This past weekend I took my 11 year old daughter shopping for shorts. You would think this would be a fun girls outing, but it is a nightmare. I have to prepare her in advance and I have to make sure that we have a time when just her and I can go. This is nothing new though, because we do it every year. She knows that we will not buy any shorts unless she tries them on. This is because they are made to be so, so short.
This year was no exception. Our first stop was Kohls. My thought was that they would have a good mix of shorts. We made our way to the girls department and right in front was a pair of cotton shorts that looked like a good length. My daughter grabs a pair and we start to look around. Those were the ONLY ONES!!! Everything else had an 1 inch inseam and had glitter or patches or rips. The more we looked around the more furious I got. Not at the lack of selection but the lack of variety and I couldn’t help but think what are we as a society telling our daughters they need to dress like.
My daughter is tall for her age, not heavy and very athletic so in truth finding clothes for her is on the easier side. Relatively. She also doesn’t like the super short shorts so I don’t have to fight with her about them. But, she does get discouraged when she has to try on 5 different pairs of shorts and we end up with only 1 because the others are just too short.
I have no idea when shorts became so short. When did it become a thing to be able to see the pockets coming below the edge of the shorts? It needs to stop. If you are an adult and choose these items then go for it. But for children we need to make clothes that let them feel good about themselves no matter what their body type. Being a parent is hard enough without having to fight over something as simple as how long shorts are. THEY ARE SHORTS NOT UNDERWEAR!
The other thing I noticed was that everything is labeled “skinny”. WHY? I get that some kids are super skinny and need those kind of things, just like some kids are husky, but if everything is labeled skinny then what does it actually mean? Why not just have a size, why are we exposing our young daughters to such a powerful label in all of the clothing they look at? I just feel that in this day and age when everything is focused on being skinny and looking skinny I want to protect my daughter from that for as long as possible. It’s my job. She is beautiful, strong, and athletic. I don’t want her to care if she is skinny….
We both got so frustrated that we went to the “boys” department because their shorts are the polar opposite. They are so long that they could almost be capris. I don’t understand. Unfortunately everything had avengers or hulk or some other super masculine character and being 11 and in middle school that wouldn’t work.
So we left with 2 pairs in different colors of that one type of short that we grabbed first. I’m not busting Kohls either, we went to Target and the same thing. Their sport shorts are so short I’m not sure they are intended for any sport at all. They did have one pair of “bermuda” length shorts that worked. That is another label that makes no sense. Bermuda length shorts used to come to or below your knee. Now it means that your crotch isn’t going to show.
It just drives me crazy every year. This year I stopped and looked around the girls department it really hit me “What message are we sending our young girls?” With the #metoo movement gaining so much ground this year why are we still dressing young girls (ages 4 and up) in such revealing clothing? I don’t think that they need to be covered up, but they need to be comfortable and not be afraid of showing off all their “goods” while on the playground or with friends. It just makes me so angry.
I know that there are some great entrepreneur out there who have made shorts that are a more appropriate length. I applaud them and that might be the way that we will have to go in the future. I also know that I’m not the only one that is frustrated by this. So, in the end she has 3 pairs of shorts to start the summer.