She looked like she was 17 years old and not 30 — kudos to her mom.
She and I sat in the auditorium as children and parents poured into the gym.
All the boys appeared to be dressed age appropriate, as did several of the girls. But there were girls with necklines plunging to mid-chest, gowns with slits close to the hip bones, mini dresses stopping near mid-thigh, more makeup than Snooki, 3- and 4-inch heels, no jackets, no wraps and a lot of skin.
Maybe because my daughter is 10 years old, I might be a little more “picky.” But I think what makes a gift a gift is the ability to anticipate what is inside the box.
As parents who were once teenagers ourselves, I believe we need to step back and look at what we are creating.
Are we building a society of teenage girls whose existence is tied into who can reveal the most body, or a society of girls who understand that their value is on the inside?
The bad thing is not that they wear it. The bad thing is that as parents, we buy it. Yes, I know they can go to school and change their clothes, but when they exit our houses to attend a party, church, the prom, maybe we can ask ourselves what we are teaching our daughters by allowing this manner of exposure. And what we are teaching our sons about what we think about our daughters.
How can I expect boys to be respectful to her if I allow her to disrespect herself?
When you give little kids a present wrapped in a beautifully papered and bowed box; often after the child has ripped all the pretty paper off and opened the present, the child plays with the box for hours and days — creatively making up games and having the best time with the box.
As parents, we need to teach our girls that sometimes the best present they can give themselves is to be the box. That way, the person receiving the present can enjoy it much longer, and they themselves can become whatever they want to become.
• Yolande Barial is a Tracy resident and mother. She is among a select group of local residents with columns in the Tracy Press.