Friday, January 14, 2011

Rant: Skinny Jeans

As many of you know I teach at a lovely independent high school in south Tampa, Florida. Every high school has it's big issues that the student body is really passionate about and ours is not any different. For us the issue is dress code. There are formal uniforms worn on Fridays and other than that there is a relatively traditional set of rules for dress. Skirts not too short; pants not too tight, shirts not to low...and on it goes. They are teenagers and it's always something with authority which is understood and expected. My students will often tell me that they can't find longer, looser pieces of clothing and now this somewhat head scratching dilemma for teenagers is also the case for my baby?

My college roommate that has a baby just 3 1/2 months older than Lydia, Holland, bought her a pair of jeans the other day. When she got home and took off the tags she realized that they were skinny jeans. Yes, skinny jeans for an 8 month old. It's appalling that these even exist and it apparently is not enough that we are creating troublesome body image issues for young girls and teenagers but now it is has fallen to infancy? From the moment that a baby arrives we are weighing them and concerned about their size which I understand is the empirical understanding of their health but now we are trying to dress them as sexy? When I was looking for Lydia's Christmas dress for the holidays I found more tight, sequenced, black velvet than I did childlike ones with bows and ribbons. What are we saying to them? Frankly, what are we saying to ourselves and the standards of our society?

I implore you to know the difference between fighting a constant battle between fashion with your children and setting personal standards. I beg that all parents of little girls talk to them about body image and how they feel about themselves. I scream from the mountaintops for us to unite as a culture and say no to Skinny JEANS! (I mean who do they really look good on anyway?)

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