The Death of Innocence and Pretty

The sexual revolution has radically, tragically changed us. Lately, I just can’t get over the sexualization of our girls. From Victoria’s Secret’s new, seductive line of lingerie for young girls, to just a general observation, we seem to have lost even the desire to preserve innocence, the once-favorable trait that lent true beauty to women.

I loved this:

“By nature, generally when men see this combination [innocence and virtue] in women it brings out their better qualities, their best in fact.  That special combination of beauty and innocence, the pretty, inspires men to protect and defend it.

Young women today do not seem to aspire to pretty, they prefer to be regarded as hot. Hotness is something altogether different.  When women want to be hot instead of pretty, they must view themselves in a certain way and consequently men view them differently as well…pretty inspires men’s nobler instincts to protect and defend.  Pretty is cherished. Hotness, on the other hand, is a commodity.  Its value is temporary and must be used.  It is a consumable.” From The Death of Pretty

Tragically, promoting seduction is not limited to those who don’t know Christ. Many times I have checked my Facebook status with disbelief to see my Christian friends “showcasing” their little girl’s (or big girl’s) sexuality, not only condoning, but flaunting pictures of their daughters dressed in clothing specifically fashioned to be seductive, and even defending their choice to do so.

It has made me take a closer look–because we’re all affected, bombarded with sexuality as the norm–at what I am encouraging in my girls and in my own conduct and dress.

“Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies.”

We’ve got our work cut out if we are to raise virtuous women in a sex-crazed culture, especially when our own friends and family are buying into it. But just like everything else, the culture can not be our standard. Press own, friends.

21 Responses to “The Death of Innocence and Pretty”

  1. Keri says:

    I have two single daughters. They are modest and beautiful. It absolutely drives me nuts sometimes when I hear Christians talking about how “Hot” their wives or girlfriends are. Some of them do not seem to have a problem with the wife going out in public or to church Hot! This doesn’t send a great message to our young people! I just read an article the other day about how sensual shoes have become. I realized..it’s true! Look at the colors and heels.It’s like women are screaming..Look at my legs and my hot shoes! I have seen it in church.Nope..I’m not jealous…lol..just perplexed!

  2. Laura says:

    It’s hilarious, because as I have strived to dress both MORE womanly and MORE modestly, I have noticed mixed reactions from others…there are times when I have walked with my kids (in the summer) while wearing a completely modest full skirt, a simple matching t-shirt, and a soft, feminine hairstyle, and felt like I was being gawked at…but not so much in a “she’s hot” way, as much as a “wow, a real woman!” way…does that make sense? The weird part is that I’m not always sure how to react to this…there are times when it freaks me out and I want to go put on Amish clothes and other times when I feel like any admiration I receive must be entirely appropriate, since there is nothing “hot” to gawk at! But I know what you mean…I don’t know if the Lord will ever bless us with a baby girl, but if He should, I’m seriously tempted to make ALL her clothes! And accept very few–if any–hand-me-downs…so we don’t end up with BRATZ brand…actually maybe they are gawking at the picture of a woman with more than two children…who is actually smiling… 😉

  3. Jennifer says:

    That IS shocking and upsetting. What is WRONG with these women?? I’m very fond of a few actresses, have spoken several times to one, and I’m constantly praying they’ll guard themselves and that the young one will continue to do so.

  4. 6 arrows says:

    I heard about that line of undergarments Victoria’s Secret has for young girls now. How horrible that they are targeting our precious daughters with merchandise in the styles and with the messages printed on them that they do. Sick and sad beyond belief.

  5. Dianne says:

    I was at Walmart in the little girl’s section a few months back and my then three year old daughter exclaimed, “Look, Mommy, little nurses! Can I have one?” My daughter calls bras “nurses,” but what was disturbing as I got closer is that they were padded, mature looking bras for little girls. I don’t remember what size they started at, but they were definitely on the smaller end, for little girls. And then a couple of months later I saw a petition circulating about asking Walmart to stop selling padded underwire bras for small girls as that would encourage pedophiles and such.

  6. Kelly L says:

    Really true and unbelievably sad. We’ve noticed this in some friends. Half the time, it really isn’t the clothing, it is the positioning of the body for pictures, the seductive look toward the camera.

    The worst thing is this is in Christians. I am waiting for God to give me the “go” to talk to them. Until then, praying that God changes hearts.

  7. tammy says:

    Thank you Kelly for the encouragement. It is hard to constantly go against the tide, it is very tiring sometimes. I have a 20yo and 16yo daughters. I thank God for His grace in their lives that they desire modesty and feminine clothes. I do know in my own life if it were not for God’s grace, there go I. It is a yielding to that grace that believers must strive for. We tell our daughters how very precious and valuable they are and they do not have to imitate the world to be beautiful. Thanks again, for the good word of encouragement to press on!!

  8. Another place it has spread is into little girls’ ballet and dance classes. We went to a dance recital for some friends and I really wanted to take my boys OUT when the bigger girls started. It was downright obscene.

  9. Kristen says:

    It is so hard to find girls’ clothes anymore. I found some darling, traditional dresses for my little girls (2 & 3 years old) for Easter at Target, but for my 7 year old girl, nothing. I was disgusted. I ended up with a little sundress and a sweater shrug to wear over it, but I still wasn’t pleased.

  10. Annie D says:

    Shopping for clothes really is challenging. Last Thanksgiving my 10 year old daughter needed a new party dress, and the holiday dresses for little girls are adorable! But once you get into the preteen sizes? Horrible. Trampy. I ended up modifying an old ball gown of mine and she was happy with that.

    I always aim for modest and appropriate in my appearance. I don’t want to be underdressed (as in drawing attention for being sloppy) or “hot”. And the shoes are crazy! Who can wear that stuff? I was visiting a podiatrist and I commented on the paintings of high heels he had on the wall. “I LOVE high heels,” he said. “High heels are putting my kids through college.” Ha!

  11. Mrs L says:

    My Dad always says: ‘It’s a sad thing in our culture that women don’t blush anymore.’
    Its even sadder that girl’s are encouraged to be provocative.
    Thank you for the encouragement. When the base-line way that our society values women (and teaches them to value themselves) by measuring how physically desirable they are, teaching our sons and daughters the true worth of women is so important.

  12. gradchica says:

    My alma mater recently announced major changes to its traditional junior-year women’s formal–previously…I graduated in 2003, so this isn’t ancient history…women were asked to dress in white or ivory and we were escorted down a huge staircase by our fathers, or another escort of our choice, and our hometown and majors were announced. I loved it–it was a night to feel beautiful, classy, and celebrated, and to thank your father & family for their support through your college career. Now, women are asked to wear black and the whole escort thing has been scrapped. The color change was meant to be “inclusive”, because white was deemed offensive or off-putting because of its relationship to marriage and virginity. The first thing I thought was, “Oh no, that will mean a race to the bottom for slinky, “hot” dresses”. It’s hard to find a “hot” white formal gown unless you’re really determined, so the night used to be about freshness and beauty, not sexuality. It’s hard to find a formal black gown that isn’t sexy and provocative. Sad, sad.

  13. Amy says:

    I am currently expecting my first little girl and I am already worried about this issue. I walked my husband through a girl’s clothing department at a local department store and he was shocked!! We immediately went home and made a list of appropriate and inappropriate clothing for our unborn daughter and sent it to our family. We have decided to stand strong and dress her modest from birth, NO exceptions. I hope our family is willing to support us in our decision.

  14. Erica says:

    I am so THANKFUL you touched on this subject!!! Having 2 little girls (5 & 7 yrs) I am just now beginning to face the whole “dressing myself” and “choosing my OWN clothes” concepts…seems my 7 yr old is leading the charge with little sis following closely behind. And it seems try as I might it NEVER matters what clothes I surround them with – they ALWAYS seem to find a way to make them *hot* instead of not. I am serious…they will take ANY outfit that I give to them and try to find a way to make them look like the little girls that they see around the neighborhood. (I will admit to making the mistake of letting them watch a couple of shows on the Disney channel that had good messages, but the clothing was leaving something to be desired, although more clothed than some shows on other channels it was still a tad disturbing to see young girls dressed like Paris fashion models!)

    I have been trying to find a way to teach them that being a young lady doesn’t mean showing off your body. I stress that it’s the inside that matters…but I really struggle with them hearing what I say vs. watching what other girls their age are wearing. And it doesn’t help that even our Christian friends will let their teens wear anything they want claiming they need to choose their battles and let the small stuff slide by. I don’t feel that the way they present themselves is small stuff by any means. But getting my girls to realize this is a constant battle.

    While doing spring cleaning my blanket & sheet cabinet I came across a slew of pillowcases that (for whatever reason) I had hung onto over the years that didn’t match anything else in the cabinet. I got this idea that I could quite simply turn them into little dresses with a few nips & stitches. So I asked my oldest daughter (since she’s been asking to learn to sew & her father just found us a machine in the trash) if she’d like to help me make the dresses. I also asked if she’d wear them once done since that was the whole point. She said yes on both counts. She is even going so far as to create special drawings to design them with added flounces, bows, ribbons, sequence, lace, etc. Hopefully I can use this to help them make good decisions on their dress. We’ll see.

    • Rachel says:

      Wow, I am surprised your daughters are already trying to look *hot* at 7 and 5. Yikes! That is scary. I have a very head strong 5 year old little girl that is more of a bossy leader than a follower 😉 She doesn’t care what anyone else is doing, SHE knows exactly what she wants to wear. Thankfully right now it is long dresses that can twirl. We have trouble getting her to dress “appropriate” for other things. Like a hike in the woods or climbing trees with her brothers don’t work too well in floor length frilly dresses. I hope it doesn’t change. Right now she doesn’t really know any other girls except me and a few girls she sees at church. Our family is really overrun by boys!

  15. Janet says:

    I am new to your blog, and it has been such an encouragement! I believe you are just up the road from me, based on your tornado stories–more bad weather today.
    I get the looks too, of admiration for modest dress, and am so glad that I am able to make an impact on someone in that way.
    I make alot of my girls dresses , and find long skirts at thrift stores. It is difficult to find longer skirts for young girls! I have also picked up some teen sized baby-doll sundresses at thrift stores, and cut them off at the bust, to make long skirts for my 7-9yo girls.

  16. Katie says:

    While they can be more costly, there are some *real* girls’ clothes available from the likes of Lands End and Hanna Andersson, HA goes up into teen sizes (in fact, i’m such a small adult that I’m wearing a pair of their tights that are meant for girls right now!) If you don’t sew, try Ebay for HA clothes!

  17. I love/like/adore this post, it really helped me/myself move forward. I really enjoy dating/going out/having fun!

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