17 yo daughter's risque clothes choices(77 Posts)
My daughter (17 and a half) has had a quite womanly figure from her early teens. This has never seemed to be much of a problem, apart from her being I think a little embarassed by constantly having to ask me to buy her larger bras for a couple of years. She dressed quite normally, not conservative but not revealing either, just about right (I have never given her any advice on dressing until very recently, she seemed to have the right judgment herself). She certainly did not ever come to me with any problems she encountered as a result.
However, in the last 18 months or so she seems to be wearing more and more revealing clothes, especially as now she has a part-time job she has more freedom to buy clothes herself (not that I forced her to wear anything she didnt want to before). She now mostly wears a 32GG or 34G bra (they have been that size for about two years now....they also arent as huge as those sizes might make them sound if you're small like me..with a regular blouse and a decent bra they're barely noticeable) and she is otherwise very slim and toned as she is very active and eats well (I actually feel she spends too much time on fitness as I dont want her to become obsessed with it). In some ways she has the hourglass type figure most women (including myself!) would kill to have, which is good for her in a way but I'm becmoing uncomfortable with how much she seems to be flaunting it. At the beginning of last summer, once she started to have money of her own from a parttime job, she started buying lots of plunge bras, and wearing them with strappy tops and low-cut dresses which really puts her boobs right in your face which makes me and my husband really very uncomfortable a lot of the time, especially when other people are around. She even seems to have changed the clothes she wears to school to better show off her figure (the school has a uniform and dress code but it is not really that restrictive), so I am sure this is intentional what she is doing. She is a very pretty girl and should not need to dress in such a way to get male attention (if thats what she is doing, I dont know, it may be a competitive thing with other girls).
It is very difficult for me to argue with her because I know on one level she is right. She is adamant that its unfair that she should be not allowed to wear strappy tops or bikinis just because she has big boobs, and that she is not a "slut" just because she has big boobs. And she is completely right of course! The things she is wearing would be completely non-issue on a girl with smaller boobs. And I accept that she's proud of being very in shape. But still, this is the world we live in! Whether she likes it or not, she IS going to be thought of as "easy" or "asking for it" or whatever such stupid thing. But how can I say that without saying that she can't wear the same things as other girls just because she was unlucky or lucky enough to develop a big bust? Or perpetuating the stereotypes. One of the times I've brought it up, once was a huge fight, in which she said I was just "jealous" (I am not very voluptuous at all and never have been). I have absolutely no idea how I can bring it up again without it being an even bigger fight.
She has had one boyfriend (a nice lad who we got on with well and approved of) for about two years before they broke up, for reasons she has not explained that much about (it does not seem to have been the result of a falling out). As far as I remember the change in the way she dresses seems to have started around the same time (about 18 months ago) so I think it may be a confidence issue related to the end of that relationship? She certainly seems to still have a very active social life going by the constant use of her phone and her being constantly out. I do know from an accidental off-hand comment from a neighbour that on one occasion about six months ago she apparently had a boy over to our house when myself and my husband were away for the weekend (she does not know I know this), but she seems to be single at the moment, for what that's worth nowadays.
It makes me constantly anxious when she goes out with her friends dressed in the way she does (they say they're going to each others houses for sleepovers and such things but they could be anywhere). I also dont know what she's sharing on social media, and don't know how to bring that up as I do not really use it myself. That is a whole other thing. She has never mentioned any harassment either online or offline to me, and we have a relatively communicative relationship (I think).
She is also doing very well academically, so I am hesitant to make a big deal out of it for fear of disrupting that (or simply coming across as just cruel considering she is working very hard).
And yes, my mother told me off for what I wore when I was a teenager too. I know I know I know.
Finally, at the end of everything is the fact that she's 17, so almost an adult and old enough to go off herself wherever she likes, and free to not listen to anything I say. But that also makes me feel like I'm running out of time to let her be aware of the real world before she goes off into it by herself. And I feel just physically sick when I think of the perverts lurking out there. I do not want her playing with fire.
Thanks for reading if you made it all the way!
Really op? She's 17. Let her wear what she wants!
Is that you Derek? You Mum says your clean pants are ironed and outside your bedroom door and not to forget to pick up her prescription.
At this stage in her life I honestly think this is a battle that isn't worth fighting. But I do sympathise with your discomfort.
Because of the generation gap she is unlikely to value your opinion on her dress sense.
She's exploring the effect of showing her cleavage. It will probably be a phase. I'd boost her self-esteem by letting her know you love her for who she is and are proud of her.
My DD went through a phase of wearing very short skirts - she has nice legs. The only thing that got her to change was the time two friends, one male and one female came to our house on the way to a party. I pointed out, nicely, I think, that she would have to stand up the whole evening and not bend down if she didn't want to have her pants on display. After a bit of laughter her friends agreed and persuaded her to change. A couple of years on she's a jeans and funky shoes type.
It is not about "letting her wear what she wants". I thought my post made it clear that I have no intention of telling her what to wear, let alone enforcing anything. In fact what I am searching for is a way to give advice WITHOUT making it sound like a old witch stuck in Victorian times or without "victim blaming". I and I imagine most if not all of the women here have experienced something that could be called "sexual harassment", perhaps at a relatively young age. My mother gave me no advice or anything related to that, I was left to discover it on my own. I don't want to make that same mistake and I don't want my daughter to discover it through some sort of traumatic event that forever colours her attitude towards men and/or sex. Pretending the culture of sexual harassment is a non-issue doesnt make it go away for goodness sake.
And I dont even mind the going out to parties part of it, it's the relative appropriateness of it for different situations.
Thank you, rogueantimatter, for your understanding response. I will stick with my "just a phase" attitude towards it and keep her on my side as it were so she can come to me with any problems. I do wish this "phase" had come two or three years ago however
and yes, she's 17. Would this be a concern at 15? 13? 12? When do I stop being a parent? My two sons are 20 and 23 and are certainly not in a place where they no longer need any guidance or explanations of life from their parents (and no this is not us forcing advice on them this is them calling us to ask us things or to explain things)
I too have a large-busted 17 year old daughter who wears revealing stuff. It's her money and as long as she's dressing appropriately for college(which she does) I've let it go. I do understand where you're coming from, I'll confess that in my eyes girls who dress provocatively are seen as less intelligent, will get more male attention and yes I fear people will judge me as a parent too. Not proud of this, just honest.
Oh, the "judging me as a parent" part had never even occurred to me. Ugh. Thanks for that
Your post is odd. You sound overly focused on her boobs. She's 17 and experimenting a bit with clothes. Perhaps it's time to start looking at your relationship with her and thinking about how it can develop into a more adult relationship?
Yes, you know who is also "overly focused" on boobs? Heterosexual men.
Once again: pretending sexual harassment doesntn't exist will not make it go away.
And my interactions with her have been on an adult level, thank you. Adults also disagree and have disputes with each other and give each other advice.
And I'll repeat that I have not ever once told or ordered my daughter to wear or to not wear anything since she was a child (as in, wearing no jacket on a cold day or something). I want to give her useful advice not to tell her what to do
Sexual harassment is the fault of the person doing the harassing. HTH.
You say you are not very endowed but still suffered sexual harassment. So the boobs are irrelevant. Men that are that way inclined will harass her because she's female. There are 10 yo girls in uniform being harassed. Flat chested women. Big boobs women. Women running. Thin women. Fat women.
When i was 14 I was quite developed and my grandfather asked if he could cop a feel. A looser tshirt might've hidden them,but that's not the point is it?
When I was 17 I did play on my boobs a lot. It was an issue of self esteem and pretty fucked up,but it also gave me confidence. To keep my head up high ,back straight ,chest out and say fuck off to twats.
I'm well-aware of that thank you. There is no way I would ever think otherwise. I am not saying it is right that women's clothing choices are read as romantic overtures by men, I am simply attempting to deal with the fact that they WILL BE. I am not living in a perfect world, I Am living in this one. If you were in a more conservative country where exposed hair or exposed legs were read as sexual availability, would you simply ignore that and just plan to take the toll of the inevitable harassment until the men of that country become enlightened about gender relations?
Things it is pointless to argue with a teenage girl over are
Let it go, seriously.
Knowing harassment is not your fault does not make it any less painful to endure.
You sound very, very focussed on your daughters breasts
I've got an 18 year old and yep she wears what she wants, I don't think it's worth arguing about clothes. As long as her bits are covered and she's not bare breasted that's ok with me.
The good thing about having older dc is you can wear their clothes, in my case we're the same size
@user1495105406 women in those countries that are covered from head to toe are still harassed and raped.
"You say you are not very endowed but still suffered sexual harassment. So the boobs are irrelevant."
I only have a vague idea if all the harassment I have encountered throughout my life is a lot, or not much, on average, however. I dont think it's unreasonable to assume though, given what men are cultured to like in our society, that if I was less of a skinny beanpole I would be statistically more likely to encounter it.
"You sound very, very focussed on your daughters breasts"
I am because she is.
Don't think that the people who scoff at this aren't also expressing their own (patriarchal) dress code. You are not as enlightened as you think you are. When was the last time you went to the shops wearing only your underwear, for example? And if you haven't, why not? You havent thrown out the rules, you've just changed them a little.
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