How short are too-short shorts for your daughter?

why mom not allow daughter to wear shorts - ZenParent

I have a daughter who just turned a teenager. She told me that she is most comfortable only in shorts and, therefore, she wants her wardrobe mostly to consist of shorts. I am ok with it. I am comfortable in shorts too, except that sometimes I get conscious about my conservative neighbours gossiping about why “that lady” is in shorts so I settle for capris or jeans and reserve my shorts for vacations. However, I do have one rule for her. It cannot be shorter than an inch above her knee. We once went to an exhibition of export reject clothes –Calvin Klein- where a lot of shorts were on sale; very pretty prints, but they were all mid-thigh or shorter and my daughter was really excited. But I said “Sorry, we will not be buying any of them.” Strangely, she quietly agreed. Not a word arguing for them. I was actually a bit shocked. I would like to imagine she is sensible for acquiescing and sensing the reason behind that decision.

I want my daughter to be comfortable in shorts. But I don’t want it to get inappropriate when she sits down and it rides up her thighs, or gives her a wedgie (when your shorts get stuck in your butt!) I also think there is an element of sexuality that creeps into clothing, when they cross a certain line. I will admit, that line is different for every individual. But I really do not care much for teen clothing with words like “cute” stamped across the butt, shorts that are more like underwear in length, shorts that can disappear under long t-shirts leaving the onlooker wondering whether you are wearing anything underneath. All of these, in my opinion, send sexual messages to the onlooker. We finally went to a different clothing store, and all the shorts in the girls’ section were only mid thigh. My daughter quietly wandered to the boys’ section and picked out a comfortable pair of shorts. She tried it on and told me, “Mom, I am ok with these; who cares which section we picked it out from.”  A proud mommy moment, no doubt.

I am feminist enough to say that I want my daughter to be brave and walk the roads at 10pm at night, but I am also practical enough to say, you better not be wearing clothing that sends out wrong signals or flagging down an unknown vehicle for a lift. No matter what you are wearing, it won’t hurt to carry a can of  pepper spray in your purse!

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