Mary Jo was interviewed recently by the editor of TwirlyGirlShop.com. Below are some of the questions Mary Jo was asked.
1. What do you consider to be age-appropriate or inappropriate for little girls and tweens (Ages 0-12)?
Anything parents do to promote their daughters sexuality is inappropriate. Having a bikini at the of 7or 8 is not necessary when a t-shirt and comfortable modest bottoms will do.
2. How do you encourage young girls to dress appropriately, especially when facing peer pressure?
Mom’s are the biggest role model and mentor. When moms dress in modest ways and promote health rather than sexualize or objectify their femininity girls grow up feeling more confident with what their body can do and form relationships based on friendship rather than sex.
3. Do you have any tips to get young girls to come to these conclusions on their own?
I promote getting girls involved in volunteer and sports activities. I think the more the focus in on serving others facing challenges (sports and music come to mind) the more value girls place on developing interests rather than trying to be pretty enough, sexy enough, or anything other than they are.
4. What are the short and long-term effects of young girls dressing inappropriately? (Self-esteem, etc.)
Girls who are sexualized by society or peer pressure really do grow up with a very narrow concept of beauty. This is not only damaging to self esteem, but it limits their capacity to develop confidence and comfort in their own skin.
5. Do you think societal norms are trending towards the better or worse?
I believe there is more recognition of the damage happening with the sexualization of young girls, and more media designed to help manage that…but girls who are raised in broken homes or with mom’s who don’t feel good about their bodies or life will be more affected by media’s sexualizing of young girls.
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