Do people think your teen looks older than she is? Are older men constantly checking her out? Does she wear clothing items that you could wear, or would look more appropriate on you? Are you faced with her cleavage or butt all day? Does she wear a full face of makeup daily?
If you answered "yes," your teen may be dressing too sexy.
Before we dive in, though, let's acknowledge two important points:
- Men (Boys) SHOULD control their stares
- The Policing of Girls' Clothing in Schools Has Been Insane/Out of Hand
No matter how a teen girl dresses (or adult female, for that matter!), a man can and should control his stares and leers. He is not an animal; he's a human. People that say a teen or woman "made" the man leer or make lewd comments are forgetting the fact that men are humans, not beasts. We as humans have complex thinking and are capable of biting our tongues or veering our eyes downward. Saying a teen or woman "made" someone act inappropriately is in my opinion, almost akin to that old wrong argument in reference to rape and date rape: "She made him do it."
A tight skirt or revealing clothing does not force any man/boy to act inappropriately. A man is in charge of his choices!
There has been story after story about teenage girls who were sent home from school for wearing, well, just about anything! It's a bit ridiculous that teenage girls are taking the spotlight from schools and not boys. To me it sends the message that girls bodies are too tempting even in a t-shirt and pants, and that their bodies ALONE cause trouble amongst the population. The female body is not sinful or so powerful that grown adults cannot control their own behavior (see #1 above) and to police girls as such sends the message that schools find female bodies distasteful and worthy of shame.
Now that we've addressed those big points, we can get back to the fact that even still, there are teenage girls dressing way too sexy for their ages. Sex is enjoyable and teenagers should learn about their bodies and get educated about sex, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and more. However, far too often today teenage girls are running with the power of their body and sexual prowess without realizing how detrimental this is to their self-esteem and image.
If Your Teen's Breasts and Cleavage Are Visible
Some girls are well-endowed. As one of those women myself, we fill out the most innocent item of clothes. However, I'm an adult and aware of the power of my body and the consequences of how I dress in certain social situations and amongst certain people. Your teens are not this savvy. If you can see cleavage and breasts 24/7, Mom, you are to blame!
It can be hard to be small cupped as a female, I am sure, but the advent of push-up bras marketed to young teens is sending the wrong message: you MUST have large breasts to be attractive. That's BS and untrue. Besides, small breasts don't sag later on in life . . . party bonus!
If your kid is donning push-up bras day in and day out or showing the goods, your teen is dressing too sexy.
If You Can Share Clothes
Is your girl going out to a formal event and the dress would look perfect on you? Chances are it's too sexy. Sure, some moms and daughters are the same size and that's perfectly fine to swap clothes then on occasion, but you shouldn't swap everything. As an adult, you can get away with sexier attire for an event or a more fitted low-cut top than your teen. And there are some items your teen should wear and not you because the trends look silly on older women. Be careful with what you two swap.
Short and Shorter
I understand clothing companies are making things shorter for teens because I wear teenage sizes, but this doesn't mean as parents we should buy hot pants for a teenager. If the booty is on display or the yoga pants have the words "Kiss Me" or "I'm an Angel" above the butt, it might be a better idea for her not to wear them. Just saying.
The Whole Look: Makeup Too
I have seen 15-year-old girls with a fuller face of makeup than myself and while I am not against some concealer, blush, and lip gloss, a teen doesn't need to look like she just spent the day at the cosmetics department of Nordstrom. Their skin (minus the pimples) is dewier and fresher-looking than ours as adults!
Can They Handle It?
The first time I got catcalled at 14, I could not handle it. Can your teen handle provocative or inappropriate comments well? Does she understand the power she could have when dressing provocatively? If the answer is yes, well then maybe she can handle those hot pants. But it's very rare for a teen to be able to do just that. As a teen who found the sexual attention of her body both enticing and terrifying, I can assure you that most likely, she can't. And yes it's sad that we have to say this to our girls, but as mothers of daughters, we need to prepare them for the world "out there." The mothers of boys need to train their sons to control their actions and realize they have choices. They are not animals.
But teenagers cannot properly harness a sexual power because they are not adults. Plain and simple.
A teenage girl could have a gorgeous figure but if she dresses very sexy, can she handle what comes from it?
Remember, you cannot control other people, but you CAN teach your girl how to be smart with how she dresses. You CAN teach her how to dress right for her body type and what styles work well for her frame. When she is old enough to manage that sexual power, that's when she should break out the clingy dresses, if she so desires.
Focus on the Strength and Ability of the Body
Instead of having your daughter worry about her breast size and how her butt looks in those jeans, focus as a mom and woman yourself on the power of the body whether through sports, exercise, dance, or yoga. Compliment her on her strength and poise. Exercise with her or take hikes. Maybe even a bike ride. Put the focus back on all the wonderful things a woman's body can do, rather than all the ways to make her breasts look good in a tank top.
You may think it doesn't matter how she dresses or that I am being strict, but as someone whose body developed before she could truly handle it, please heed my warning. Unfortunately, there were too many parents who didn't teach their boys that they weren't animals and indeed had the ability to make good choices instead of acting like pigs. I came face to face with boys like that and suffered hard for their choices and my inability to believe I deserved better. For years, I focused on my body and weight. I didn't focus on what my body could do, but how it looked. How I pleased others if I looked good enough or not. Don't let this happen to your teenage girl before it's too late and her self-esteem ends up suffering.