Tuesday, August 05, 2008

She's growing up too fast

My three year old daughter woke up this morning and decided to dress herself without consultation. There is this bikini bra-top that she's been dying to wear. Sadly, I bought it for her. However, as soon as I brought it home I realized that even though it was in her size, it was inappropriate for a three year old to wear. Accordingly, I did what any self respecting mother would do in my position, I shoved it all the way to the back of her drawer.

Yet, what do I see poking out from behind her shirt? That's right, the straps to said obnoxious bikini top. It's detection prompted a very mature conversation between mother and daughter about the merits of appropriate bra usage. What follows is the outcome of that discussion:

me: Sadia, what are you wearing underneath your shirt?
Sadia: my bra
me: Honey, that isn't a bra.
Sadia: Yes it is; it's my bra. I have to wear my bra.
me: No, you don't.
Sadia: YOU wear a bra all the time.

Can you see her logic? You have breast, which is why you wear a bra. I have breasts, therefore I have to wear a bra too. Since I do not actually own a bra, I have to use the next best thing.., my swim suit bra top. She's too young to understand that what is appropriate for mommy, a grown woman, is not always fitting for her, a child.

Now, I can respect this kind of logic, trust me. I'm sure that I've used the same argument before with my mother. However, just as it was with my mother, so it goes with me--her argument ain't flyin'. The conversation resumes:

me: Sadia, mommy wears a bra because it would be inappropriate for an adult not to (Women's Libbers, please refrain from commenting). Three year olds don't wear bras, because they aren't suppose to.
Sadia: I need a bra so, so, so, so my big breasts don't get wet.

While I can appreciate the subtle joys of dry breasts, Sadia's rationale proves to me why it was a good idea in the first place to shove the swim suit to the back of her dresser. She can't distinguish underwear from swim wear. Additionally, her argument prompts my own memories of hurrying to grow breasts.

I can remember running around the house with rolled-up tube socks meticulously tucked into my training bra. Despite their lopsided tendencies, and the discomfort of having the super small support cup on my training bra stretched out-of-wack due to the newly implanted protrusions, I pranced around the house pleased as punch.

Except here's the caveat. Our little girls are growing up too fast. Reflecting on my childhood, dancing through the house in my training bra, I was twelve years old. My daughter is only three years old, and already she feels the compulsion to defend bogus breasts.

With the clothes, the make-up, the t.v. shows, and the music it seems that the stuff that I was drawn to at twelve is being marketed to girls at age three. Sadly, I bought into it, because after all this stuff is too cute to pass up. Besides that, all of the other little three year olds are wearing it (hopefully red flags are going off all over the place in your mind as you've recognized this kind of reasoning from, let see.., when was that.., oh yes, that's it-- JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL).

I know that it's just a swim suit, but I believe that the pressure for our little girls to grow up too fast has gone too far. It's becoming harder and harder to find one piece children's swim suits, or panties that aren't bikini cut or low rise. Call me old-fashioned, but I'm fighting like heck to leave the grown-up stuff for when she grows up. What about you? Do you think that little girls are pressured to grow up too fast?


Brazenlilly said...

Heck, yeah, they are pressured into growing up too fast and I'm scared to death! It scares me that I see elementary school students texting on their OWN cell phones. It scares me that a family friend with a 7 year old told her mom she needed to shop at Abercrombie or she wouldn't "be cool." Aaaa! I believe it is going to be a lifelong (or at least about 25 years per child) battle for us to instill individuality, self-confidence and esteem in our children in a world that tells them they aren't "cool" until they [fill in the blank].

Anonymous said...

I love girls, and i love being a girl, but i am so glad i don't have a girl....i seriously don't know how i would deal with this stuff....especially since I STILL WEAR A TRAINING BRA! Seriosly, 2 babies, and still no boobs. O'well...send the bra to me Dionne!!

Anonymous said...

That last comment was from me...kellianne :)

Sarah said...

Man, this TOTALLY resonates with me too. We have three girls now - the oldest is 5.5, and I am HARD PRESSED to find other parents who feel the same. Most of the other kids (even at church) are completely into Hannah Montana and High School Musical ... interested in "secret crushes" on boys ... and the clothing - UGH.

Let's let our kids be KIDS.


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