Sunday, October 14, 2012

YO, DADDY.


Occasionally, when I was in high school, I'd get dressed up to go on a date or out to a party with my girlfriends. I'd think I looked very cute and stylish. Until I walked into the kitchen.

Then my dad would perk up from 60 Minutes or the football game, eye me up and down, and pronounce, "Melissa, you look like a hooker."

And my blood would boil. I'd be FURIOUS. How dare he? All old and stuff! He didn't know what was in style! Jerk! I couldn't stand him! Who did he think he was?

I'd huff and I'd puff and I'd stomp back to my room, cursing him under my breath.

I'd look in the mirror. Curse him some more. And change my clothes.

Because that's the power a daddy has. When your dad - your old, dorky dad - says you look like a hooker, it trumps whatever a magazine or music video or friends said was cool. That jerk, he killed that outfit. All the stylish joy was just SUCKED right out of it.

I had no clue. I was young, all I cared about was looking pretty. My concept of pretty was doled out to me by other teenage girls, fashion magazines and MTV. None of which have ever once been extolled for their virtuous wisdom.

My dad, though, he had been a teenage boy once. He was now a man, so his sexuality had been tuned down, what, a percentage of a percent? He knew. He knew what teenage boys are like. He knew what grown men are like. He knew what I did not know. He knew what I - now, ten years married, "middle aged," college educated, well read, passionate for equality, with several women's studies courses under my belt - still only vaguely grasp.

Tonight, facebook is all abuzz with homecoming pictures. I'm looking at skirts on 15 or 16 year old girls that are so short, if they bend over...I'm looking at strapless dresses revealing some mighty cleavage on girls who haven't been potty trained for more than a decade. 

I'm thinking of my own sons, who in just a few years, wildly hormonal yet wildly clueless, will appear with a corsage on the doorstep of a girl whose daddy didn't say anything.

And I'm wondering, where the hell are these girls' daddies? Their daddies who know?

Have they so abdicated their role of protector, so emasculated themselves that they're scared to make her mad, so instead, they throw her to the wolves? Because that's sick.

Or are they proud of seeing their daughter look sexy? Because that's sicker.

I have a word for those daddies.

YO. DAD. 
MAN UP FOR YOUR PRECIOUS GIRL.
BECAUSE IN CASE YOU DIDN'T NOTICE - BUT I KNOW YOU DID - 

YOUR DAUGHTER LOOKS LIKE A HOOKER. 










59 comments:

  1. Love this. My daughter is only 9, but I know my husband would stand up and say something and it would be awesome if more men would do the same.

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  2. Lol, that's awesome. Yeah the world would be a better place with more dads like that!

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  3. Thank you, Missy, for this post. I just last night saw my niece's homecoming photos on FB, posted by her dad and step-mom, no less and felt the exact same way. I commented to my brother that I didn't realize they were wearing swimsuits to homecoming now-a-days and that his Dad skills were slipping. And she's a sweet girl, really not the hooker type. Breaks my heart.

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    1. I do NOT blame the girls. I remember being that age. I had no clue. I still think I only barely get how visual men are, and only because my husband and I have discussed it many times.

      But their dads? They know exactly. And in some sick, twisted way, they are proud of their daughter looking sexy. Or they are too chicken to fight with her, so they throw her to the wolves. And that makes me want to throw up.

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  4. Way to stand up, Missy.

    And I love that your dad had that kind of candor....tellin' it like it is :)

    Have a great Monday!

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  5. My dad would just look at me and say, "nope." And I knew. Thank goodness for my father.

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  6. so true!

    there was a mom CHAPERONE at my daughter's middle school dance that had the sluttiest costume in the room. she was a grown woman and i wish she had had a daddy like yours.

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    1. It can't come from the moms, for that reason and for others. When my mom didn't like what I wore, I'd argue with her, but she'd have to really put her foot down for me to not leave. My dad only had to say a word, and that was the end of it.

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  7. Way to tell it like it is, Missy!

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  8. THANK YOU!!! our daughter is only two months old, but my hubby and i have discussed this many times and i'm proud that he would never let her wear a skimpy outfit. he knows how guys are! the funny thing is, when we only dated he had to tell ME i was showing too much. it took me some time to understand, but i'm so glad my husband went through all those discussions with me (whats up with the guys that let their wifes look like hookers? are they proud? why would they allow other men to see what is only ment for them?)

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    1. I think they must be proud. I mean, they paid for surgery...

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  9. This is SO true. My dad would barely glance up and say, "Try again." I would be soooo mad, but now I am beyond thankful.

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  10. THANK YOU for saying it. I wish I had a daddy that told me "no"...but am SO THANKFUL that I do have a husband that will protect my daughters.

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  11. From a mommy to three little gentlemen - THANK YOU! It makes my job of teaching them to treat her like a lady so much easier when she actually looks like a lady!

    And funny story - We picked my grandma up from the nursing home for my cousin's wedding last November and there were so many young girls in uber-tall shoes and short short dresses there. My sweet little grandma was so confused and dismayed that she loudly wondered to my aunt across the table - "Why would they invite all these hookers to their wedding?" It was hilarious!

    And this is me going from stalker to commenter! :)

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  12. Great article! As a mom of boys, I appreciate the dads who protect their daughters, who are in turn helping me protect my sons.

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  13. Great post. "But daaaaaad every one dresses like this!" His comment, "well you aren't everyone. Go change. Not that I even owned much that could be viewed that way, my mom either sewed my things or bought them." I learned to love shoes and purses and make my statement with those!

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  14. Oh, and another thing. I get sick of shopping for SIX year olds and trying to figure out what mother would buy that stuff! They are still babies! Start me while they are young must be their motto!

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  15. So many girls and women don't value themselves as human beings. It is so sad! Our culture shoves females as sexual objects in our faces all the time (a bit like with junk food). That's why I'm so careful with my gorgeous girls. We don't have livestream television for this reason and I don't allow anything I think is promoting these (sometimes very subtle) negative ideas of self.

    My 9-year-old came home from school today and told me that a boy in her class had asked her repeatedly to be his 'girlfriend'. She said no, over and over. He said, "I'm going to ask you one more time..." to which the reply was still no. So he pushed her into a puddle. Very sensibly, she told the teacher. This is the second time something like this has happened to her. In the summer holidays, at our old house, a boy took a liking to her and wanted her to be his 'girlfriend' and when she refused he tricked her into falling into a storm drain. Is this a sign of the general attitudes of boys towards girls in an over-sexed culture, or is this my paranoia? Maybe she's just too darned cute and these immature boys react aggressively when she tells them no in no uncertain terms? I don't know. Nonetheless, she sticks up for herself and is adamant she is far too young to have a boyfriend (thank God!).

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    1. YIKES!!! Future date raper!! How did the school handle that?

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  16. Missy, you are right on. It boggles my mind when I see girls dressed like that sitting in church with both their parents. I just don't understand it! I know sometimes you just have to pick your battles, but this is one that should be picked. The girls have no idea how they come across b/c you are right...they just want to look pretty and fashionable. But Mom and Dad need to be the voice of wisdom.

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    1. I think you nailed it - this is one that should be picked.

      As for church, I've seen my friends dress in ways that perplexed me too. I'll never understand strapless dresses in church. Call me a granny, but.

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  17. Missy, my dad called me all kinds of names. He told me that I looked like a hooker (and worse) and it only fueled my fire to dress and act inappropriately. I guess is makes a difference when you know how much your dad loves you We didn't.

    Thanks to Jesus, I married a man who cherishes our three daughters and won't even let them wear bikinis as babies. Haha! Plus, as a huge bonus, my dad came around and is the most amazing grandpa to my girls. It's been very healing for me to see.

    (I know you don't like Anonymous comments, but I think you will understand in this case.)

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    1. I don't allow bikinis either, even as babies. Just for that start-out-as-you-intend-to-proceed thing.

      And I only dislike MEAN anonymous comments :)

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  18. I really like this post and seeing first-hand a homecoming after-party at our neighbors house,it was shocking. The girls were standing at the corner in red and gold "tight as their skin" dresses with cut-outs everywhere! My seven year old girl asked if they were going to a costume party. I replied, "Sadly,no".

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  19. We saw a bunch of those girls out this weekend too and my husband calls those "not-over-my-dead-body" dresses. Daddies need to man up for their babies.

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  20. BRILLIANTLY BOLD!!!! Please, for the love of God and His love of you, teach your daughter to respect herself!!! (I was hopeful Kate Middleton would incite a ripple of change, but nay, she has only a sliver of Di's influence).

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  21. thank you! i was looking at homecoming photos on fb, too, and was astounded at what girls were wearing. my question is about moms though. if a daughter goes shopping with mom for a dress. mom says yes but when they get home dad says no. girl argues, mom sticks up for daughter, dad relents. i'm pretty sure i know your answer, but is it all on the dad? do moms get a pass because they 'don't get it'? i totally understand about how it's different for a mom to say no than a dad. and my older daughter is only 9. i won't have to deal with this for awhile, but as i was looking at the photos i was thinking that i would never let her wear a dress like the ones i was seeing. i think what you are saying is super super important, i'm just wondering where the moms come in? or do they in a situation like this?

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    1. Um. Well. This is a loaded question.

      I truly believe that a wife must submit to her husband on this issue (and I also am assuming that a husband is normal and not a freak, okay?) Why? Well, let's not go into submission as a whole but just on this issue.

      Because he's a MAN. Because he has a PENIS. Because he was once a TEENAGE BOY. And if he looks at his daughter and believes that the outfit that she is wearing is too sexually appealing, then his never-had-a-penis wife needs to LISTEN TO HIM.

      Why any woman would argue with her husband about wanting her daughter to be sexier is beyond me.



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    2. I guess I didn't answer your question - yes. Mom is wrong, wrong, wrong.

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  22. In a lot of cases, including my daughters, the dad's have abdicated all their roles. For that very reason I have to fight three times as hard to make sure that they grow up to be the women God intended, despite their father that left us for the woman dressed like a hooker!

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    1. I'm sorry you have to do that, but I applaud you for sticking to your guns. They'll thank you - someday :)

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  23. Amen! Thank you for posting this. My dad would use reverse psychology on me "That's not short enough". As soon as those words left his mouth I would go change.

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  24. Amen. Sadly, some of these daughters' moms look like one, too. Even at church.

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  25. As a high school teacher, I have to say AMEN to this. And it goes way beyond prom; the things these girls wear to school are just shocking...as is the "My mom bought it for me and she thinks it's fine!" response when they are called on a dress code violation. And the parent phone calls that we need to "lighten up" on things like skirt length because "that's the fashion." I'm sorry, but when did HOOKER become a fashion?! The moment that broke my heart most was a dad saying, "Well, they might as well flaunt it while they have it!" Just gross.

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  26. Junior high teacher here. Patti is correct. It starts in junior high with some of the girls. Not only do they try to dress like a hooker, they talk like one, too. Or at least what I think a hooker talks like since I have never actually had a conversation with a hooker. Such little self respect with these girls.
    Thank you for writing this. Too bad the parents who really need to hear this won't.

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  27. I love that you are so candid. And I agree with you. My feed was filled with girls in dresses that barely covered Christmas. Good golly, what are we teaching these gals?

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  28. A. MEN. Thank you, from a mom of 2 little boys!!!!!

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  29. My husband actually yelled for me to come read this post. He's a fan of yours. Wonder how many Dad fans you have? He's also a stodgy Presbyterian with a Communication degree. He admires your writing so - says you must have a degree in English, Journalism or what-not.

    Great post. Wish my dad would have cared enough. I know my daughter's dad will.

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    1. ha!! I was an English major. Can't do math to save my life.

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  30. My husband actually yelled for me to come read this post. He's a fan of yours. Wonder how many Dad fans you have? He's also a stodgy Presbyterian with a Communication degree. He admires your writing so - says you must have a degree in English, Journalism or what-not.

    Great post. Wish my dad would have cared enough. I know my daughter's dad will.

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  31. Conn and I just had this EXACT conversation!!!

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  32. Oh my word.......you are so bold........I LOVE this post........constantly amazed by the clothes out there......I married a protector and am so thankful......raising two beautiful girls and a warrior boy......

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  33. Amen!!! I was looking at homecoming pictures (and then hid some of them so the other people in my family wouldn't have to see them ;-)) and had a new thought. I asked my husband, "Oh no! What happens if our son asks a girl to homecoming and he goes and picks her up and she is half naked???? What do we do? What does he do? Can we throw her a robe?" Even girls who normally dress well, seem to go nuts dressing for dances! Unfortunately, he didn't have an answer for me. Maybe our sons will just be all awkward and nerdy and no one will want to go out with them. Just kidding! Sort of...;-)

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    1. That happened to my friend (whose facebook photos prompted this post). She said she was shocked at what her son's date was wearing.

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  34. I was just talking to my hair stylist about this yesterday. She was out to dinner with her husband when a bus load of kids pulled up to eat before homecoming. She anxiously awaited seeing all the girls in their cute dresses and was floored by what she saw! Boobs and legs everywhere - she said she was embarrassed for her husband to see that - and this is a young (20 something) super cute girl. I could not believe the pictures I saw on FB, but noticed something interesting. Friends from Texas posted pics where 8 out of 10 girls were showing way too much skin (including many from a pretty conservative Christian school). I saw a few pics from friends in CO, DC, and the Midwest. Surprisingly, the girls looked totally age appropriate. Cute, fashionable but in no way overexposed. Is this a Texas thing?

    BTW - I'm from Texas, but I'm old. I know we didn't look like that when I was in HS - it just wasn't in style, I guess.

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    1. We didn't either. We rocked the puffy fuchsia taffeta back in the 80s.

      Texas has always been more body conscious and more into 'style'. I've noticed this whenever I have traveled to other places, especially up north. I remember going to visit a friend in NYC and she was shocked that I brought earrings for each outfit. We went to a bar in the Hamptons and I was all Texas-ed up and the other girls looked like they just rolled out of bed.

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  35. And not just middle and highschoolers- how about bridal gowns. I could count on one hand the modest bridal gowns that I've seen in the last decade. I keep thinking the brides must be opting for gowns on the reduced rack because the gown is truly half-off and that half is always the top half.

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  36. Wow, Missy. My husband is having to take that role with my 15 year old niece whose father is not in the picture. So hard, yet so important. Someone recommended a book to me. I have not yet read it (my son is five) so I don't know how good it is but I thought about it when I read your post. It's called "Aggressive girls, Clueless boys" by Dennis Rainey.

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  37. YES!!! Thank you Missy! I have been thinking the same thing for so long! My son is only 4 and he's our only child (not for lack of trying for another :(...but that's another story) anyway...I often think of what teenage girls are wearing now and how much worse it will be in 10 years and it scars the beejeezers outta me!! Stand up Daddy's out there...your little girls need you!

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  38. My dad wasn't really in the picture much when I was a teen, but you better bet my mama told me quite a few times I looked like a hooker. In fact, I have some issues with spaghetti strap shirts thanks to mom. Ha! But, she looked after me in ways I didn't fully get until I was older, and I am so grateful for it now.

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  39. Outstanding. I'm so glad we were in good company together on The Diaper Diaries! :)

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