Friday, February 24, 2006

Redmum column February 23

YEAH The Echo received a letter about the article on blogging last week from another blogger and fellow nominee in the Irish Blog Awards 1169 and Counting. Nice to meet you!


And here is this week's column concerning teenage fashion.

RedMum column Feb 24

The dangers of being a fashionable teen.

Back in the olden days when I was a teenager (1980s), the more you covered and the more layers you covered with, the better and cooler you looked.

Whether it was a reflection of the general downbeat and depression of the time the fact is, there were no bare midriffs, no belt-miniskirts (not without thick woolly black tights anyway) and there was certainly much less skin on show than there is now.

And this is where I sound old, but times have certainly changed.

I suppose it is mostly a sign of the times and the generation gap, well mini-skirts did raise more than a few eyebrows in the 1960s, but the get-up of most teenagers now makes me want to run home and get them a big warm coat to cover themselves up with.

Mostly I think it is great that the young people have this busting and over-brimming confidence, after all life knocks so much out of you, isn’t it better to start off with bucket-loads?

But I do worry about the sexual messages being sent out by the fashions and trends.

Those of you who saw the newspaper pictures of the teenagers going to that Southside disco will know what I mean.

One of the pictures that I won’t forget is the one of the girl in a very short mini skirt kneeling having a drink and it looked like she had no underwear on.

Maybe she didn’t, but I prefer to think that she was actually wearing something, however small.

It is hard to get the message across to your teenager that respect for yourself and your body is one of the most important values we should have.

Particularly when you are confronted by opposite from this from when you wake up in the morning until you go to bed at night.

Over Christmas we were out shopping at a Dublin shopping centre and a new nightclub was opening up and that non-celebrity Abi Titmus was plastered twice across a 30-foot wall in nothing was tiny knickers and what can only be described a soft-core pose.

How can we as parents compete with that?

Sexuality is used to sell more than ever. And of course it has always played some role, but it absolutely prolific from all directions nowadays.

Our young people are hearing one message from us their parents, another from the music they listen to, another from their own peers, from television, from newspapers, from all corners of life.

We have had chainstores selling sexy underwear for the under 10s, music videos that leave nothing to the imagination whatsoever, the fact is our children are exposed to too much too soon. And other than hiding them away from the world, there is very little we can do about it except to try and teach them well.

My daughter is smart, gorgeous and will be an absolutely amazing woman and I have to trust that the moral messages I have tried to teach her have had an impact and will help her make good decisions most of the time.

Of course she will have her mishaps, haven’t we all. I once did go out in flat orange shoes bought for about 50p by my Nanny. Come on give me a break it was the 1980s. But the most important thing for me is that my daughter keeps herself safe.

When I see the scantily-dressed teenage girls out and about I can’t help thinking ‘uh oh’. Never mind being drunk off your head and not aware of what is going on around you.

Yes I am probably getting a bit prudish and yes at the end of the day if anything happened to those youngsters I’d defend them to the hilt. But I do believe we need to take precautions to keep ourselves safe where possible. And it is just so much more dangerous out there than even when I was growing up.

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Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs. 'Mum' !

Sharon here from '1169...' - from one nominated bloggeress (!) to another ! John showed me the Echo letter before he e-mailed it : was wondering if they would publish it . Great that they did !
Either John or myself will be going to the 'Blog Awards' to watch , through gritted teeth , as the others collect their awards ...
Might see you there !


Red Mum said...

See you then Sharon :)