Karen, your comment was so good, I'm going to publish it as a blog entry. (For the confused ones, we called each other "Slook", rhymes with "spook", in college, I forget why, but it has lasted.)
In response to the challenge of parents in teaching their children the importance of modesty, Karen wrote:
As far as girls' clothing goes, it's definitely scary what people think is okay for little girls to wear, and there seems to be less and less difference between the styles in the juniors section and the girls section. Oy! All I can say is teach, teach, teach, and start talking when they are still very young. I remember doing an FHE lesson using Barbies years ago. We dressed them up in all kinds of outfits then talked about what was modest and why and what things we didn't want to wear. A few weeks later, we were at Olive Garden for dinner, and it was obviously prom nite somewhere. A bunch of girls in beautiful dresses strolled by with their dates, and Courtney leaned over and said, "Mom, that girl's dress isn't modest." =) They can recognize it just like we can. One other thought: I was at a stake YW activity last nite - in conjuction with the broadcast from Salt Lake - and the evening was all about being modest. Part of the program included a video with clips from different young men around the stake talking about how they view girls who dress immodestly. It was interesting to hear the two same points over and over again: 1) it actually makes them extremely uncomfortable and 2) their assumption is that the girl must not really care about herself very much. It's almost a feeling of urgency for me. Looking at the state of the world and its values and wanting to do everything I can for my daughters. I keep coming back to making sure I teach them well - not only about what's right and wrong but also about who they truly are and building their confidence so they can more easily rise above the filth all around them. Sometimes, those long-ago days of toddler tantrums look pretty good. =)
Great, response. I love the idea of using Barbies (or any doll--I wasn't allowed to have a Barbie when I was young) to illustrate modest vs. immodest dress. And, even though I don't have a daughter, I did teach school for 13 years and I still remember the feelings of protectiveness I had towards my little girls of all ages. Teaching in inner city neighborhoods, the girls seemed to grow up even faster, if you can imagine, and when I would sometimes see them at school events not wearing their uniforms I was just saddened and appalled at the things their parents would buy. Not all, but some. I think about those girls now and wonder where life has taken them. Part of me wants to know, and...part of me doesn't.
(By the way...the image above is something I found when Googling the search "modest vs. immodest." It took me to another blog by a mother facing the same challenges. The doll is one her daughter got as a gift. Mom felt the outfit was too suggestive and she modified it. Bravo! Her entry can be found HERE.)