "little girl dresses" years ago as the children's section was like MTV-mini!
I live in So.Cal. so I don't know if you will be able to find stuff at your local stores, but we have found undies in 2T-3T at Walmart and Target, but not every store of theirs carries them so some times you have to hop around or try shopping online. (We have 3 Targets and I don't remember how many Walmarts in my area!) Generally they are in the same area as the infants clothing and accessories.

I am with you 100% on teaching from infancy what is acceptable and what is not. It drives me nuts when parents want to allow their little girls to dress as jail bait while they are tots then wonder why they have troubles with wardrobes when they are teens.

Exiting your soap box. ;)
Thanks for sharing your heart!
Blessings!
~Monica

Tammy said...

I'm not sure if I have ever commented before on your blog, but I have followed for some time. I couldn't agree more with this post. It's very sad that things are going downhill quickly when it comes to what is considered modest. Have you tried looking at The Children's Place for underwear? They do carry size XXS online (much cheaper than Gap), but I'm not sure if they carry them in the store.

Becky said...

Kristi - Modesty is something we talk a lot about too. Unfortunately, women are not modest hence their little girls are not. I cannot believe how many strapless, backless, low cut articles of clothing that women who profess to love the Lord wear. Just go blog hopping someday! Our Pastor even has standards at our church for what Brides and their bridal parties wear. Old fashioned? Too rigid? No, the LORD commands us to modesty. BTW, you can get decent little girls undies at Sears!

newwife said...

Kristy- I have read your blog since I don't know when and have never commented but felt like I had to let you know there are others out there who agree whole-heartedly. I knew that having a girl and raising her to know what is appropriate and not would be a challenge and I even joked with my husband when we found out we were having a girl but as I sit with my 9month old trying to find a swim suit that isn't a triangle top bikini, I don't find it very funny at all. In fact, I teared up at the store looking for an appropriate swim suit, wondering when it became acceptable to put a baby in a swimsuit that I wouldn't even wear as an adult. Just wanted to let you know that you aren't a prude (or if you are, maybe I am as well?) and there are others of us out there!!!

Susan said...

you're not a prude.... or maybe we both are? I completely agree with you! To the point that I prefer Lauren (and myself) have our shoulders covered. I don't like low-dipping shirts, I don't wear a skimpy bathing suit and Lauren won't be wearing a bikini anytime soon, so long as *I* have a say in what she wears. It's just shameful what mothers (parents) let their daughters wear.

Jennifer said...

You are not a prude. And if you are, you're not the only one.

I wear tankini's. I would wear a one piece if I saw some that I really liked, but typically those do look like things old ladies would wear.

I actually do have one one piece and I go over the top and wear a skirt bottom with it so I'm even more covered. I have one full on two piece and the times I've actually worn it in public ... once. Oh wait that was at a private swimming pool with my own husband and no one else saw.

Modesty 101 is important.

momma betchan said...

NO! You are NOT a prude! I have two girls ages 5 and 2. I am constantly shocked at the apparal offerings I see for children. I dress modestly for a 'young' woman and keep my girls more covered up than their peers. I don't make a big deal about it - its just something upon which I insist. Teach them young.

Charity said...

Walmart and Target have tons of little girl panties that are perfect for little girls.

Tori said...

i had a hard time finding 2 yr old underwear also, but i think i got some dora ones from target.

Divine Mrs D said...

It's funny...the older I've gotten the more I've been able to find things to cover up. My swimsuit is actually made in the 1940's style and so I'm more covered than a one-piece (which I love!). I still get my underpants from Target...Hanes. Maybe you can find some there?

Monica said...

I absolutely agree with everything that you've said!!! My daughter is now twenty and about to get married. Some of our largest battles were over swimsuits, necklines and the length of shorts and skirts. When I was a teenager my mom always reminded me not to advertise anything I wasn't selling. My usual response was to roll my eyes. Once I was married and discovered much, much more about the male psyche, I began to agree with her. Life came full circle several years ago when I said the same thing to my daughter!

I haven't bought little girl undies in a very, very long time - maybe Target or Dillards/Macy's?

As for little boys, I have a son that is almost ten. We are working very hard on teaching him to look away when someone is inappropriately dressed as well as to look away when walking past underwear displays, etc... in Target and other places. Perhaps that is a bit extreme, but I want desperately for him to understand and know that women are so much more than what is on the outside and that they are to be treasured as precious daughters of God.

Here's to one family, one child at a time keeping modesty in vogue:)!

Gina F. Fonner said...

I have a 3 year old and I found appropriate underwear at Target and Carters.
I don't believe in letting everything hang out, but then again, I don't think women should wear burkas because men don't know how to control themselves.

GreenGirl said...

My niece is the same age as Hope and a little whisp of a thing as well. Target I believe 2T. They are called "wonderwears"? They have Minnie on them and fit her.
I saw Dora ones too.
Good luck!
I taught middle school and it breaks my heart as to what some of the girls would wear. There is that store "Justice"? It was Limited Too when we were kids...I will never allow my daughter to wear some of their stuff.
Sometimes I wonder why they even wear shorts, as some of them are as long as their undies.

Angelina Krell said...

You are so NOT a prude.. You are doing the right thing! Last Christmas I found clearance undies for Aubrey at walmart. A $1 for 3 pair. I got 5 packs!! I got home and opened them to wash them and couldn't believe how TINY THEY WERE! They were bikini's.. Needless to say she does not wear them.. I think the clothes out for little girls and teens and women are mostly horrible.. Way too revealing. My friend Amy says 'Modest is Hottest.' SHE IS RIGHT!! I am searching for undies for your Hope.. I found Potty Patty but they're out of stock through amazon right now for Hopes size.. Thankfully I can find Aubrey regular undies that are appropriate.. I see that it's a bit difficult to find them in Hope's petite size.. You are doing the right thing! I wear T-shirts 99% of the time.. When I put on a muscle shirt to run in, I feel funny.. I feel like too much skin is out there.. You're doing a great job teaching Hope to be a lady. Keep it up Momma!

Laura said...

Long time reader, first time commenter. I don't think that it is prude to want women to wear clothes. It irks me what some girls wear, and it makes me glad that I have sons. Not usually an issue with boys, although we have to teach them to respect women when so many are dressing as if they don't respect themselves. I get frustrated that every time I buy my self a dress or anything with a v-neck I have so sew an insert in. As for underwear, you can try etsy.

Momma bear said...

I fully agree with you.....My youngest daugther is 9 she wears a one piece bathing suit.......It's hard to find clothes that cover her body.

Sunflower said...

I hear you mama! My girl is 10 now and it can be a struggle. The department stores tend to have panties with more coverage. Think Walmart, Target etc. They are out there! I do not know why people think it appropriate to dress their little girls like they are headed out to a nightclub! Yes, your thoughts reflect mine. You will also ( as you can imagine ) get backlash and blame it all on the males that look and oogle the females. I think women and mothers need to realize they are responsible too.
Good luck!
Linda

Shosh said...

I could not agree with you more!!! the way people dress these days is just sad. cant imagine what the world will be like in another 10 years when my daughter is a teenager. its scary.
anyway...for the underwear...i would try target. they have nice little briefs there in size 2t-3t.

~Amy~ said...

Thank you for your post. You are NOT alone in your thoughts. I totally agree with you. I would consider myself fairly easy going, and not a prude at all. I am only 30 years old, yet feel like I am an 80 year old when it comes to this issue. . What kind of world do we live in where it is "cute" to show more skin rather than less. When I was younger it was sexier to cover up and leave a little to the imagination. I am kind of relieved that I only have a boy and that I don't have to worry about him showing off too much skin. I do however have the honor and priveledge of teaching him to RESPECT a woman and her body rather than lusting after it. :)

Kathy M said...

I have a 10 year old girl and a 1 year old girl. When the10 year old was potty training, I found little briefs for her at Target, I believe. They had Winnie the Pooh on them, and she loved them. She still checks every morning to see if her shirt shows her belly when she raises her hand and will not wear actual shorts because she feels they are too small. Swimsuits are an issue for her because she is very long and lean and one piece suits are uncomfortable for her, but we have found tankinis that have a long top. The baby has one of those also and several one piece suits. I think we got them at Kohl's, but I can't remember!! The funny thing about girls is that they will follow your example, they are must smarter than they are given credit for. The thing that always amazes me (I am a teacher) is that their parents are buying these clothes for them....very sad.

Mandy Quinn said...

Kristy I have read your blog for a while now but never commented but this post is exactly what I am going through with my 2 year old daughter. She is small and I had a hard time finding appropriate underwear but finally found some that I love. I found girls boy shorts underwear at Wal-Mart. They are Fruit of the Loom and I was able to buy the 3T size because they seem to run small and they are perfect. My daughter loves to wear dresses and skirts and with the boy shorts (to me) seem to be more approprate then the other underwear I was finding. I am always amazed (and saddened) that when I go shopping for my 2 year old that they have such skimpy and reavealing clothing that I wouldn't even want an adult to wear.

Gabbin' with Giff said...

Amen. We live in the North West and once it warms (or winters are over 6 months) to 65 degrees or more, oh the skin. One reason why I love winter.

And panties, Gerber makes great training panties that are absorbant to an extent. (They can feel that they are wet, but if they start to tinkle it won't wet their pants.) I found mine at Target in the baby section. They make them 2t or 3t. Love them.

mindlessmamma said...

You are absolutely right to be teaching her modesty from the beginning. We did the same with our girls (10 & 8) and I'm soooo glad we did. It is extremely hard to find appropriate clothing anymore and it breaks my heart for them and the boys who are exposed to it as well. Wal-mart has always carried undies for my tiny kiddos, so you may try there. My DS trained right at 2 and didn't weigh quite 20 pounds either:)

Gabbin' with Giff said...

In Target there are absorbant training panties for little ones 2t/3t. They are briefs and work well to keep from having to change a child's attire when they just didn't get to the potty quite soon enough. Love them.

I understand and agree completely with the issue of skin. I live in Montana and once it's 65 degrees or higher, oh the skin you see. One (of many) reasons I'm in love with our 6 month+ winters.

Penny said...

I found little panties in 2t-3t at Wal-mart, but they're with the baby clothes, not the girls' dept. :) Also Taget had a lot of one-piece swimsuits for little girls and they had tutus on them! So cute and only $10. Hope that helps. I really admire you for teaching modesty. I'm tired of breasts and butt checks, too and thongs hanging out of the back of skinny low-cut jeans. :(

B.W. said...

My husband bought some 2T-3T underwear from Walmart while I was on bedrest for our littlest who is just a couple of weeks younger than Hope. She's also a very petite little one, so I understand how hard it is to find something that fits. In fact, I half jokingly told my husband that maybe we should hold off until she can at least fit into her clothes without a diaper. Good news is she is officially potty trained and it is great :)! They were the most generic ones you could find, but fit better than the cute ones I had bought before at Walmart.
Regarding modesty... you are on the ball in my opinion! My closest friend is a Mormon and I've taken up their philosophy that unless working out, clothes should not be sleeveless or skirts/shorts exceptionally short. I have our girls adhere to this as well unless they're playing in the back yard or some other exception. I'm not overzealous about it, but I always wonder who a sexual predator would be more interested in... a scantily clad child or one covered more appropriately? Sounds to me like you're raising a wonderful young girl :)!

Nancy said...

THANK YOU for this wonderful post! I have a 2 year old little girl, and it is crazy what is out there for little girl's clothing!

I was able to find Rebekah some soft undies (brief-style) at Carter's in a size 2T. I've also been told that Walmart and Target have them but I haven't tried those yet. Good luck!

asplashofsunshine said...

Soooo, are you saying that having "BRAT" or "SPOILED" written across a tweens booty is not appropriate? I have to agree! I will be perfectly honest and say that I am not sure society changes or my thoughts have anything to do with a lack of God or God at all, but I do wholeheartedly agree that the skin and modesty has lost its way. I do not need to see other women (or teens) boobs, butts, or bellies. Doesn't interest me. Just as I don't care to see boys wearing their pants way low or a speedo either. Ewww! This conversation will probably never end. I'm confident my own grandmother had the same conversations with her peers about my mother's generation, and it will continue through generations.

As for undies, I've had good luck at Children's Place or Target. My daughter has sensory issues, so any undies that are too "bikinish", low cut, or otherwise bug her. Thus far, they are not only appropriate, but they're cute, fun, and comfy too.

Dora said...

You are definitely not alone in your "prudish"-ness. I don't have children myself, but I do have nieces and nephews and see how my brothers and sister-in-laws struggle with the issue as well.

It truly is disheartening to see how society in general thinks that it is okay to take the revealing fashions of adults (which are often too revealing for adults to begin with) and miniaturize them for little girls. What exactly is the message we are trying to send our little girls (and our little boys for that matter)?

I've been a lurker of your blog for a few months now, but had to come out of the shadows to encourage you in your effort to raise a modest daughter.

Dora said...

I've been lurking your blog for quite some time and thought I would come out of the woodwork to encourage you in your efforts to raise a modest daughter.

I don't have children myself, but see how my brothers and sister-in-laws struggle with this same problem with their children.

It is truly disheartening to see how our culture in general has decided that it is appropriate to take the, revealing clothes of adults (often times too revealing) and simply miniaturize them for our children. It really does send the wrong messages to both girls and boys.

Best wishes in your journey.

JC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zanesmommy said...

You are not alone. So with you on this and one of the reason why I am glad for boys. Can't imagine what you will have to go through in jr. high.

Marianne said...

Gap has or maybe had underwear in a briefs style because we have some. They are big though and my almost 5 yo can still wear her 2-3 year old size. Gymboree has hipsters that look like shorts in a 2T-3T size. We always wear a panty cover or bike shorts under our dresses and skirts just to be on the safe side.

Mommy2Four said...

Bathingsuits for little girls are a NIGHTMARE. Trying to find something appropriate for my 10 year old, that doesn't have a "triangle top" or show too much skin, takes FOREVER. I let her finally get a tankini (it goes to her waist) with board shorts. It's very cute, and a LOT more modest. (I usually wear a tankini too, as long as they come all the way to the waist.)

Our culture pushes this "naked = sexy" agenda, that drives me up a wall. We talk about this often at my house, as my older daughter is in junior high now. I try to teach her that the "sexiest" & most beautiful thing a woman can wear is confidence in herself. A pretty face & nice figure are not forever.....confidence on the other hand...... that's the kinda beautiful that shines through, even if you're wearing a parka! :)

As for little girl undies, I usually have good luck at target. :)

Michelle said...

sooo glad you brought this up. Much needed in today's society. I have 3 boys but that doesn't mean they don't need to learn modesty as well. I'm currently teaching my just turned 5 year not to drop his drawers in the middle of a crowded room to change into swimming trunks. ;)

GibsonTwins said...

We buy little girl undies at OshKosh B'Gosh. They're full fledged undies. And they're pretty much the only undies that stay up.

OKBG has not gone skanky on toddler clothes like TCP has been known to do. And Carters being the parent company of OKBG makes them equally acceptable.

If you don't have a store, you can get them online from carters.com (OKBG is on the second tab there).

Rachel said...

I find that the character underwear such as elmo, dora, princess etc from Kohl's target and Walmart run really small in the size 2 and that only the 4's will fit Violet she is also 2 but 30 lbs. Another option is the training pants cotton underwear we have some cute flower and butterfly ones and Violet seems to prefer then over the regular undies. They come in size 18 months and seem so much more comfy that is usually what she wears. Although I must say she is not trained and wets her undies a lot still. So glad we have hardwood floors.
Best of Luck and as a mom of 3 girls I totally agree with the modesty. When Rose got into size six clothes all of the styles look like something a teenager would wear. I don't want her to dress like a baby but I also don't want her to look like hannah montanna. OshKosh stores has suprisingly cute stylish dresses that are affordable and age appropriate for little elem. age girls.
Rachel

Ellie said...

I have to say I am surprised to hear a woman validate men's excuse for cheating/promiscuous behavior/lustful thoughts/rape. Their excuse for this behavior is often the way certain women dress. "Oh, look how she was dressed, she asked for it" is often a rapist's excuse. I agree with Gina's comment, that a woman should be able to dress the way she wants. Who are you to proclaim what is acceptable for a woman to wear? If you are so strict on modesty that you are worried about a little girl's pair of panties (which no one but a pedophile would even consider as sexual, no matter how "tiny" they are) you are going to end up with a rebellious teenage girl on your hands.

boltefamily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
boltefamily said...

@Ellie...you are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but please don't put words in my mouth. Never once did I say that I was giving validation for men's lustful thoughts, promiscuity, cheating and certainly not for rape. Certainly NO ONE deserves to be raped regardless of what they wear or not. I NEVER said that so please don't insinuate that was what I meant.

What I did say was that we wonder why men struggle with lust...they are visual creatures...built differently than women. I do believe that as women we have a shared responsibility. I expect folks to disagree, but God tells us that we should refrain from doing what might cause another to fumble. I believe dressing scantily draws a man's eye and while men certainly need to train their eye, it is not helping them in anyway. That said, NO ONE has the right to violate another human being...no matter what they wear.

I nowhere said I thought girls should wear burkas. I think they should be covered. If not to draw sexual attention, then why let it all hang out? We can look beautiful and trendy without drawing the wrong kind of attention.

God has trusted my kids to me. I defer to Him when it comes to child rearing decisions. The Bible tells me all I need to know and the Bible assures me that instilling modesty in in our children is the right decision. I don't believe we should teach our children to be ashamed of their bodies, rather respectful of them. The things we hold in high regard we don't just put out there for everyone.

As for Hope turning out to be a rebellious child, we shall see. I have many mentor moms who have raised wonderful young women all while insisting on appropriate dress. They have grown to be amazing women of God and have learned from a young age to come under the authority of God. I hope and pray the same for Hope. I don't however believe that allowing her to wear skimpy clothes will ensure a non rebellious child. Of course if I permit everything, she'll have nothing to rebel against, but I will continue to follow God and teach her the importance of respect for herself and for others.

Jason Stevens said...

I couldn't agree more, I have been told time and time again from people "I hope you dont have a daughter" or "I feel bad for your future daughter if you have one" because I am so against the disclosure of cleavage and those shorts that go so high, everyone can see the girl's leg. People wonder why romantic relationships are so much less romantic these days and why people are losing their morals. Well... girls reach out for the wrong attention and men give the wrong attention. What has this world come to when women have to show their body to men in order to be "normal"? Even worse, what has this world come to when women actually WANT to show their body to the world? sure you are not showing everything, but step back a few generations and you will see how tremendously inappropriate it is. I fear what will turn out in the future. Are we as far as we will get? will things turn around? I sure hope that the word "modest" does not fade into the darkness any more than it has.