How to Explain Monster High and Other Hyper-Sexualized Dolls to Young Kids

Barbie Fashionista. Box says for ages 3+.

My youngest brother is home for the holidays, and while at Target toy shopping for my kids, he decided to go into the Barbie aisle because over Thanksgiving he had watched the 20/20 piece featuring SPARK Summit dynamo Dana Edell and was stunned at what was going on in girlhood. He couldn’t believe some of what he saw during the interview with Dana wasn’t illegal. He has heard me talk about it for several years, but he wanted to see it for himself. He lives in Costa Rica and doesn’t have kids, so a lot of what Pigtail Pals talks about isn’t on his radar.

He was shopping for Legos for Amelia and Benny, but walked into the Barbie aisle to see what the fuss was about. Over Christmas he asked me, “Why are all of the Barbies dressed like whores?”.  Valid question, pejorative aside. The Barbie to our left has a face loaded with make-up, a skin-tight shirt that reads Miss Sassy, a chain link belt, and a hot pink thong clearly visible under the metallic hot pink micro-miniskirt that barely covers her Barbie bum.

For the record, he got his niece a four foot long stuffed dolphin. Good uncle.

Why do almost all of the plastic dolls we see in the toy aisles look like what we would stereotype as a sex worker? I have yet to understand how companies are passing these off as children’s toys. But parents are accepting it, and buying them, and the cycle continues.

But for parents who aren’t buying it, and who are working hard to keep their young daughters from being sexualized, how in the world does one explain Monster High to a five year old? The thing with Monster High et al is that they are so highly inappropriate, it is kind of inappropriate to discuss with a child why they are inappropriate. Since we can’t really use words like “skid row hooker” with our kindergartners and all…

Last night on our Facebook page I was asked the following:
“How do you explain why the Monster High dolls, and the like, aren’t good to a 5 year old? How do you explain what is wrong with them? I told her once that ‘they’re just not very nice.’ I honestly didn’t know what to tell her!” -Danielle

Mattel's Monster High character Clawdeen Wolf, for ages 6+.

This was my reply when the situation arose for Amelia and I:

What I said to my 5yo was that Monster High dolls were dressed in a way that I felt was inappropriate for children, that their faces looked mean not nice, and that their bodies sent our hearts unhealthy messages. We talked about different colors of hair and skin being really cool, but that these dolls made little girls focus too much on being pretty for other people and being too grown-up and that is not what kids need to do.

A few months down the road when she asked for more info, I told her that Monster High dolls have the kind of bodies that can make girls sick, because a real person could never have a body like that, and that I loved my little girl’s healthy body so much I would never want her to have something that would make her think her body wasn’t amazing.

And when she kept pushing about the clothing, I told her that girls who dress like that often don’t have full and happy hearts, and they use clothing like that to get attention and make themselves feel full. Then I took it a step further, and had her come upstairs to her dress up drawer, and picked out clothing I knew was way too small and tight for her. She put it on, and I told her to go play. Amelia said she couldn’t move because of her clothes. I then asked if she thought Monster High was silly, because how could those girls move and be teenagers who do fun things and play sports. She said she thought maybe they just stood around and looked pretty.

I told her she was absolutely right. And then we talked about other toys she had, how different they looked, and what kinds of things those dolls could do instead. I hope to grow the idea of full and happy hearts as Amelia (and Benny) age, to help her make good and healthy decisions about all kinds of things: healthy eating and exercise, drugs and alcohol, sex and relationships, good behavior in school, etc. If that is our baseline, I think the things that fall so far outside of that, whether it is Monster High or music lyrics or friends who are a bad influence, my kids will see it for what it is and be that much more equipped to make good choices for themselves.

I want to teach them to use their intuition and common sense when it comes to hard decisions. It is what I do when I tell myself there is no way in hell that dolls like Monster High or Bratz or hooker Barbies will end up in my home. I respect my children far too much to feed them a diet of garbage like that.

Then another mom added this:

“My 4 year old asked the same thing. I pointed out the clothing and said that girls her age don’t wear clothes that look like that. She seemed ok with that answer at this point, but I am certain we will need to go more in depth with it soon! We had the same convo over the Bratz dolls and some Barbies too.” -Christi

Mattel says Monster High is for tweens and teens. Which would be true, if teens played with dolls and shopped in the toy aisle and stood three feet tall.

The Day They Bedazzled the Baby

Guest Post by Pigtail Pals Parent Community member Amanda T. She shares her preschool-aged daugther’s experience getting a make-over at a spa. In a closet.

My fun, adventurous, huge-hearted four-year-old, ‘M’, has her very first best friend. She will tell anyone with ears that ‘A’ is her “first friend that’s a girl and who does not live with us”.

We love A. She is just as fun, adventurous, and loving as our M. We love A’s parents, too, even though we only know them from preschool drop-off, pick-up, and the few events we’ve had so far (fellow Navy family, in a home with even more daughters than ours – instant kinship). I tell you this so you’ll understand how M and I came to end up in Pretty Pretty Princess Hell. I’m still not sure how to put what happened into words without getting ‘snippy’, so I’ll just tell you how our three hours went that Saturday afternoon – that way you never have to wonder what you’re (not) missing.

We arrived at the party location, and discover it’s not even a ‘spa/salon’, but a clothing store whose small stock room has been turned into a ‘party room’ for either Divas or Pretty Princesses, depending on the ages of the guests, I suppose. The guests for our party range from age 2 to 5. Surely this will be more cake and dress-up than holding still in a chair, right? M is hastily tied into a fluffy pink robe and her “please make it sooo tight and put the ribbons riiiight HERE” hairdo is smushed into a matching headband by a young lady proclaiming, “NOW you’re ready to get pretty!” (In my head: “Well, Miss Pretty, my kid’s hair WAS out of her face, and we got ‘pretty’ before we left the house.”)

M shoots me her first “What? Why?!” look of the afternoon. The kids are given chocolate fizzy water to soak their toes in, Kidz Bop is blaring from a boombox, Miss Pretty busies herself with new guests, I make small-talk with the other moms, and the pink-on-pink décor in this way-too-small room stops being nauseating for a little bit. An hour passes, and the girls have not been “allowed” to get up. There’s nowhere to walk if they DO get up. They are restless. The Other Cool Mom and I say so, out loud. Miss Pretty passes out magazines and practically coos, “Look at all the pretty ladies and their pretty hair and makeup! Aren’t they so pretty? Can you find some pretty girls?”

The Other Cool Mom and I look over and around the rolling carts of makeup and polishes: They’ve given 2, 4, and 5 year olds Glamour and Seventeen magazines. The Rage officially fills me. I am pleased to see M staring at an orange juice ad, and pointing out that the lady in the ad likes to run fast. Miss Pretty pops up and TURNS MY DAUGHTER’S PAGE, saying, “No, not HER. Find a pretty lady.”

M gives me a look that is only a teensy bit shy of the “What the HELL?!”.  The Rage is screaming inside my head. I, loudly, tell M that running so fast probably DOES make that lady feel pretty, and M and I smile at each other. Well, M smiles. I flat out smirk at Miss Pretty. The Other Cool Mom winks at me. Miss Pretty turns two other guests’ pages for them. M gets her nails painted blue and her toes are purple glitter.

Miss Pretty moves to do someone else’s nails, and stops mid-circle of party guests to sing and dance along with the radio, “Don’tcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don’tcha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?”. Other Cool Mom, A’s dad, and I are the only grown-ups in the crowded party room at the time, and say – loudly – that maybe the song should be changed. Miss Pretty dances and sings. A’s dad asks – loudly – where the radio is. Miss Pretty shimmies to another 4 year old. The Rage takes over, and I cross the circle of chairs and tap her, “Let’s change the music, please. The only time we want our 4 and 5 year olds ‘hot’ is if they’re on the playground during Summer. Mm ‘kay?”

Miss Pretty puts on Miley Cyrus. A’s dad and Other Cool Mom smile, and we laugh at the absurdity of the entire situation. You’d think that was the worst of it, right? Of course not. This is only the second circle of Hell.

 We’ve got a way to go. M settled, waiting for her polish to dry, I step out of the cramped storeroom spa to admire the clothing and hair bands in the boutique storefront, guessing that cake and dress up would be next. After purchasing a gift for my nephew, I step back in to find the girls STILL SITTING. We got here at 2pm. It’s nearly 3:30! M looks worried, like she wants to come to me. She shoots me another “What? Why?!” look as oatmeal is offered to her. They are smearing oatmeal on the babies. For cryin’ out loud! Let them have cake! M refuses the ‘facial’, slumps into her chair, and looks like she may cry. She is uncomfortable, not ‘into’ this, and now asking A if there is cake to be had. I’m this close to making excuses and bolting, but she perks up when she sees the makeup another school chum has been plied with. It’s blue. It sparkles. It will wash off easily when we leave. Hooray for something that resembles ‘kid fun’ !

While the girls’ eyelids are being painted blue and purple, Other Mom and I find each other again. More moms and grandparents have showed up – and not only approve of, but are now riding the Pretty Pretty train. I spy a plaque on the wall and baffled, point to it and say, “I don’t get it. They painted it all cute like it’s…”

“Oh! Isn’t it darling?” says Other Cool Mom. WHAT? Did Other Cool Mom just say that? This sign is hot pink and black, with matching feathers coming off a mirror attached to what we call “a stripper shoe” with the words ‘High Maintenance’ above it all. And Other Cool Mom loves it, thinks it’s ‘darling’, even. I look at her like she’s turned green and sprouted antennae and finish my sentence, “I just don’t get it. They’ve got this decorated and nailed to the wall as if the label is a badge of honor. I’m not having it.” And so Other Cool Mom and I didn’t talk the rest of the day.

Back to the babies. They’re made up. They’re allowed to move around! There’s glitter spray – heavy duty stuff, not the cheap Halloween aisle kind. Miss Pretty grabs M’s arm, pulls her away from me, places one hand over her eyes and nose in a grasp hard enough to keep her from moving, and proceeds to practically bedazzle my baby’s head and half her party dress. M frowns. M just washed her hair this morning. M is not pleased. She looks right at Miss Pretty and tells her –before I can swoop in and be That Mom – “I didn’t say I needed glitters.” Miss Pretty places her hands on M’s shoulders and coos, “Aww! Don’t you want to be pretty? A pretty pretty princess? Everyone is doing it, see?”.

Oh, The Rage. Everything that comes out of this female’s mouth is just wrong. M looks at me. I look at her. She says to Miss Pretty, without a word from me, “Well, acting pretty is better.” But Miss Pretty doesn’t get it (imagine that!). The girls are dressing up now. M has spotted microphones – she has a small collection of microphones at home, ranging from plastic ones to a full-blown cordless karaoke mic. Two ‘pretty pretty princesses’ physically move M to cut in line. M wants to cry. I remind her to use manners and to say ‘excuse me, but I was here’, but she’s too timid, too uncomfortable, and getting mean-girl-looks from these 4 year olds. Four year olds!

She’s over it. She wants to go home. But we love A. A is her best gal. A is loving that M is there. M clings to A, and waits for her turn. “I don’t want this gloves. I just want only this microphone”, she tells Miss Pretty’s companion. “Oh no! Pretty Princesses wear gloves!” exclaims the companion. 

“Oh, I just wanted to be the rock star. I’m a rock star. I had blue hair for Halloween,” M informs the woman.

“No. You can’t be a rock star. A rock star is not as pretty and good as a pretty princess.”

Can you FEEL The Rage? My already uncomfortable daughter is being forced into gloves (She hates gloves, mittens, long sleeves). She concedes and asks for a purple princess cape. The pretty pretty princesses are herded out onto the rainy sidewalk for pictures. M doesn’t smile until she realizes she can twirl in her cape and use the ‘wand’ as a microphone. She sings about being a rock star even though she’s a princess. Mommy is pleased. I pull her aside as a new mom walks up and flips out when she spots her daughter-turned-bedazzled-princess – HERE is a true comrade in arms (if she had a FB, she’d friend Pigtail Pals. She rocks.)

She overhears as I tell M how proud I am of her for telling Miss Pretty that ‘acting pretty is better than being pretty’, and we spend the rest of the party outside agreeing with each other’s ‘not-so-mianstream’ views on raising daughters. M looks back at the room, knows she is needed for cake (finally!), and says to New Cool Mom and I, “This lady with the makeups thinks being pretty is all she can do. She is worrying me.” And she runs off. Proud Mom Moment. She sleeps on the way home. I rant and rave to anyone who answers their phone about what’s happened. Once home, M and I have ‘mom spa’ time: a bubbly kitchen sink hair washing, mommy’s special make-up remover (that blue was eyeliner, not shadow – she ended up at church the next day with blue bottom lashes), some hot cocoa with a huge marshmallow, and some SEC football on the tv. Once her big sister wakes up from a nap, they swap stories of their parties that afternoon.

M is quick to tell R, “It was not fun, but I liked to see my friends, and they had pink lemo-lade. A tall lady told me to only be pretty all the time, but she is wrong because we need to be all the things, not just one thing. Be friendly. Be an adventure girl. Be smart. Be happy. Be a helper. Be sweet sisters.”

R nods, asks me what happened, and we discuss it. She looks concerned. In true 5-year old social butterfly fashion she asks, “So, can I still be very pretty when I be all the other things?” Of course you can, R. Of course. M is quick to point out that it’s better to ACT pretty than BE pretty – her way of saying being nice is more important than getting dolled up. R has adopted the line, too. Proud Mommy!

Colorado Crotchless Panty Caper

Here’s a confusing question for you – Which of these things is not like the other one? Fuzzy animal backpacks, a child’s bathrobe, pint-sized high heels, and crotchless thong panties.

Wait, maybe that’s a trick question. Let’s do it this way – Which of these things would be the LAST thing you’d expect to find in a children’s apparel store? Fuzzy animal backpacks, a child’s bathrobe, pint-sized high heels, and crotchless thong panties.

Or, we could do it this way – If you had to pick a store display that said “Child Prostitution Ring” to you, what would you pick? I’ll go first:  Fuzzy animal backpacks, a child’s bathrobe, pint-sized high heels, and crotchless thong panties.

Three weeks after the story out of Greeley Colorado broke, I still have more questions than answers in the Crotchless Panty Caper. Mostly because the owners of Kids N Teen have not answered their phone for three weeks, and Greeley Mall management won’t return my phone calls. I even sent a mom into Kids N Teen and the mall management offices, and no one is interested in talking. Now, I’m a retailer, and I do two things. One, I answer my business phone every time it rings, because it is my business phone. Two, when a customer has a question, I make myself available to answer it.

But that isn’t the case here, as mall management told the mom I sent in to ask questions to leave, and then had her followed by security. And despite the pretty ballsy move by Kids N Teen to not only sell thong underwear in a store for children, but to also choose to order, receive shipment of, enter into inventory, tag, and then stock crotchless panties in juvenile sizes….No one at the Greeley Mall seems to think they need to answer to angry parents who find it grossly inappropriate to sell novelty sex items to children.

I am of the opinion that if you are a businessperson attempting to make money by sexualizing and pornifying childhood, you’re going to need to be prepared to answer to very angry parents.

I’ll tell you what I know first, and it is going to differ a little from what you might have already read. Then I’ll tell what I think I know, and then what I’d like to know. Keep in mind, only one media outlet covered this story – reported by Nick McGurk from Denver’s Channel 9. Anything else you have read or seen on ABC’s 20/20 or anywhere else came from Nick’s work, and the eyewitness accounts of two women. Erin French is the name you’ll recognize from the news, the other woman is Debbie. Debbie is the mother of the young girl who was featured in the news story, and who was approached by the male store owner. I worked with Erin and Debbie for three straight days to try to determine who the manufacturer of these panties is, and talked with them about how this has affected their families.

Information I have confirmed:

  • Kids N Teen opened in late October/early November and carries a very wide range of children’s apparel, apparently spanning from toddler to teenage years. This is an independent store, not part of a chain, and the two owners seem to be working in the store and do not have employees.
  • During the first two weeks of November, Kids N Teen was selling thong and crotchless thong panties.
  • The female owner admitted to Debbie that when the crotchless panties arrived at the store she was unsure if she should stock them or not, ultimately deciding to do so.
  • The crotchless panties were in the back of the store, displayed in its own section with these items: thong panties, fuzzy animal backpacks, childrens bathrobes, and pint-sized high heels. There was no seperate teen section, despite the store owner telling press the reason she carried the thong underwear was because 25% of her inventory is for teens.  
  • On or around November 14th, the Kids N Teen owners were asked by mall management to remove the crotchless panties (but not the thongs) from their shelves. Kids N Teen complied.
  • On November 15 I made numerous calls to popular lingerie retailers and was told by all of them that they do not carry crotchless panties, and that I would need to go to a “sex shop” to find an “racy item” like that.
  • On November 15 I made numerous attempts to contact both mall management for Greeley Mall and Kids N Teen. My messages were not returned.
  • On November 16 when I sent a mom back into Kids N Teen to try to buy a pair of the crotchless panties so that we could determine the manufacturer, she was told the store no longer carried them. When she pressed further to say she knew the store still had to have them on site and she just wanted to see who the manufacturer was, the store owner said she would not reveal her vendor. (I listened to this conversation via cell phone.)
  • On November 16 Erin and Debbie contacted the Greeley Police Department asking for their assistance, and expressing their concern of a larger issue at play with this store located directly across the walk-way from the children’s play area. The women were told the police could not do anything and there was no cause for investigation.
  • On November 17 when I spoke with the buyer for an adult store and novelty sex shop near my home, she said several things to me that are very important. One: She and her staff would absolutely give me any assistance needed to determine the manufacturer of these panties that very clearly come in extremely small sizes. The idea of child-sized crotchless panties apalled her.  Two: She has a very difficult time finding XSmall-sized lingerie and novelty garments for her own customers, and she felt someone who received very small crotchless panties most likely searched them out, and very intentionally ordered them.  Three: She felt very confident these items came from an overseas vendor, as with all of her years in the business she has never come across an American company making an item like this for the teen or children’s market. 
  • The four women involved in this story – Erin, Debbie, the adult store manager, and myself all admitted to each other coming to the same feeling independent of each other: This story stinks of child prostitution.

Let me be clear – at this point in time the only thing I think the Kids N Teen owners are guilty of is a grossly negligent and irresponsible decision to carry very racy thong and crotchless panties in an apparel store for children.

Let me be clear – as a former criminal investigator, when I was told all of the little pieces of this story that on their own don’t make a lot of sense, but when put together create a shady picture, my intuition tells me this story stinks of something bigger than a couple of racy panties hanging in a store in a dying shopping mall.

Other pieces of information, unconfirmed:

  • During the original shopping trip that Erin and Debbie were on when they filmed the crotchless panties, Debbie said that the middle-aged male store owner saw her seven year old daugther Paige looking at the display of thongs, told her the price fo the garment, and asked is she liked them and wanted a pair.
  • The owners of Kids N Teen own several other retail locations in the mall. The mall is struggling financially.
  • There were many questions from our Facebook Parent Community as to whether or not the store owners were foreign, maybe explaining a cultural difference in views on the panties. Because I have not spoken directly to the store owners, I will not comment further on this. I will say that I think crotchless panties have a rather universal understanding as to their purpose and use.
  • After an extensive internet search, I could not find crotchless panties that matched what Erin and Debbie showed us in the video made on their cell phone. I am at a dead end for determining who the manufacturer of the panties is.
  • The Kids N Teen owner claims she ordered the thongs for her store, but the crotchless panties were a free gift from her vendor. The adult store manager said she thought is was highly unlikely, as a new shop that only dedicates 25% inventory to teen apparel would not have placed a large enough wholesale order to earn an assortment of free lingerie. She also was highly suspect of all of the “free lingerie” being in such very small sizes.

So it is a great mystery, how these child-sized crotchless panties arrived at this children’s apparel store and who is responsible for making these in child sizes to begin with. But is there mystery in why the Kids N Teen owner decided to sell them? And the more important question, why did she think they would sell? When “family-friendly” department stores have been carrying panties in the junior’s section for years with highly sexually-suggestive slogans….how many steps away were we from selling actually novelty sex items to girls? When we will say NO MORE to retailers meeting their bottom line by sexualizating and pornifying our daughter’s girlhood? When will enough be enough?

Kiddie Crotchless Panties

Yeah, you read that correctly. They really exist. 

I know, my head exploded, too. If ever three words did not belong together, they would be it.

Here’s the back story, in case you haven’t heard: A new store named Kids N Teen opened a couple of weeks ago in the Greeley Mall in Colorado. A mom and her 7 year old daughter were shopping there when they came upon crotchless and thong panties, in children’s sizes. Nick McGurk from Channel 9 has a great report here.

We’re going to hear directly from the mom and her little girl in a bit, specifically about the moment when one of the store owners, a man around 40 years old, told the 7 year old girl the price of the crotchless panties and asked if she wanted a pair. Yes, you read that correctly. I know, my head exploded, too.

I was told about two conversations had by two different people with one of the owners of the shop, who justified the selling of crotchless panties in children’s sizes with this:

1. Approximately 25% of their inventory is dedicated to teens.

2. Parents take their teens shopping at Victoria’s Secret, and Victoria’s Secret carries them.

Putting aside the argument that crotchless panties are not appropriate for teens shopping at Kids N Teen, and the small detail that the legal age for consent is 18 years old….I wanted to check up on the Victoria’s Secret claim, because crotchless panties are usually considered an adult bedroom novelty and NOT sold at places like Victoria’s Secret. They are sold in sex shops. And, apparently, Kids N Teen.

So I called my local Victoria’s Secret — nope, they do not carry crotchless panties and never have.

Next I called the Victoria’s Secret in the Greeley Mall, just down the way from Kids N Teen. (Also, I told a little white lie…)

Victoria’s Secret salesperson: “Hello, Victoria’s Secret. Can I help you?”

Me: “Hi, I have a bachelorette party this weekend, and I’m in charge of buying the bride some racy panties. Do you carry anything like, um, crotchless panties?”

VS: “No. We don’t carry items like that. We have lingerie and thongs, but those are usually found at a place like Spencer’s Gifts, or maybe like a novelty shop. Usually the really racy things like crotchless panties or edible panties are at the novelty shops.”

Me: “Oh, I see. ‘Novelty shop’, do you mean like a sex shop? But nowhere in the mall would carrystuff like that?”

VS: “No, probably not. Usually you have to go to a novelty shop for those kind of racier items.”

Me: “Huh. Okay, this is the weirdest phone call I’ve ever made. Thanks so much for your help.”

I’m not really in the market for crotchless panties, but now I know I can get them at sex shops. Or, Kids N Teen, right across from the toddler play space, if I live in Greeley Colorado.

I am sending someone to the store today to confirm the crotchless panties are gone. I hear they are still selling the thongs. They are hanging next to the animal-print strappy heels in children’s sizes, and the slinky bathrobes.

If the owners of Kids N Teen ever answer their phone, I’ve got a list of questions for them, including who manufactures kiddie crotchless panties, why Kids N Teen purchased and stocked them, and why Kids N Teen is attempting to sell them to minors.

I’m going to go scrub my eyeballs now.

Sexy Toys, Little Girls, and the Big Picture

I do not have a sign posted anywhere in my home saying “Barbie and Princesses Forbidden”.  They simply aren’t a part of our media diet. Not on our radar. We have dolls and we have stories that involve a princess character, but they fall into a menagerie of toys, books, and characters.  

Amelia, my five year old girl.

I like that my daughter is five years old, going on six. I cherish childhood. I don’t shelter her, I just offer her a more healthy diet of influences for her childhood. At our house, it is Bindi Irwin over Barbie. Dr. Mireya Mayor over marriage for a princess. My daughter loves science, nature, art, and the Penguins of Madagascar. This weekend she discovered Star Wars when my husband gave the kids some little action figures from his youth. It is not so much that I have forbidden things from my home, as it is more my husband and I offer different choices. My daughter sees toys and images we don’t have in our home when she plays at other people’s houses, or when she is at school. It isn’t a big deal. I do not feel this will undo my parenting. She doesn’t consider them to be the proverbial “forbidden fruit”. She simply has been raised to have different interests and influences.

There has been an on going discussion on the Pigtail Pals’ twitter and facebook pages about toys for girls that some parents feel are too sexy and aren’t allowed in the home. Everyone seems to have a different opinion. Some allow Barbie, but say no way to makeup. Others allow makeup, but say no way to Monster High and Bratz. Some moms allow Tinker Bell, but say no way to Princesses….you get the picture. Everyone has their different line of acceptable/unacceptable.

In my opinion, sexy toys undermine the woman I am trying to raise my daughter to become.

I do not find the behavior of sexually precocious children to be cute. I do not like when little girls are dressed like mini adults. I especially do not like that the toy aisles geared toward my daughter are a pink explosion carrying messages about sexiness, narrowly defined beauty, narcissism, shopping, and becoming someone’s bride.

I think girlhood is an extremely important time for our daughters, as these years will lay a foundation for the women they will grow into.

So where your line sits will be up to you, what you allow or don’t allow. Maybe you think all of it is a big deal. Maybe you think none of it is a big deal. Maybe you pick and choose your battles.

I just want you to think about this when you make your decisions:

“It’s undeniably true that girls are encouraged to sexualize themselves at early ages, and that this can harm their developing sense of self. But our cultural sense of responsibility is deeply skewed. We condition young girls to aspire to an extremely restrictive standard of beauty and sexuality from almost the day they come into the world. We surround them with sexualized images of women, and tell them that these women have special value. And then, when little girls start behaving or dressing like those beautiful, desirable, special women — when they engage in the very childlike activity of imitating their role models — we condemn the girls and their parents…” –Sady Doyle for Global Comment.

I do not ban anything. I simply choose not accept any of the following for my daughter and her girlhood.

And my daughter seems to be doing just fine.