I took my five-year-old to a hip hop dance class today. Admittedly she was one of the younger ones in the class, yet as we walked into the classroom, I was instantly struck by the number of seven-year-old girls wearing bedazzled booty shorts.
It appears the same short shorts that I used to wear in college with a big U of A stamped across my rear end (go Wildcats!) is the attire of choice for little girls taking dance classes, except these say "DANCE"--in rhinestones.
I admittedly thought these were fabulous at the time. That being said, I was 20, not 7, and mine were certainly not purchased by my parents. I sort of wanted to pack up my little legging-wearing peanut and run all the way home, but we stayed, and as I watched through the observation window, I saw the girls busting serious moves. Boy could they dance! And work their behinds! And shake their prepubescent chests! After thirty minutes of butt-shaking all around her, my daughter started shaking her booty, too. It's apparently contagious.
A group of girls wearing teeny weeny shorts and sports bras from Lululemon gathered around the observation window nearby. They talked about losing teeth, and how they only had one or two baby teeth to go. They were twelve and wearing the kind of expensive clothing that I'm pretty sure a lot of people would refer to as underwear.
I have a son and a daughter. My daughter watches Sofia the First and loves to make crafts and play chase with her brother, yet she was shaking her little booty as hard as she could after spending even a little bit of time with these girls. Does this mean that if you take your child to a fun dance class you're essentially signing them up to learn how to twerk? When my son gets older and he sees half-naked girls running around at age 12, what will he be seeing by the time he's 17?
Maybe I'm just getting old--really old--because I don't get it. It takes a whole lot of babysitting money to buy an outfit at Lululemon when you're twelve years old. Our children are exposed to sexuality at an early age through TV, toys, and yep, seeing others wearing inappropriate clothing. I hear parents complain about how hard it can be to find age-appropriate clothes for their young daughters. But as I looked through that dance class window, all I could think was that the parents of those girls must have bought them those outfits and let them out of the house to shake their behinds for all the world to see.
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My kids are little, and I haven't had to experience a tween losing her mind when she wants a piece of clothing that all her friends are wearing. But I'm pledging right now that I'm not doing it. I'm not going to buy my teen daughter clothing that leaves little to the imagination, and I'm not going to turn a blind eye if she tries to walk out of the house in a teeny weeny scrap of clothing before she even has her driver's license.
Maybe this will backfire on me. She may get angry and swap clothes with her friends the minute she leaves the house. I hope not, but I'm going to give it my best shot. I'm her mother, and if I can't convince her to cover up, I don't know who will.
If she wants to dance, I hope she boogies her little heart out. There's a lot you can do in a good pair of crop pants, like take a dance class. Let's hope I can convince her.
Do you think booty shorts are appropriate for seven-year-olds?