Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back to School Shocking

It's Back to School Shopping (Shocking) time again. Last week, my assistant Jill Marquis, took her teenage daughter shopping and in the middle of her shopping trip I got a text from her that simply said, "Shoot Me." Part of the reason she wanted to be put out of her misery is that so much of what is available to our girls these days is simply ridiculous. When she spilled the drudgery of her shopping trip I asked her to write this blog post. Read on:

I took my fifteen-year-old daughter shopping last week, along with about a gazillion other people, in an attempt to pick up some staples for the coming school year. Just a few tops and some jeans – that’s all we wanted. Now I won’t go into the trauma and drama that usually surrounds clothes shopping with a teenaged girl, that’s a whole other blog post, or maybe a book, but I will tell you about the latest fashions for teens that I saw. That’s what shocked me. And trust me, I’m not easily shocked. In the search for the ever-elusive perfect pair of jeans, we were in a very popular (judging from the crowds) place called the Wet Seal. This store caters to young women, selling everything from jeans to intimates. A lot of the clothes were fine, that is until I turned around and saw the wall of graphic tees. Lots of shirts with cute sayings on them, right?

Not so much…here are some examples:

I’m Not Shy, I Just Don’t Like You

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Pretty

Everyone Here Is Awesome Except You

Shall I keep going?

Born This Way


I’m Bad

If Your Single, So am I (They didn't even get the spelling right)


Wanna Make Out

Nobody Remembers The Nice Girl

This is what society is selling our young women. What starts out as a bit sarcastic quickly moves right past suggestive and into propositions. But most of us don’t look at it like that – it’s just funny, a little suggestive, a joke.
 But it’s not – the message is not subliminal, it’s a full on assault of our girls.

What do these pithy little sayings mean?


“I’m not responsible for my own actions, I’m Born This Way”.

“I don’t think things through, I’m, Reckless”.
“I’m Bad because I think it’s easier and more fun than making the right choice”.

“I’ll abandon my standards to be with you because If You’re Single So am I”.
“I have no self-worth, I’m desperate to be popular, desperate to be loved,
 so do you Wanna Make Out?”.

And, in my opinion, the worst one:

“I will do what I have to in order to be noticed, I will cheapen myself, I will give myself away, I will be mean and hateful because Nobody Remembers The Nice Girl.”

Maybe I’ve got the messages wrong, maybe I’m crazy. It’s not like that’s what the shirts really say…but that’s what I see. And I see the insidious attack on our daughters’ minds that puts their souls at risk. All that from a little tee shirt.

Mom’s, talk to your daughters, engage their friends. Ask their opinions, share yours. Starting the conversation will open their eyes – while they might think it’s about fashion, it’s really about faith. - Jill Marquis, Event Coordinator for Shari Braendel

Ladies, talk and talk and talk to your daughters about what they wear. But don't just give them RULES, give them REASONS. Just like Jill stated above, tell them what the sayings on the shirts mean. Ask them if it's wise to spend their (or your) money in a store that sells items like this. I simply wouldn't spend one cent in a store that has clothes like that.
Help your daughters understand that she is beautiful and amazing. I know, I know, I'm preaching to the choir, but let's all stand together and refuse to shop in places that have such degrading things for our girls to wear. One person DOES make a difference. And one plus one plus one adds up.
I love you girls!
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Lucy Wilson said...

Thanks for the post Shari and "right on" Jill!! Just gave a mother Shari's book "Good Girls Don't Have to Be Bad" just yesterday. She was concerned about her daughters and about a foster mom/baby situation she is ministering in right now. Her daughters are only 4 and 9 but she sees the need to start very early with telling them why they need to dress to honor the Lord daily. I will surely let the moms at our church know about this blog and encourage them to check it out often for advice as well as getting a copy of Shari's book.

~Brenda said...

Not having a daughter, I didn't realize what teen girls are up against when buying clothes. Jill, thanks for sharing your shopping experience, this was an eye-opener.

Emily B ( said...

What's also sad is the lack of fabric that teens are wearing these days (and even worse, when I see it at church!) I can't believe that moms out there are letting their daughters go out with too short skirts and low tops, especially at church, and then I see the mom with the same outfit on.

I'm not a mother (yet), but I know that even when it is difficult to find things to fit, there are clothes available that don't show off all your assets. Girls, please cover up!

The Calm of His Presence said...

Wow! My daughter is almost 5 and I am already not looking forward to the teen years. I'm already very conscious about what she wears. Thank you for this post. ~ Mary

Jill said...

Thanks for your sweet comments ladies. I don't mean to sound militant...or maybe I do, but isn't it about time we stand up to this kind of nonsense? I'm send the blog to the corporate headquarters for Wet Seal.

Randy and Brenda Cohorn said...

My children are adults - raising their teens... Not only am I shocked at what I read on shirts - I'm appalled at what they are wearing. I was a teen in the 70's and wore hip huggers... the difference between then and now - our shirts covered our bodies. It's a scary world we are sending these teens into and unfortunately clothing them has become one of the scary things...

Kathy Friend said...

oi! School clothes shopping this year wore me down! I (sorta) jokingly said that I have met my match in the "school clothes shopping" arena...and I am a professional! I just don't get all the skin, and all of the nonsense that is supposed to be appropirate for YOUNG girls!

Melinda S. said...

Please also give us ideas of good places TO shop. Part of why teens dress this way and moms buy it is because it can be hard to find anything else. Layers are helping my kids, some, though.

Anonymous said...

To Melinda S.: My 12 year old daughter does not like low cut shirts, which makes shopping for cute shirts for her difficult. We purchased some half tees online from Mia Bellini that she loves to wear under her shirts. They fit well and give her the coverage she's looking for without being too hot for NC in August. Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Oh the crazy!
What a great post. I'm in the teen years too. My girls refuse to wear gack! I love it that both of them are fashion savvy/classy chicks!
It's a privilege to be their mom.

Carmi said...

I am thankful that I do not have a teenage girl right now, oh but wait, I do have a whole slew of them in our church youth group that I am a mentor for. OK, I think I need to print this post out and take it to Sunday School tomorrow! Another of the mentors and I are going to try to put together something along this line for a discipleship class for all the girls.