Friday, March 1, 2013

The Golden Globes and Modesty: A Lesson For Violet

Ok, so this is post is no longer timely, as the Golden Globes took place in .... January? But I'm feeling that old need to blog again, and this is still  on my mind . . .

Violet is 9 1/2 years old and we keep her young. As young as possible. Some of the things we avoid include shows where the characters date -- if she's not of dating age we don't think she should be watching shows where the characters are. We avoid shows with swearing - I was excited about Scott Baio's new show (because, hello, Cha Chi!), but within the first 10 minutes he was saying 'damn' and 'hell.' This may not seem like much to you -- and I'm not judging you for that. We just feel, for our children, it's inappropriate. We've avoided, as best we can, the whole fat vs skinny deal and stressed being healthy. Last Spring we had to approach the needing a bra for the first time and buying clothing that I didn't pick out off the rack at Target or Kohls. She and I have talked some - her leading the discussion - about what it feels like to 'like' a boy (maybe, she wasn't sure. It was so ridiculously cute.).

But, we haven't had to delve deep into modesty. She wears a uniform to school and dresses/skirts to church and mostly jeans and cute tops otherwise.

And then I had the bright idea to have her watch The Golden Globes Red Carpet show with me. Because the dresses and hair would be such fun for us to see together.

Ummmm . . .

I reached for the remote to change the channel as the first partially exposed breast popped (ha) up on the screen, only to discover it was in the other room. Violet's eyes were huge and her mouth was hanging open. And I suddenly realized that this was the perfect, natural way to start a conversation about modesty, avoiding an awkward conversation started out of nowhere.

So I said, "Wow. Look at that. That dress is kind of low cut."

She looked at me and said, "What is that crease on her chest? Are those breasts? Why is there a dent between them?"

Ahhh, cleavage.

So we had a discussion about cleavage. In which I had to demonstrate how it is made. Good times, people.

She wanted to know if she'd have that some day, and would she have to show it off?

When all the 'key hole' necklines started appearing she leaned forward and openly oogled the women. Then she turned to me, horrified, and said, "Is that the side of her breast? Will it fall out?" So we talked about fabric tape and how they were all taped in to avoid a 'wardrobe malfunction.'

She had questions about how tight some of the dresses were and how the women could possibly walk in them. Then one of them tipped  walking up some steps and we giggled together.

Then she said, "Why is that women dressed like a man? The one next to girl in purple hair?"

I busted out laughing, I will admit. She was talking about Kelley Osburne and Ross, who do the fashion 360* mirror deal. I told her his name was Ross and he most certainly was a man. She looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Mom. Listen to his voice! That is a woman!" I couldn't argue that he sounded like a woman, so I just said that was just how his voice sounded.

We continued to have a great conversation about the dresses, the hair do's and which ones she found pretty. Then Jennifer Lopez walked by.

Violet about choked.

She looked at me, completely shocked and said, "MOM! That woman is naked! On TV!"

I explained that she wasn't naked, that there was a lining in the dress, so she was actually covered, it just looked like she was naked.  Violet stared at J Lo some more and asked, "But WHY would you want to look naked? On TV? In front of people?" So we talked about how different people find different  clothing appropriate. I did my absolute best to not be judgey while still teaching her what we find appropriate and what God finds appropriate.

It was so hard. What I wanted to say was, "You will NEVER dress like that! Turtle necks! Floor length skirts! Heavy tights! No make up! No skin! Most of these women look like whores!"

Instead, we acknowledged what parts of the dresses were pretty, what colors we liked. What hair do she'd like to try out. All in all, I have to say I feel like this was a parenting win. Every now and again we have those moments.

The sad part of this? The next night I watched some of Joan Rivers best and worst dressed review. Every single woman that was covered - that didn't have cleavage  up to her neck or her breasts exposed to her belly button, was ridiculed for not dressing appropriate to her age, for being dowdy and most were put on the Worst Dressed List. The women, namely Jennifer Lopez, who had exposed breasts and slits in their dresses up to their crotch, were declared to be 'true Hollywood elegance,' the 'epitome of what a star should look like,'

Not that I would take Joan River's advice on what to wear, but what a sad statement this is for our society.

Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now and tell you that while most of dresses did not impress me, I thoroughly  enjoyed the Golden Globes themselves and think Tina Fey and Amy Pohler should host every single awards show from here on out.