It all began when my sister-in-law took my daughter out to buy some shoes several weeks ago. My daughter had a wedding to attend, and had outgrown her dress shoes. My husband’s sister loves shopping – especially for shoes – so I let them go together. My twelve-year-old came home with gargantuan wedges that must have been five inches tall! My angel was so proud of her purchase, as she clumsily modeled her new stilts – I mean shoes. I was horrified, but I chose not to smash her joy at that moment. (I wasn’t up for a fight!)
Last Saturday, excited at the prospect of our shopping adventure together, my daughter was up bright and early, dressed to the nines – with her very high heels on. I told her diplomatically that we were going to be doing a lot of walking, and that the shoes would not be appropriate. I asked her to go change. After some minor grumbling, she came out in topsiders, and we left. Our assignment was to find a white dress with “three finger width” straps no shorter than one inch above the knee and a pair of dress shoes. Oh my goodness – who knew that the assignment would be next to impossible!?
Why oh why does the fashion industry want us to dress our preteens and teens like seductresses? There is something fundamentally and morally wrong with that! I preach to my students about the importance of modesty, respect, dignity and self-respect. Much of the clothing on the racks made me sick! With regard to the shoe shopping, I had apparently not looked for shoes in quite some time. I did not realize that the super high heels are what is in style now. You can purchase flats or stilettos – There is not much in between. What are these young ladies who are just dying to grow up supposed to wear? Where did the small and moderate heels go?
After 7 1/2 hours of shopping and about 8 stores later, our mission was accomplished. Whew! We finally did find an attractive, off white, modest dress, and a pair of champagne colored shoes with a moderate heel. (I think it was the sparkles on the shoes that sold them for my spunky girl!) I know that the battle is just beginning. I have all of her teen years ahead to wrestle with clothing dilemmas. God, give me strength!