The recent posts about fashion, modesty and the different understandings girls and guys have on the issues got me thinking about a man’s role in these important life lessons. Dads, brothers, close friends or relatives need to take advantage of the situation and speak up when they see a girl close to them dressing or behaving in a way that is not in keeping with their true worth.
Dads – Beyond having those good conversations, I highly suggest you take your daughter shopping. Painful? Yes. But it will be eye opening for both you and her.
When we were in high school my dad went through my sister’s and my clothes one weekend and made us throw out about 20 items he felt were inappropriate. We were clueless about their immodesty. In retribution my mom suggested he take us to the mall to replace those items. He was excited for the task and we, of course, were mortified. I remember walking in and cringing at the first set of provocatively posed and dressed mannequins, to which my dad was quick to point out were highly inappropriate. Fast-forward to four hours later. My dad is stressed at the amount of money he had to spend and how difficult it had been to find things that were both fashion forward and appropriate for his daughters. We were annoyed and thought we’d scream if he pointed out another baggy floor-length skirt.
In the end we left the mall with a couple bags in hand and with a better understanding of how both sides suffer in this area. My dad admitted afterwards that he had no idea how difficult it was to find quality clothing and how easy it was to become numb after the senses were so saturated by the displays. We left with a better understanding of what he saw as suggestive and how a guy would look at us if we sported a certain look.
Guys – You’ve got to tell her what’s appropriate and what’s not. Compliment her when she looks amazing. Stop your sister before she walks out of the house in something her boyfriend will read more into.
I have a friend who was getting ready for a date and running around her house in a camisole and jeans. Her brother, who was 6 years younger, came up to her and said in all seriousness, “You can’t go out like that. Trust me. The guy will have nothing good on his mind.” She was completely confused. He restated his stance and she assured him she planned to put a sweater over the cami and wasn’t planning on going out in just that. He was relieved. The lesson stuck with this girl for years after that.