You mean school is not a fashion show?

Today is Abigael’s first day of first grade; which also meant the end of my sleeping in days.To say she is excited would be a bit of an understatement… I’m surprised she fell asleep before midnight. I guess first graders are still prone to collapsing from exhaustion. At least some things stay the same — unlike all of the other changes I have noticed in her this past week.

One fortunate thing about this school year is that Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools have gone to a “Standard School Attire” – black, blue or khaki bottoms (no jeans, carpenter pants etc) and shirts are required to have collars (ie: polo style, button down shirts etc – no t-shirts). All shirts are to be solid color and each school chooses their own colors.

This made school clothes shopping, what would have otherwise been worse than Chinese water torture, a breeze. Well, at least it would have been if we had started about 2 months ago. With everyone else needing to buy khakis and polo style tops, the pickin’s were slim. But we persevered and found just what we needed. I have to admit though… I am LOVIN’ all of the styles at Old Navy, and their little girls clothes are so stinkin’ cute this season… But I managed to stay focused – put the blinders on and keep movin’.

Unfortunately, there is no code on shoes, other than “no house shoes”… Okay, seriously? That means that someone, at some point, had to push that issue in order for them to mention it… call me crazy, but I don’t make a habit of leaving my house in my fuzzy slippers. I’m just sayin’. I want to know who and why…

I digress…

We spent the better part of our weekend in the shoe departments of various stores looking for shoes that we agreed on. I loved ’em, she hated ’em… she loved ’em, they weren’t real leather and I’m not paying for another pair of shoes that stink to high heaven after a few weeks wear. I was impressed with her choices though – the girl knows style. She was all over the little ballet style flats and open back sneakers. Everything that I showed her made her fret that everyone would make fun of her. Apparently, I am old and have no sense of fashion from a first grader’s perspective. I’ll have to be careful what I wear whenever I drop in on her class – I’d hate to be gossiped about over CapriSuns and peanut butter and jelly in the cafeteria.

She finally chose a cute and stylish pair of Nike sneakers with a pink “swoosh” on them. Even I – oh woman of no fashion sense – thought they were cute and fun.

Through all of this, I kept thinking of all of the debates and the complaining and the whining and gnashing of teeth that some parents went through to try to stop the school board from voting this requirement in. There was an article in the Tennessean in July that mentioned a mother, of an 8th grader, allowing said 8th grader to decide whether or not to comply with the district’s dress code. Said 8th grader would not be dressing in the required clothes because it cramped her style and her mother was alright with this. Never mind the consequences.

This totally and completely blows my mind… Have we become that arrogant and flippant in our society that we are teaching our young children that they don’t have to follow the rules??!! Aren’t there codes to dress when you start a job at almost any workplace? Aren’t there always rules in the form of laws, that we must follow, in order to be a productive citizen?

I could fill the end of this post with a rant about all of that. But in the end, I am glad that the school board approved it. I think it evens the playing field and allows students to focus on the important stuff at school, like, say, LEARNING! Sure, it won’t cure all of the problems found in schools… some kids will still have fancy little logos on their shirts that show that their’s cost 5x’s what everyone else’s did, but for the most part, I think it will be nothing but positive.

No more bellies and midriffs hanging out.
No more underwear hanging out of jeans that fall down to the crotch.
No more “Guess where I’m pierced” or “Your boyfriend’s a good kisser” t-shirts.

And that wasn’t just in high schools.

I will be coming back online later today to post a picture of my daughter, proud as can be, in her standard dress, that her mother required that she wear. And she looks awful cute in it too.

(Also — thank y’all for your sweet comments and prayers. I totally felt covered in them this weekend – it was a very relaxing weekend and anxiety-free!)

More Moms for Modesty

There was an interesting article in the Washington Post recently regarding the way that kids are choosing and being allowed to dress. You can read it here. But first, stop by the Family Research Council — scroll down to “Sleazy-Chic Culture Goes to School”. Notice that second listing under “Additional Resources”, the Moms for Modesty: Let Your Voice Be Heard link? If you haven’t already signed it, head over to her site (here)

I was so saddened and struck by some of the comments in the Washington Post article. For example:

“Her mother, Yakini Ajanaku, does not mind her daughter’s T-shirts because she said Ashli wears them to be ironic. “I know she’s a sweet girl, and I know that she’s very conservative and is not sexually active,” Ajanaku said. “Other people would probably get the wrong message, but I am pretty much like, ‘Who cares what they think?’ “

Huh?? (I guess my Daniel study is becoming ingrained (thankfully) in my mind. I notice our “Babylon” everywhere and this is but one example.)

For a mother to make that comment about her child is like throwing her in the Lions Den unprepared… Why would a mother be okay with someone getting the wrong message — in this case a sexual one — about her child? We SHOULD care about the messages we send others.

We live in a fallen world. People will be amused by “ironic” statements like these kids are wearing around. They will think they are clever and cool to come across as so liberated and free-spirited. We’ll assume for a moment that this mother isn’t a believer. BUT, unfortunately, in the world we live in, with our lives as Christians being muddied by this worlds dirt, it is harder to determine.

As Christians we should be different. We are set apart. We NEED to care what others think. NOT about how big our home is, or our car. But whether or not we are reflecting the Lord.

Do these clothes glorify the Lord?

Would He be pleased to see us in them?

Even if we DON’T care what others think, we should care what God thinks.

We are holy vessels in the House of the Lord (2 Timothy 2:20-21) Do we treat ourselves or allow our children to NOT treat themselves as if we/they are sacred?

Another thought I had while reading this stemmed from this quote and statistic:

“The T-shirts highlight a paradox about this generation: Even as more teenagers absorb ubiquitous sexual messages, federal data show that they report having less sex than their predecessors.

Although a recent National Center for Health Statistics survey found that more than half of all teenagers engage in oral sex, teen pregnancy rates have plummeted since the early 1990s. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of high school students who reported having sexual intercourse dropped from 54 percent in 1991 to 47 percent in 2005.”

I’m only half surprised… Yes, they are having “less sex” — but sex has been de-valued. It is jaded. They see it everywhere… It’s not anything special. (also, I believe that their definition of sex has changed.) I think that more and more we are losing our ability to be intimate with others in ANY capacity (not just sexual).

We are a disconnected society. Instead of hanging out with the people we are with, we hang out in groups chatting to otherpeople on our cell phones. We text message and IM people that we don’t know – who we are anonymous with, which allows us to come across in ways that we wouldn’t dare in real life.

All of this seems discouraging. But have courage. We were placed in this Babylon for a reason. We need to encourage other believers to keep their eyes on heaven. And to keep our noses clean.

Paraphrasing Beth Moore (from session six of Daniel): If we keep our noses clean in this Babylon, we have the capacity for a HUGE influence on others. We can even influence the influential. We don’t know who we are sitting by, riding with in a carpool, raising in our homes.

We are to bear much fruit.

So, consider what you are wearing or allowing your child to wear. It may seem like a small thing. But, it matters.

Blessings,

~K

Moms for Modesty

On several blogs that I read, we’ve been discussing the clothes that our girls wear and the clothes that retailers put out there for our girls to buy.

It saddens me to see our daughters being sexualized and at such young ages. And trying to find clothes that are tasteful and well made (without breaking the bank) is not always an easy task.

When we were shopping for Abbie’s school clothes, I was pleased to see that Old Navy had tags on a lot of their shirts saying “NOW, Longer length”. Well, AMEN to that. I am tired of looking at everyone’s belly buttons. And I can’t imagine anyone that wants to see mine…

So, with that being said, may I present to you the Modesty Misson Statement as seen at Everyday Mom’s blog:

Moms for Modesty Mission Statement

  • As a Mom for Modesty I believe in common-sense modesty for girls and young women.
  • I believe in refraining from sexualizing our girls and young women.
  • I believe that it is unwise and unfair to taunt boys and young men by permitting my daughter(s) to dress in an immodest manner.
  • I believe that true beauty comes from within and I strive to teach my daughter(s) this truth.
  • I will loyally shop at retailers that provide girls’ and young womens clothing that is modest, affordable and stylish.